Thomas, Jesse & Avery Mustain Historic Homes

Entrance, Jesse Mustain House

Entrance, Jesse Mustain House

Note about Jesse’s Home. 

In earlier research on historic homes in the Gretna, VA area, there was some confusion about Thomas building a home and Jesse adding to it. That home is the one  you see described later in this page, with the interior photos.

As John Roberts told us in comments on this page, he lived in the house that was built by Thomas. During 2013, John graciously shared several documents compiled by his daughter, in her research, before his family bought Thomas’ home.

Here are are some updated links and resources. 

Map Location of Thomas’, Jesse’s and Avery’s homes. One reason that our cousin, Chris Mustain, created the map and added the location of Avery’s grave was to help others find these locations.

Thomas Mustain House

Thomas Mustain House on Telegraph Road, Pittsylvania Co, VA. Estimated built by 1769

You may download two photos of Thomas’ home from this Dropbox folder link. See also three documents about land and the home. There was some exterior remodeling over the years, and Thomas’ home would not look today as it did when it was built. If you share any, or all of these five photos/documents, please clearly cite the source as John Roberts, 2013 owner of Thomas Mustain Home. You may state that they were shared by John to your cousin, Rebecca Musteen Johnson: 5th great-granddaughter of Thomas Mustain, if that makes your source notation more valid. Freely share the link to the entire Dropbox folder in email or by other means, with other family researchers. Again, please be clear in quoting sources, so we all know the photos and documents are genuine and come from reputable sources.

Understand that this Mustain Pinterest board is a work in progress. It’s tricky to add links that get us back to the exact sources. Especially if we’re not logged into as members (for some photos, etc.). There are two photos of Avery’s home on the board…one exterior and one interior.

 Now, here’s this page, as it was originally published about Jesse’s home:

This beautiful home is located at on Tucker Road in Gretna, VA.


The following is by Susan Kottwitz, 2002. Note: This description was prepared when the property was offered for sale.

Piecing together the history of
this property is a bit like looking for a mouse in a thicket.  Early records are scarce and some later history written about this house was misguided.  We do know, by matching the earliest surveys with one conducted in 1989, that this house was, indeed, Jesse Mustain’s home at the time of his death in 1794.

However, many Mustain family researchers and local history buffs believe that this house was built by Jesse’s father, Thomas Mustain.  In her book Tracks Along the Staunton, Diane Popek states:  “Around 1750 Thomas Mustain, on the original grant by King George II of England, built a rock-wall house, a landmark of Pittsylvania County.”   We believe that this rock-wall house built in 1750 was the first floor of our home.  Thomas went on to built a larger home (timber frame with an English basement that is on his original land grant and on what is now Telegraph Road) and that his son, Jesse, went on to add the other two floors in the 1770’s when he came of age, married, and began his family.

The Jesse Mustain House is a Southside Virginia plantation manor home on 24.23 acres, part of an original land grant from King George II, and eligible for listing in Virginia Landmarks and National Register. The house is one of the oldest homes in Pittsylvania County. It is fully restored and updated for modern living while retaining historical significance and charm. It contains over 3,000 square feet total living space, 3/5 bedrooms, 2 baths, a fabulous custom kitchen, formal rooms, office, mudroom and first floor laundry.

Jesse Mustain

Original fieldstone is visible in the dining room.

The first floor of the colonial portion of this house was constructed circa 1750 and is built of fieldstone, most of it probably gathered from nearby Stinking River. These walls are 18″ thick and are a double row of stone. Remnants of the hand hewn, pegged construction remain, including the original 1750 summer beam. The second and third floors are timber frame, built circa 1770’s. The south two story wing was constructed circa 1900.

Formal Dining Room

Stone walls on three sides make for a special ambience, especially when using the dimmer on the lovely solid brass chandelier. Original summer beam is visible though the beamed ceiling has been plastered. Original fireplace / box was closed in the 1800’s after an earthquake cracked the capstone. Charming  parlor stove adds to the atmosphere. Natural pine floor. A small original colonial era door with original hardware leads into the office.

