Starting as a humble log cabin in 1801, Solitude grew to become the home of two Virginia governors, and the home of Robert Preston, who sold the property in 1872 to provide land for the new Virginia land grant college, Virginia Agriculture and Mechanical College, later to be known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

It is Virginia Tech's oldest structure, the "homeplace" of the University. Because of its rich historical and architectural heritage, Solitude was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and named a Virginia Historic Landmark in 1989.

An online exhibit on the history of Solitude was originally developed in early 2000. The archived version of the original exhibit is available online here. In 2020, it was migrated to a new platform/format and it was updated to include additional images and new information about digital items already included. The updated exhibit also features a page of additional resources located in Special Collections and University Archives and/or online about the building, its history, and the Preston family.

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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech