c. 1800/1827 – Ansted, WV – $200,000

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Added to OHD on 5/12/20   -   Last OHD Update: 5/12/20   -   25 Comments
For Sale
National Register

123-1 James Riv, Ansted, WV 25812

Map: Aerial

  • $200,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 1.5 Bath
  • 1.8 Ac.
Built in about 1800, this period property ranks among the most historic in southern West Virginia. Its massive timbers were hewn and set in place just after the threat of Indian attack had ended, and sixty years later, generals from North and South headquartered here during the Civil War. Statesmen as influential as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster lodged beneath its roof while travelling across the Alleghenies.

Known historically as “Halfway House” or “Tyree Tavern,” it is perhaps one of the best preserved stagecoach inns of its kind. Located half way between Charleston and Lewisburg on the old James River and Kanawha Turnpike, it was an important stop for more than a century and remained a popular attraction even after the advent of motor-lodging when the turnpike became paved, two-lane highway U.S. 60.

Built on a foundation of hand-worked stone, the building consists chiefly of a 20-by-50-foot rectangle of hewn timber harvested from trees that were centuries old when they were squared and notched. Three massive stone chimneys vent five prodigious fireplaces, each of which boasts a unique hearth. Stone and timber have been exposed ornamentally within the house, which is otherwise known for its carpentered first-floor interior walls, which were likely finished in the 1820s.

Unusual features noted by historians include finished exterior walls along the front veranda, which runs across the entirety of the facade, and a second-floor entrance reached by an exterior stairway off the veranda. Others include a Victorian oriel window added in about 1888, and a back wing that includes a remarkably sloping second-story room legendarily built of a boat.

Of interest to many visitors, the house includes artifacts of its occupation during the Civil War in the form of sword hacks and carvings that appear on the walls, mantles, and door facings. The words “1862—Headquarters of the Chicago Grey Dragoons” is carved over one of the two front doors while “Union” is carved alongside another.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the property has undergone minor restorations and improvements, including the installation of a geothermal heating system and the restoration of a summer kitchen located off the rear wing. As the building is a designated historic landmark, tax credits and matching grants are available to help owners with its repair and development.

Much of the grounds near the house has been preserved. The stone sidewalk to the street-side coach-stand remains, as does a small wellhouse, and a large sycamore—perhaps older than the inn itself. Approximately 65 inches in diameter near its base, it is estimated at 260 years old.
Contact Information
David Sibray, Foxfire Realty
304.575.7390
Links, Photos & Additional Info
Listing details may change after the posted date and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
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25 Comments on c. 1800/1827 – Ansted, WV – $200,000

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  1. Wonderful thank you for sharing

    17
  2. Kimberly62Kimberly62 says: 1644 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1936 Cabin

    wicked cool and wonderfully simple house, thank you Kelly!

    15
  3. BethanyBethany says: 3473 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    Wow, the Waltons could move right in! Fantastic historic property.

    10
    • TorgyTorgy says: 132 comments
      1964 Brick Ranch
      Denver, CO

      HISTORY is exactly my thinking. History oozes out this property. Absolutely wonderful home. Love the painting on the entry door and ceiling. And that fireplace..oh oh my. Very wonderful home.

      5
  4. CharlestonJohnCharlestonJohn says: 1129 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Charleston, SC

    I really like these simple, unpretentious old houses that just ooze history. The simple log structure was expanded and updated over time as evidenced by those elegant Federal mantles that I’d assume date to the 1820’s second period of construction.

    24
  5. OOOOH and AAAAAAH……how delightful 🙂

    2
  6. JosephJoseph says: 34 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1868 Italinate
    Bellefonte, PA

    Amazing interior!

    1
  7. Andrea SAndrea S says: 49 comments
    OH

    Well…not much to say other than I love it 🙂

    3
  8. Willoughby1Willoughby1 says: 52 comments
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA

    G. A. S. P!

    3
  9. KarenBKarenB says: 236 comments
    1885 KY farm center chimney cape style
    KY

    I almost didn’t take the time to look at this house as the outside didn’t appeal to me but am so glad i did. The interior is exceptional in it’s simplicity and authenticity.

    8
  10. KEYLIMEKEYLIME says: 209 comments

    Oh Drat! The one thing I am allergic to in nature, other than poison oak/ivy and stinging nettle, comes from the underside of Sycamore tree leaves. Most people have no problem with it. I cannot be downwind from one without becoming seriously uncomfortable. So..someone else gets this house. Just be sure to check for a possible allergic reaction first. Sigh.

    https://www.arboristsite.com/community/threads/getting-sick-from-a-sycamore.206251/

    2
  11. TorgyTorgy says: 132 comments
    1964 Brick Ranch
    Denver, CO

    Does anyone know what the marks on the door stand for? I’m sure they have meaning.

    1
    • TorgyTorgy says: 132 comments
      1964 Brick Ranch
      Denver, CO

      I’m sorry. I guess I could read the post for the answers.. Silly me.

      2
      • PuristaPurista says: 104 comments

        Well, Torgy, regarding that particular question you would have been better off not reading the ”answer.” While it is quite romantic to envision bored Civil War soldiers slicing sideways and upside-down roman numerals into door panels with the tips of their swords, I’m not sure even they were that dexterous. The real explanation is somewhat less romantic.

