2019 Home Tour houses grace Lafayette Street

From 1795, Ellen Goodwin’s house has stood the test of time.

The Greenbrier Historical Society is pleased to present a variety of homes, styles and collections as a part of the 2019 Home Tour on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Two of the oldest houses are located on Lafayette Street in Lewisburg.

The entry to the “second North house” will be through this lovely garden gate.

The second North House is named for its most notable occupant, John A. North, who was the clerk of the Greenbrier District Court of Chancery of Virginia and purchased the house. The “first North House” he owned now contains the business offices and museum of the Greenbrier Historical Society. The second North House was erected in 1836 by builder John Dunn, and minimal alterations to the house have been made over the years. It was constructed on one of the original 64 lots that formed Lewisburg. The house is considered an outstanding example of federal style architecture, and is a contributing element in the Lewisburg Historic District.

Early details on the exterior include gable-end chimneys and a semi-elliptical fanlight with sidelights. Decorating the frieze on the facade and on the rear projecting ell is a series of tri-glyphs, distinctive to the community, and representative of the influence of the Greek Revival style. In the 1858 sale, the house was described as a mansion house with a yard, garden, stable and other dependencies. On the interior of the house, wood work, fireplaces and heart pine floors are original and reflect the excellent workmanship of the period.

These features are accented by the collections and artwork of the owner, Elizabeth Destiny. Visitors will enjoy seeing outstanding examples of Brokenshaw pottery in the kitchen and, in the dining room, a piecrust table and dough table accent the room.

Ellen Goodwin’s home is one of the earliest in Lewisburg, built in 1795. The timber frame and brick noggin cabin was constructed on lot #60 of the 64 original lots of Lewisburg, VA (now WV). Possibly built by the Parker Family, it was later owned by the North and Dennis families, owners of adjacent Lafayette Street properties. It served as a medical facility during the Civil War and much later as an antique shop until being restored to a residence by Carol Phippin.

Current owner Ellen Goodwin has fine-tuned this charming residence.  The living room retains its handsome fireplace with original mantle. The home includes an extensive collection of furniture by local cabinetmaker Austin “Aussie” May who created prized furniture in this area. A colorful braided rug by Mrs. May provides an accent.

Another original fireplace with original mantle claims pride of place in the dining room whose wide threshold has been shaped by use and time. Brick noggin is a construction technique in which bricks are used to fill the empty spaces in a wooden frame. This technique is revealed in the family room which also includes wainscoting from the original kitchen.

In addition to the traditional tour of homes on Saturday, June 8, a Garden Party will be held at the home of Dr. Kyle and Ann Fort on Friday, June 7, beginning at 6 p.m., and “Graveyard Townsfolk” will tell their dramatic stories in the Old Stone and Pointer Cemeteries on Sunday, June 9, at 1:30 and 2:15 p.m. Learn how to clean and preserve grave stones and enjoy dessert provided by the Greenbrier in Old Stone Fellowship Hall.

For more information and tickets, visit the Greenbrier Historical Society/North House Museum or their Facebook page and web page may be purchased in person or on-line. Tickets are also available at the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tickets for the Garden Party and the “Graveyard Townsfolk” presentations are limited so contact them soon.

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