Homes on Tour

 mahlon-schooley-house

The Mahlon Schooley House

Families in Waterford, Virginia, live modern lives in old houses. Many Waterford residents live with hand-dug wells, low ceilings, and no air-conditioning. Homes and buildings that originally were businesses have been lovingly restored and renovated for twenty-first-century living.

Each day during the Homes Tour, some villagers graciously open their homes to visitors. Docents welcome you and speak about the history, architecture and furnishings of these dwellings. Village houses date from the late eighteenth century through the federal and Victorian periods and into the twentieth century.

Docents will introduce you to the cast of colorful characters who once inhabited these fascinating houses. They were Quakers and staunch abolitionists, slave-owners, merchants, artisans, freed slaves, warriors, and idealists. Three centuries of life in a unique American village will tell the back-story to your visit to the Waterford Fair.

Tours are included in the ticket price.

Houses on Tour in 2013

Below is a list of houses open during each day of the 2013 Fair; your ticket allows you into the homes on tour.

Friday

The Pink House

William Nettle House

Old Acre

Wisteria Cottage

 

Saturday

Jacob Mendenhall House

Samuel Steer House

The Braden House

Asbury Johnson House

Sunday

James Lewis House

Goodwin-Sappington House

The Pink House

Palmer-Devine House

 

 

House Descriptions and Photos

FRIDAY

The Pink House

The Pink House.

The Pink House.

This house was constructed by Lewis Klein (1783-1837) sometime between 1816 and 1825, when he opened a “House of Entertainment” (tavern) in the building. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ground floor was used first as a pharmacy and later as a general store. An interior stair connecting the ground level to the rest of the house was added in the 1950s, and the soft brick was painted a distinctive pink.

 

 

 

 

 The William Nettle House

William Nettle, Waterford’s first mayor and a master

William Nettle House.

William Nettle House.

builder from Pennsylvania, completed this house in 1822. Nathan Walker (1802-1871) bought it in 1840 and it remained in the Walker family until 1921. This dwelling has a hall-parlor interior plan. The front door opens into the principal entertainment area, or hall, and a smaller private room, the parlor, adjoins the hall.

 

Old Acre

oldacre

James Moore, Jr., probably constructed this house between 1815 and 1838, when he sold it to his nephew James Moore Steer (1810-1874). Steer and his brother-in-law Reuben Schooley operated a series of agricultural manufacturing shops behind the house along Factory Street, giving that street its name. Exterior brickwork indicates that the northern block of Old Acre was built before the southern end, originally a single story.

Wisteria Cottage

Wisteria Cottage

Wisteria Cottage

This small brick house was probably constructed early in the 19th century. The Wellman Chamberlin family purchased in in 1941. For half a century it was the home of Mary Elizabeth Wallace (1919-1999), the last member of Waterford’s once-thriving African-American community. Archeological evidence indicates a similar dwelling once existed across the street. The house was built before 1827. 

 

 SATURDAY

Jacob Mendenhall House

Jacob Mendenhall House.

Jacob Mendenhall House.

Jacob Mendenhall (1788-1822), an enterprising Quaker merchant, banker, and schoolteacher, constructed this dwelling between 1814 and 1820. His daughter Hannah inherited the house in 1822 and also operated a school here. Methodist Church trustees used the house as a parsonage from 1886 to 1941. The two front doors reflect a Pennsylvania German building trend. Quaker families often constructed dwellings with  three rooms on the principal floor; one door opened into a large room extending the depth of the house, while the other door opened into a smaller room about half of the house’s depth.

 

Samuel Steer House

Samuel Steer House.

Samuel Steer House.

This house was built during the Civil War and used briefly as a hospital. Samuel L. Steer (1811-1883) purchased the dwelling in 1867. Steer, like several of his Quaker neighbors, spent time in a Confederate prison because of his Union sympathies. During the war his daughter, Sarah Ann, co-edited the pro-Union Waterfor News with her young neighbors Lida and Lizzie Dutton. After the war Sarah Ann Steer was the first teacher at the new school for African Americans just down the street.

 

The Braden House

The Braden House.

The Braden House.

Robert Braden (1765-1827) probably built this house between 1816 and 1820. It clearly fits into the local vernacular: brick on a stone foundation, Flemish bond and closers on the front façade, five-course common bond on all other sides. Elbert Divine reportedly added the bay window on the south side and the front porch in 1913.

 

 

 

 

Asbury Johnson House

asburyjohnson

Asbury-Johnson House.

Asbury Johnson built this home in 1886. It is the earliest of the Victorian houses lining Second Street, and is less exuberantly embellished than others of the period. This two-story wood frame home has both interior and exterior easements, to preserve its historical integrity; one unusual (but not unique) feature is red glass around the front door.

 

SUNDAY

James Lewis House

James Lewis House.

James Lewis House.

This lot stood vacant until at least 1875. Butchers Row takes its name from a slaughterhouse that stood between this house and the Mahlon Myers house. In 1877 James Lewis (born c. 1845), an African-American veteran of the Civil War, purchased the property and built this frame house. It has a two-story, two-room plan with a service addition.

 

 

 

 

Goodwin-Sappington House

The Goodwin-Sappington House.

The Goodwin-Sappington House.

From at least 1803 to 1805 David Goodwin had a shoemaker’s shop and dwelling here. His shoe shop was the structure to the far right and his dwelling was to the far left. The central building was an alley between the two, converted into more living space before 1815 by the Sappington family.

The Pink House

See Friday list for description.

 Palmer-Devine House

The houses of Arch Row.

The houses of Arch Row.

This is one in the row of attached buildings constructed around 1810 by Joseph Talbott, a former Quaker, for use as a tavern and store, thereby creating a commercial hub in the village. Loudoun County’s earliest bank was organized here in 1815 and slaves were auctioned in the street in front of the tavern.