Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, July 2, 1964
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

By Betty H. Tipton

"Ville View", 19th century, red-brick, Colonial home of the late John Dennette Guthrie, world-renowned forester, author and hero of World War I, was sold at public auction Saturday for $23,275.

Located 600 feet from Route 40 near the heart of the village, the house is situated in a fine grove of oak and other trees, planted by the Major. This 3 story, 8 room dwelling was bought by L.M. Jones for $17,750.  The new master plans to start installing modern conveniences and other renovations at once to turn it into a spacious, family home. 

Adjoining lots, belonging to the estate were purchased by Guy Dixon of Cullen and six other lots, on the highway were sold to Jim Ferguson, also of Cullen.

A native of Charlotte County, Major Guthrie, who was General Inspector for the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1934 until 1943, acquired "Ville View" upon his retirement.  Here, he lived until his death at 84 in December 1962, and established one of Virginia's earliest tree farms.

Known as "Mr. Forester" he had served the United States Government for more than forty years.  Beginning in 1902, he was one of the leaders in the efforts to conserve forests in the West.

Major Guthrie handled forestry assignments in Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Scotland, Finland, and Sweden.  He also wrote several forestry publications, and was a frequent contributor to national and international periodicals. 

During World War I, he was command captain of Company C, 13th Engineers (Forestry) AEF.  He was assistant to General W.P. Richardson in central France.  Then he was stationed at Archanged, Russian, and finally with the War Damage Command in Romania.

Decorations and Awards

France awarded him the Merite Agricola and Russia conferred on him the Orders of St. Anne, St. Nicholas, and the Compassionate Heart.  In 1925, he received the Pack Prize from the American Association of Foresters.

A national trustee and vice president of the Patrick Henry Foundation, Major Guthrie is believed to have collected the most complete library on the statesman who is buried in this county at "Red Hill".  He kept this in the front room on the left at "Ville View".  The house also contained many, other valuable and unusual items Major Guthrie had found in his world travels.

A brick cemented into the right corner of the front of the house bears the date "1831" but some sources claims the original house was begun in 1790.  Its roof today is painted a medium green and there are matching blinds at the many windows.

The front door leads to a wide front hall sweeping the width of the house.  There is a staircase in the grand manner, leading to the second floor.  Pine-panelled wainscoting decorates the "walls.  On either side are high-ceilinged rooms.  In the living room, the wooden fireplace is exquisitely carved.

The rafters in the attic on the third floor are hand-hewn and fastened together with wooden pegs.

The new owner is a native of Galax in Grayson County, who has been working in Charlotte County for 18 years.  He owns the Jones Oil Company.  Mrs. Jones was born in Charlotte County and is the former Miss Betty Lee Cobb.  They have one daughter, 13 year old Beverly, who is a student at Randolph-Henry, the Charlotte County High School, about a block away on the other side of the highway.