Special colonial-era features include original hogs’ hair and mud plaster in excellent condition, heart pine flooring, heart pine wainscot with center board a full 24″, some original doors and hardware, 9 over 9 and 6 over 6 windows with original blown glass, 4 fireplaces, heart pine hand carved mantles, and third floor rooms have private staircases.
This home also features new central heat and air, well, electrical wiring and plumbing.

Living Room

Jesse Mustain Home

Living room, Jesse Mustain home.

Floor-to-ceiling custom built bookcases line one wall punctuated by a fireplace with antique mantle, ceramic tile surround and threshold, and gas logs. Natural oak floor. Lovely east sunlight. French doors lead to an arbor covered flagstone patio (8′ x 10′) with wisteria. Painted wainscot and wall coverings.




Mustain home foyer.

Step past the new Larson insulated full view storm door and the etched glass walnut front door into a welcoming foyer. This is part of the addition to the house built c.1900. To the left you will enter the oldest portion of the house through an 18″ thick stone wall doorway which retains its early 19th Century doors. Straight ahead is the oak stairway leading to the 2nd floor. To the right is the Living Room. Natural pine floor. Closet under staircase.


From the Foyer or the Dining Room, cross the small hallway (perfect for a small art gallery or displaying other collections) into the kitchen. Custom built cabinets with tons of storage and work space. Upper cabinets have glass doors. Lower cabinets have roll-out bottom shelves. Work station lighting and several hidden electrical plug-in strips make for easy kitchen duty. Solid oak countertops. Kohler white porcelain extra deep sink. Kenmore (Whirlpool) dishwasher less than two years old. Kenmore refrigerator with glass shelves and icemaker. Large island (4′ x 5′) with marble countertop; pantry storage; GE built in self-cleaning oven less than two years old; and open shelves with colonial detailing. shelves could be removed for bar seating for two. Breakfast area by the original 6 over 6 with much hand blown glass window overlooking the back yard and gazebo. Natural stone wall on one side, wallpaper on another. 6 panel etched glass door leads to mudroom. Louver bi-fold doors lead to furnace room / closet. Phone jack. Natural pine floor.


Natural afternoon sunlight makes a great atmosphere in this hardworking space. 6 over 6 window. Triple phone jacks. Painted pine floor. Newer sheetrock on the two exterior walls.


A Victorian back porch converted to a mudroom. Painted concrete floor;  one stone wall; siding on two walls;  triple windows and wallpaper on the fourth exterior wall. To the north is the back door with insulated storm door and walnut etched glass exterior door leading to a very old stone patio (9′ x 14′) and flagstone path to the gate. To the east is the laundry room.

Laundry Room

Washer and dryer hookups with open cabinets above on one wall. Facing wall has hanging storage space, as well as full set of upper and lower cabinets with a stainless steel double sink. Ceramic tile countertop and ceramic tile on the wide window ledge perfect for flower pots in front of the east facing original 6 over 6 window. The home’s second hot water heater (electric) is hidden behind louvered cabinet doors.


This bath has a ceramic tile shower with chrome & glass door, vintage porcelain sink with chrome legs and vintage beveled mirror. Walls are painted wainscot and wallpaper. Floor is carpet and ceramic tile. Lovely chrome wall sconces, ceiling light with heat and power vent. Ample linen storage and LP gas water heater behind louvered doors. Small antique 2 over 2 window with some blown glass and eastern sunlight.

Second Floor

The stairs from the foyer lead to a large second floor hallway that joins the old colonial and the Victorian portions of the house. Custom built closets line one long wall (floor to ceiling) providing more than ample closet space for the Master Bedroom, as well as linen storage. Oak floor. Original 6 over 6 window.

Sitting Area

Stepping into the colonial portion of the house leads into the charming sitting area which adjoins the Master Bedroom and Bedroom #2 which receives lovely natural light from the original 9 over 9 window with blown glass panes. Original painted heart pine wainscot featuring hand carved details and full 24″ center boards. Original hogs’ hair and mud plaster walls in excellent condition. Painted heart pine floor.

Master Bedroom

Original painted heart pine wainscot and chair rail with hand carved details and full 24″ center boards. Fabulous, large, very ornate original hand carved  (7′ wide x 66″ tall) mantle – looks like a wedding cake!  Original hogs’ hair and mud plaster walls in excellent condition. 9′ ceiling. Two original 9 over 9 windows with mostly blown glass panes. Painted heart pine floor. Phone jack. This, in addition to the adjoining sitting area, was originally the main social room. Lovely, mellow afternoon sunlight.

