62nd Annual House and Garden Tour
1. SMALLWOOD HOUSE
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Smallwood House listed in the House and Garden Brochure will not be available for touring.
You are invited to visit Harper Cemetery, directly across from Smallwood House. This historic cemetery overlooks the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.
The small house adjacent to the entrance has been the home to many families including the Stuarts, the current residents and caretakers.
Graves and cremains date back to the 1700's. Notable is the grave of Robert Harper, for whom Harpers Ferry is named.
With the help of a professional restorer, Robert Mosko, and volunteers from a local Boy Scout troop led by Austin Logan, the Board of Trustees is actively restoring damaged and sunken graves. An exciting recent discovery is the grave of a Revolutionary War lieutenant whose family is buried at Zion Episcopal Church, Charles Town. Until now no one knew where this husband and father had been interred.
Guides will be on hand during tour hours, and invite you to walk among the headstones and enjoy breathtaking vistas of the rivers, the bridges, Maryland and Loudoun Heights, and the stunning St. Peters church steeple.
2. GIBSON-TODD HOUSE
The Gibson-Todd House was built by Colonel John Gibson in 1891 on the site where abolitionist John Brown was hanged 32 years earlier. The house remained in Colonel Gibson's family until 1982 when it was deeded to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by his granddaughter, Frances Packette Todd. The current owners purchased the house in 2015.
The house is an excellent example of late century Queen Anne/Victorian architecture with interesting design features including a three-story Normanstyle turret on the western facade, stained glass windows and matching chandelier in the foyer, gas lighting fixtures in the parlor, pocket doors, and a servants call system wired throughout the house.
One room of the house features artifacts from the Gibsons and Todds, including the architect's 1891 drawings of the house, Mrs. Gibson's recipe and remedy book from 1877, the glass negative of a picture of the house from 1892 and a collection of family photos. Also on the property is a carriage house used to shelter Colonel Gibson's carriage and horses before the advent of the automobile. The Gibson-Todd house was last on the House and Garden Tour over 20 years ago.
Shown by Dolley Madison Garden Club. Refreshments will be served.
3. FALLING SPRING
Falling Spring was completed in 1837 by Jacob Morgan, the grandson of Richard Morgan, for whom Morgan's Grove is named. Several springs on the property included one falling over rocks; hence the name of the house.
The white stuccoed house is Federal in design, with later Georgian additions. Its main entrance opens from the portico, with a lower entrance to the extensive basement area that held the kitchen and servants' quarters. The center-hall floor plan exhibits the Classical elements of Jeffersonian architecture: matched rooms with evenly-balanced windows and fireplaces. The house retains the original three-story staircase with its cherry banister and much original hardware; the attic reveals roof timbers of the original house.
History abounds at Falling Spring. It was the starting point of the 1775 Bee-Line March; a shell that struck the house during the Battle of Antietam is still visible. The grounds around the house hold the oldest and largest sugar maple in West Virginia. Falling Spring has not been shown for more than half a century: on the first two House and Garden Tours in 1955 and 1956.
Shown by Shenandoah Garden Club. Refreshments will be served.
4. BUDDY'S HOUSE
The owner's miniature pincher, Buddy, was the inspiration for this amazing and unusual home. The principal idea for the design was to allow Buddy to enjoy the outdoors from indoors. Thus the design began with an idea for an interior garden area. The balance of the house was developed around this concept.
The interior garden encompasses nearly 1000 square feet and is surrounded by eight-foot-high glass walls to allow ample viewing from all rooms. A compass inlaid in the center of the faux slate floor is accurate to within one degree.
Buddy's private courtyard, accessed through a doggy door off the interior garden, offers him a large lawn and plenty of bushes as well as his very own fire hydrant.
The owner, a passionate fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish claims his "one selfish desire was to have a place to watch all things Irish in style." Football fans will enjoy his pool room with unusual memorabilia from Notre Dame. And for game viewing, there is a home theater, featuring seating for 12, just down the hall. A 145-inch screen and high-tech sound system, says the owner, "gives me the illusion of actually being at the stadium."
The owner-designed house incorporates "the latest and greatest electronics to make mine a house not only of today but also of the future." Lights, music, thermostat, and security system are all controlled with voice, keypads, or smart phone.
Shown by Berk-Mar Garden Club.
5. JOHN EVANS HOUSE
The John Evans House (1756) is the third-oldest structure in Berkeley County and the oldest family-inhabited home in Martinsburg. Two years after the outbreak of the French and Indian War, it was constructed in native limestone laid in a coursed rubble pattern. Its thick limestone walls served as a refuge from Indian attacks for surrounding settlers. Two very large limestone blocks on the second story were removable and provided a vantage point for defending the house. The property was a campground for General Braddock's troops, and later, during the Civil War, the Big Spring not far from the house was again noted as a camping ground. In the basement of the house there remains evidence that people were hidden there.
The interior of the Evans House includes an unfinished basement, two upper stories, and an attic remodeled into a single large bedroom with bathroom and closet. The kitchen retains the original fireplace with a wood mantle. The original woodwork is modest in its detailing overall and incorporates molded trim boards and bull's-eye corner blocks.
Shown by Norborne Garden Club.
6. PATTERSON DISTILLERY HOUSE
The original structure was built as a distillery in 1802 by Hugh Vance Patterson. Evidence of its origin is apparent in the arched entrance in its 18-inch-thick walls,. As a distillery, the inside probably looked much like a barn, with large open fireplaces on either side. Whiskey barrels would have been rolled out through the archway. The hand-hewn beams in the living room, still bear the marks of an adz.
The property changed hands in 1822, and the building was converted from a distillery to a house around 1830. For the next 100 years, it changed hands several times, but was not expanded until 1939. Many changes to the landscape and additions to the original house have occurred through the years.
The current owners bought the house in 2013, and have continued work both indoors and out.
They enjoy the visits of the resident ghost, who is unseen, but sometimes awakens them in the morning with the smell of fresh coffee brewing. The beautiful patio was built of stones from an old local quarry, with the owners doing the masonry work. The area is still being expanded, and is dominated by a 20-foot-tall fire-breathing dragon.
Shown by Gateway Garden Club. Refreshments will be served.
7. LICK RUN PLANTATION
The Plantation house is an excellent example of late Georgian domestic architecture in a rural area. A two-storied stone house, built in the 1770s, it retains its period charm in the old floors, hardware, early plain mantels and paneled board and batten doors, and board walls dividing rooms. The kitchen, once an outbuilding, has been left mostly in its original state, complete with smokeblackened ceiling beams.
Numerous outbuildings open for the tour include a stone barn with vertical slit vents unusual for this county; Bedinger Roller Mill, built by Major Henry Bedinger (War of 1812) will also be open.
This is the first time that the Lick Run Farm has been on the House and Garden Tour.
Shown by Olde Berkeley Garden Club.