Mitchell’s Presbyterian Church
Built in 1879 under the leadership of the Reverend John P. Strider, this simple Carpenter’s Gothic church contains the most elaborate example of late 19th century, folk-style trompe l’oeil frescoes in the Commonwealth. The Italian immigrant painter Joseph Dominick Phillip Oddenino, born in 1831 in Chieri, Turin, Italy, executed the frescoes between 1892 and 1899. Oddenino painted the ceiling to resemble beams framing rosettes. The artwork is a shining example of the ancient art of fresco and is a curious transplant in the rural Virginia countryside. The church, along with the frescoes, underwent complete restoration beginning in 1979. Several other examples of Oddenino’s work remain in the region – Mitchells Church is one of the finest and most complete.