The Anderson Cottage
Not just a bed & breakfast or historical landmark, this wonderful old house is home to the descendants of S.W Anderson, and has been in our family for nearly 150 years. The buildings were beautifully restored and renovated starting in the 1960s by Jean Graham Randolph Bruns, who lived in the house and ran the Anderson Cottage for over 30 years. The family tradition of hospitality lives on in a new generation.
The Anderson Cottage has been welcoming guests in Warm Springs, Virginia since the 1790’s, as a tavern, girls school, summer inn, and, for over thirty years, as a Bed & Breakfast.
The Dining Room and Tavern Parlor were the first two rooms of Bell’s Tavern, built of rough-hewn logs. While the elite frequented the Warm Springs Inn by pools, the tavern in Germantown served drovers taking livestock to market and other working folk. Two more rooms were added upstairs, still built of log, as shown in several rooms where portions of the old log construction are exposed. Rooms and porches were added on back, and connected to a brick kitchen that may have been built in the 1820s. A second, frame house was moved to the north of the log structure, and was first connected with a open breezeway. A new roof then covered the entire structure, including five chimneys serving twelve fireplaces.
The house had a series of owners, serving for a time as a doctor’s office and later as a girls school. In the 1870s, Samuel Wilberforce Anderson, a widower, moved to Bath County, bringing his three young daughters to the home of his late wife’s family in Warm Springs Gap. He married Margaret Foxhall Dangerfield and together they opened the Anderson Cottage as a summer inn. It catered to those escaping from the summer heat in the city, and enjoying the Warm Springs pools. Somers Anderson managed the the inn from her stepmother’s death in 1911 until the 1950s. She named the house “Locustlyn” after the large locust trees which used to shelter the house. Somers was known for her gardening.
Somers Anderson left the house to her niece, Jean McAllister Randolph, and in the sixties and seventies the house was used as a vacation home. Jean Bruns, who had lived at the Anderson Cottage as a child in the 1930s, brought her family every August. They were sometimes joined by her sister Beverley’s family, creating a group of cousins who had grown up playing together. Over the years, Jean worked to preserve and restore the house, with support from her maternal grandfather and others. In the 1980s, she moved to Warm Springs. After hosting Garth Newel musicians, she opened the Anderson Cottage Bed & breakfast and ran it for over three decades, until she passed away at the end of 2015.
Her son Bryan, grand-daughters Lily and Alma, and other family members, are working to keep the Anderson Cottage in the family, and to continue sharing “this wonderful old house” with family and guests. As she wrote “it continues to live, the Anderson Cottage, well into its third century, rich in memories, future bright, and filled with hope.”