Some places transcend time, while others help define it. The Thornton family home in Westlake does both."We believe this house was probably the first structure of any significance in the area," Steve Thornton said of his family's house on Roanoke Road. Thornton's mother, LaVana Thornton, still lives in the hilltop house that local legend says is an old stagecoach stop known as Placido.
The Thornton family bought the gabled, stone house and surrounding property in 1916 from the family of the once-prominent landowner Henry Keller. While the Thorntons are fairly certain that Keller's family built the house sometime around 1866, they would like to construct a written account of their home's history. If the house was a stagecoach stop in the 1800s, the building would be eligible for listing in the National Register. But the Thorntons' motivation for researching the house is more than the quest for a historical designation. "I'm more interested in knowing the history than getting a marker," LaVana Thornton said.