Backstory and Context
In 1795, Peter B. Whiting built Mt. Atlas on a hill overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. After building the home, Whiting sold it in 1801 to Charles Carter and his wife, Ann Carter. When he died in 1807, a property dispute broke out between Ann and her son, John Hill. John won out in the dispute, and at a later date, he sold the property to John and Henry Tyler. The property was obtained by Willis Foley in 1835, and it would stay in the Foley Family throughout the rest of the nineteenth century. Foley and his wife Nancy lived on the property and had eleven children. When Foley died in 1863, the land was split into eight lots, and the home and 46 acres were given to their daughter Elizabeth.
In 1894, the property was willed to Mildred Smith, the niece of Elizabeth, and in 1900, she sold the land to R. B. Gossom. Gossom created a number of changes for the home during his ownership of the property, and in 1952, it was purchased by Barton and Pauline Padgett. The Padgetts lived in Mt. Atlas until 1974, at which point the home had begun to show a significant amount of structural issues with the home. On December 13th, 1988, it was designated on the Virginia Landmark Register, and on October 30th, 1989, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. As of 2007, the property seemed to be abandoned and in poor condition.