Bedroom 2

Also in the colonial portion of the house with many of the same features as the Master Bedroom. Original heart pine wainscot and woodwork in all its natural pine glory!  Hand carved details and full 24″ center boards. Check out those growth rings!  Highly detailed, hand carved heart pine mantle (6′ wide x 5′ tall). Original hogs hair and mud plaster walls in excellent condition. 9′ ceiling. One original 9 over 9 window with mostly blown glass panes;  one 6 over 6 window, also with mostly blown glass panes. Built in bookshelf. Phone jack. Very large closet with door original to the house with hand carved latch (for drawstring), keeper, and HL hinges. Complete with the old cat hole. Inside the closet, in the very back is a small secret compartment where original occupants hid their valuables from the tax enumerators!  This room was originally the dining room;  the closet was originally a stairway to the first floor kitchen. This room is currently used as a sitting room / den.

Bedroom 3

In the Victorian portion of the house is this romantically pleasant room with both east and west sunlight. Original 6 over 6 windows. Painted wainscot with wallpaper and crown moldings. Closet with built in shelf storage in addition to hanging space. Ceiling fan. Phone jack. Oak floor. Attic access.

Bath 2

This bath features an antique claw foot bathtub with romantic solid brass reproduction Victorian shower. Sink is white china set in an antique walnut server. Walls are painted wainscot and wallpaper. Crown molding. Floor is carpeting. Brass wall sconces; ceiling light with heat and power vent. Ample linen storage behind louvered doors. Small antique 2 over 2 window with east sunlight.

Third Floor

Bedroom 4/Sewing Room

This bedroom has its own private staircase from the sitting area adjoining the Master Bedroom and Bedroom #2. Original to the house, balusters are hand carved, as is the newel. Original hand carved heart pine chair rail. Original hogs’ hair and mud plaster in excellent condition. Two original small 2 over 2 windows. Painted heart pine floor. This was originally the children’s bedroom.

Bedroom 5/Studio

This room has its own private staircase from Bedroom #2. Original hand carved heart pine chair rail. Original hogs’ hair and mud plaster in excellent condition. Two small original 2 over 2 windows on either side of the fireplace. Simply hand carved painted heart pine mantel. Painted heart pine floor. This was originally the master bedroom.

The 24.23 acres front a paved county road and are bordered by live water on two sides: Stinking River and Joe’s Creek. Approximately 9 acres are open — perfect for horses. The woods are a mix of pine groves and mixed hardwood including one old growth oak and old growth cedars. The garage/workshop/barn is 40 x 30, log sided, with underground water and electric. The garage door is insulated Williamsburg-style with electric opener. Carport to the side. There are 4 dependencies with clapboard siding currently used for storage. In addition to the new well, a very old 90-foot hand-dug well remains.

To the south of the house yard is the old colonial roadbed which runs west towards Gretna and east to Hickey’s Road. This property is located not quite a mile from state highway and a short five-minute drive to town conveniences.

Jesse Mustain Home

Jesse Mustain Home

This is a lovely setting with majestic mature maple trees shielding the house from the road. There is a circle gravel drive with plenty of parking space. Jonquils, tulips, and ivy line the front walk to the flagstone 10 x 24 foot front porch. There is a custom designed white picket fence with gate arbors. A gazebo is in the back yard. French doors from living room lead to a flagstone floored arbor with vintage columns and wisteria. Two giant holly trees provide plenty of branches for festive holiday decorating and year round enjoyment. The property is fully landscaped. Plantings include:  azalea, rhododendron, camellia, andromeda, bayberry, crape myrtle, rose of sharon, forsythia, crab apple, redbud, tulip poplar, pyracantha, roses, lilac, spirea, sweet shrub, boxwood, cleyera, Virginia sweetspire, red honeysuckle, Yoshino cherry,  euonymus, jasmine, nandina, and a rainbow of spring bulbs, oriental lilies, hybrid daylilies, and perennials.

