2815 Oakland Gravel Road – Guitar Mansion/Confederate Hill

This link will take to you to an enchanting picture of this late Victorian Italianate style home — and information on why the house’s misleading nickname, Confederate Hill, is one of Columbia’s most popular historical myths.

The Guitar Mansion at 2815 Oakland Gravel Road was named Confederate Hill by one its former owners, but the piece, “Safeguarding History,” states that whether the original owner of the house, David Guitar, served in the Confederate forces is refuted in his 1912 obituary published Jan. 2, 1912 in the University Missourian.

In 2010, the house once again became a single-family dwelling. The home was purchased by Pat Westhoff and Elena Vega on Oct. 18, 2010 at absolute auction for $155,500. It had been vacant for several years, and previously had been on the market for $499,000.

According to this Oct. 4, 2012 article, Slave cabins in Boone County, the property has a slave cabin on it.

Take a peak at what the home looked like in 1993 by reviewing the National Register of Historic Places form and see how it has weathered the years by checking out the links to media reports over the years at the end of this page.

Perhaps its problems stem from being built during a troubled time, with construction starting in 1860 and completed in 1862, when the U.S. was enduring its Civil War from 1861-1865.

According to the 1993 National Register of Historic Places, David Guitar, a prominent local businessman and farmer, lived there with his wife Harriet and their 10 children. The home was owned by Ward Dorrance from 1940-1953, and he gave it its alternative name, Confederate Hill, based on his belief that Guitar served in the Confederate forces.

Miriam and Harvey McCaleb purchased the home in 1956, and Miriam McCaleb is the person who applied for HRHP recognition for the home, which it received on August 9, 1993.

Once slated for a bed and breakfast, then left vacant and then surrounded by subdivisions, but the landscaping and slope of the land home allows an approach to the home and view from the windows somewhat like it must have looked in 1862.


Sept. 13, 2013 — Safeguarding History, CAFNR News. Summary: This article outlines what has happened to this house since CAFNR employee Pat Westhoff and his wife Elena Vega bought the house. It includes excellent photos and information outlining evidence refuting David Guitar’s alleged service in the Confederate forces. The evidence includes this obituary published on Jan. 2, 1912 in the newspaper, the University Missourian.

Oct. 4, 2012,  Slave cabins in Boone County, Vox Magazine. This article outlines the characteristics slave cabins and the importance of preserving them. According to some experts, there is a slave cabin on this property.

Jan. 3, 2012, New owner turns historic Guitar Mansion into graceful home again, Columbia Missourian. This article outlines how the house at 2815 Oakland Gravel Road is seeing new life as a single-family home once again and getting a well-deserved spruce up.

Dec. 6, 2010, Unexpectedly purchased, Guitar Mansion to be a home again, Columbia Missourian. The link to the article is: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/12/06/unexpected-owner-guitar-mansion-keep-home/

Oct. 19, 2010, Historic Guitar Mansion sold at auction for $155,000, Columbia Daily Tribune.

Oct. 18, 2010, Historic Guitar Mansion sold to surprised bidder, Columbia Missourian.

Dec. 11, 2009, Columbia Tribune. Slide show. http://www.columbiatribune.com/photos/galleries/2009/dec/11/saving-guitar-mansion/flash/

August 8, 2004. Visions of the past. Columbia Daily Tribune. The Guitar House becomes a bed and breakfast under the ownership of Noel and Mary Ann Crowson. Includes photographs of the restored home, historic photos of Odon Guitar, David Guitar and graphics on the additions to the home from 1859-1940.

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