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Dr. Lenita Thibault had a dream as a young girl to own a big, old house.

“I’ve always loved old houses,” she said. “They’ve always been a fascination to me. We visited them a lot when I was a child.”

Thirty years ago, while visiting the area, she caught a glimpse of Rotherwood Mansion.

“I saw it briefly on a real estate tour as I was driving by,” she said.

Soon after, Thibault accepted a position as a physician in Kingsport. When she did, she knew Rotherwood had to be hers. Over the last three decades, she has not only made the house her home but studied the property’s rich history.

“We know this house was built in three parts: the north third of the house was built about 1818, the south third of the house – parallel – was built about 1820, and they were joined about 1845,” she said.