See photos of the exterior details and outbuildings at this link:

Between 1860 and 1863 all of this property was sold to William Harvey.  It was subsequently sold to Allison Berger, then J.C. Rowland who added the two story wing to the south, then James Gibson, then to Donna Schoen Carter in 1989, then Gary and Susan Kottwitz in 1997.


11 thoughts on “Thomas, Jesse & Avery Mustain Historic Homes

  1. The house shown is Jesse’s house, but Thomas’s house is located on Telegraph rd.(which was Stagecoach road). I have lived in it for the past 15 years.

    • Thomas Mustain is my 7th great grandfather. His daughter Mildred Mustain married Jesse Keesee, and my paternal grandmother is from this lineage. I have been researching my family for 11 years, and just found the info on this home. I would love to have a picture of the outside of the home if that would be permissible. Thank you for your time.
      Debbie Smith

      • Debbie, I’m glad to meet you through the blog! Thomas Mustain was my 5th-great-grandfather.

        John Roberts owned Thomas’ home at least through 2013, but I believe it was unoccupied when a VA cousin visited a few months ago. John graciously shared photos and several documents with me, and I’ll update this blog page soon. I’ll add what I’ve found about the three historic homes: Thomas’, Jesse’s and Avery’s. I’ll add links, so that our family can easily download photos and the historic documents. I’ll email you with a link to the page, when it’s updated.

        In the meantime, you can see photos of Thomas’, Jesse’s and Avery’s homes, with other documents on this Pinterest board:

        Please know the Pinterest board is a work in progress. I’ve added links for those who are members. If you don’t subscribe, the Ancestry links will default to a log-in page. If you’re logged into, the link will take you directly to the photo or other document.

        I look forward to sharing more with you. What a wonderful heritage we have in these historic homes! And, in the great amount of excellent research done for us by at least three researchers. See “Other’s Very Detailed Research” link in the right margin of the blog.

        Your cousin,

  2. My wife of 45 years just corrected me on the name of the road. It was old stage road not stagecoach road. Sorry John Roberts

    • John, thanks for posting comments! You probably knew there had been some debate that Jesse’s house was begun by Thomas and then expanded by Jesse. I look forward to knowing any possible details of Thomas’ house, so I can be more accurate on our family history.

  3. Wow! I just saw this post & am doing research with my sister-in-law, Sandi (Mustain) Hansen here in Utah. we are very excited to find out more.

    • Julianne, I’m glad you posted a comment! Chris Mustain, who commented on this blog recently, visited Thomas’, Jesse’s and Avery’s homes in 2009. I’m still in the process of capturing and posting some info and photos from Chris’ link…which he’s made available to anyone who has a membership in that service. Here’s the link:

      Can you tell us how Sandi is descended through Thomas’ children?

      I look forward to any ways we might share collected details to help our extended family with research. Please be sure to see the posts about “Other’s Research.” The book by Delores M. Mustaine and the wonderful research by Carolyn McKenzie are the most detailed that I’ve found.

      My grandfather’s last name changed to Musteen, when he and his brother lived with foster parents after his father died. There were several children, and his widowed mother couldn’t keep and support them.

      Rebecca Musteen Johnson

  4. Hey there! I too and a descendent of Thomas Mustain through his daughter Mildred Mustain who married Jesse Keesee. Thomas is my 7x great grandfather on my dads side. Im excited to read through this site to learn more about the family :)

    • Jessica, it’s great to meet you! Did you notice Debbie’s comment from 4-12-15? She also is descended from Mildred Mustain Keesee, with Thomas being her 7th-great-grandfather.

      It’s time for me to update this page…at least adding some links that will reduce confusion about Jesse’s house and Thomas’ home being separate dwellings. I’ll at least begin tonight. Please understand that the Pinterest board is a work in progress. It’s tricky to add links that get us back to the exact source. Especially if we’re not logged into (for some photos, etc.)

      • I did see it :) i have actually been messaging with her previously and she pointed me here for info.
        Thank you, its nice to meet you as well! Thank you for taking the time to create this page to provide info and for adding things on pinterest :)

        • Jessica, it’s great when we meet cousins and share details. I’ve found sources and contacts through this blog, that I never would have, otherwise. :)

          I’ve made a few updates to the page. And I’ll come back to refine a bit later.

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