        It looks to me like that particular door is a 20th-century reproduction of a six-panel interior door still in the house that might be an early one (I’d have to see it closely to know for sure). I say that because in the exterior door I see no pegs where rails and stiles meet, and they would be there on early construction. It appears that the craft-person who made this door found some old wood, possibly even somewhere in the house, and it showed what I call ”yard marks.” These were made not with a sword but with a single chisel, and indicate the number of boards that had been ”stickered up” to dry, one atop the other separated by small sticks that let air get in, in that particular stack, so that if someone ordered, say, 40 boards from the yard, the sawyer would not have to re-count every board in every stack. Roman numerals were used because it was easy for the sawyer to carve their straight lines (no need for ”Cs” because the stacks weren’t that tall).

        My guess is that the folks who made the later door didn’t know what these marks were but thought they were cool and so featured them prominently in their door panels, quite the opposite of what our ancestors would have done. In the 18th and earlier 19th centuries, carpenters generally faced these marks into the wall or down towards the cellar where they wouldn’t be seen in the finished rooms, or they would use a jack plane to plane them off, much as you peel the ”Marvin Windows” label off your new windows today.

        5
        • PuristaPurista says: 104 comments

          I should mention, too, that these same straight roman numeral marks were used not only by sawyers but also by carpenters and framers on components of timber frames–raising numerals–on rafters, collar ties, posts, beams, joists. Each joint was hand-cut and therefore unique. Where, for example, collar tie met rafter, both the tenon on the collar tie and the mortise on the rafter would be marked with, say, the numeral VIII so those raising the structure would know what was matched to what.

          But the panels we see in the door were likely made from boards, not heavy framing members.

          1
          • TorgyTorgy says: 132 comments
            1964 Brick Ranch
            Denver, CO

            Now that you say all this, I know what markings you are referring to on the boards. You have a ton of wisdom. Thank you for sharing. I was intrigued enough to let my imagination run. It reminded me of Hobo markings. I thought maybe it spoke to people visiting the Inn. Thank you very much for clarifying.

            • PuristaPurista says: 104 comments

              …with the caveat that I, too, could be wrong. If I were making a case against myself I might note that one of the ”I’s” of the ”XII” figure appears–I say appears because I’d have to see it up-close to be sure–to run from the center stile onto the topmost rail of the door, which would be impossible unless the marks were added after the door were assembled. Another thing that casts doubt is that these yard marks appear to be carved into a hardwood like cherry (mahogany? walnut?), and that’s unusual. They are more commonly seen in softwoods such as pine or hardwoods like oak and chestnut that were used in large quantities for frames and floors in early houses.

              I should also note that I have seen the ”C” used in raising numerals where there are many framing members of the same type. A large house with 15 rafter pairs has 15 apex joints plus 30 collar-tie joints plus 30 rafter-plate joints. A half-moon ”C” was often used in such cases, formed easily with a gouge (with a C-shaped tip) and a single tap of the wooden mallet.

              • TorgyTorgy says: 132 comments
                1964 Brick Ranch
                Denver, CO

                Well, It seems in researching markings on doors of this period there is a lot a person could shuffle through. Of course a library might bring me better information than the internet which mixes everything that has the word ‘doors’ or ‘markings’. I would love to see the entire house as a good representative of the period. I would be curious to know if even if the door is a replica was it made to replace the original door. All this said, it’s a wonderful place and I imagine it’s full of character and perhaps ghosts..lol

                • PuristaPurista says: 104 comments

                  …ghosts with chisels and too much time on their hands…

                  Hopefully this important bit of vernacular architecture will fall into the hands of someone who will respect and preserve its history and fabric, and I agree, the natural place to start is by talking to previous owner(s) and the local historical society and historically involved folks, as well as researching local/state/national historical archives to find out how much documentation has already been done. It’s very possible someone knows where this door came from.

  12. TorgyTorgy says: 132 comments
    1964 Brick Ranch
    Denver, CO

    HISTORY is exactly my thinking. History oozes out this property. Absolutely wonderful home. Love the painting on the entry door and ceiling. And that fireplace..oh oh my. Very wonderful home.

    2
    • JimHJimH says: 5043 comments
      OHD Supporter

      I guess you meant the stone fireplace, though there are a few good ones there. You don’t need to know the names and dates to feel the history. Wonderful!

      Ansted looks like one of those places that hasn’t changed much because nobody has money to do anything. They’re talking about restoring the endangered old school down the street, but …
      https://goo.gl/maps/xL2FzepHDXxHKxPz7

      2
  13. Laurie W.Laurie W. says: 1740 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1988 Greek Revival Wannabe in beautiful countryside
    NC

    Oh boy, to live immersed in such long history is a dream! It’s so attractive too, offering a cozy simplicity. Wish I could be the one to adopt it.

    2
  14. ErickHErickH says: 18 comments

    Really amazing property that embodies history. And I am really enjoying learning from all of the expertise of this group. Is there some building sag going on in the back addition where it meet the enclosed back first story (on the inside it matched the bedroom with the red painted fireplace mantel)? How would someone address that in this instance?

    • PuristaPurista says: 104 comments

      Hard to tell from photo if the dip in the fascia board of the ell is intentional to channel water, or not. Ridge line appears fairly straight. So the dip doesn’t seem to be reflected in the ridge pole, if there is one, and/or the rafters. If it’s a true sag, you’d have to look at cellar or foundation and attic for clues as to cause and that would determine the fix or at least the stabilization measures to be taken.

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