Tuesday 23 July 2013

USA: Parkersburg and the Historic Julia-Ann Square

After the Sasha Festival was over on Sunday we started the long drive back to Washington.

The roads were long, and quite often pretty empty of traffic.

Surprisingly the speed limits were a lot lower than in the UK.

We stopped half way back in a place called Parkersburg.  We stayed in the Historic Blennerhasset Hotel.

The room was lovely

The bathroom was quite small but very nice. 

However!  Our room must have been on a heavy truck/lorry route and it was VERY noisy, with trucks braking and starting all night.  There was also a group of revellers that came up during the night and the sound carried...  Mum was okay as she had earplugs in, but poor Norvell didn't get a lot of sleep.  

Once we had settled into the hotel we went for a walk doing the Historic Walking Tour of Julia-Ann Square, the Parkersburg's Historic District.

This area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  The historic street lights were installed in 2007 and the four arches at the entrances to the district on Juliana, Ann and Thirteenth Streets were erected in 2009 with the assistance of grant funding and with the initiative of the neighbourhood association.  Walking around the area you got a strong feeling of neighbourhood and friendship and people are obviously very proud of their homes and the area.

Jackson- Cartwright House, 919 Juliana Street is a Colonial Revival house built in 1920

The streets were beautiful and many had planted on the verges.

This is John Martin and he lives in the Acton-Martin House, 940 Juliana Street which was built circa 1870 in the Italianate style.  This style was very popular in America in the 1850s to 1880s overlapping with other popular Victorian Era styles.  

Mr John was very friendly and talked a little about his house and the neighbourhood of which he was very proud.  He was one of the editors of the tour guide.

He invited us in to see the paving stones which he had laid.  They were reclaimed and he put them up to show off the various foot step markings in them to add interest.

It was fascinating.  

This is the First United Methodist Church built 1909 - 1911 in the English Gothic Style.  It is situated at 1001 Juliana Street

Clemens-Bungard House 1970, 1006 Juliana Street, built in the Vernacular and Queen Anne Victorian Style

Crawford-Baptist Convention House, Circa 1875 and 1915, 1019 Juliana Street, Victorian Gothic Style

Taking a rest under the shade of a tree as it was so hot, I spotted this fungi.

Caswell-Smith House, Circa 1885, 1024 Juliana Street.

Davidson-Bennett House - 1865, 1033 and 1035 Juliana Street, built in the Victorian Gothic and Queen Anne Style.  

Dils-Letich-Creel House, 1902 built in the Colonial Revival Style.  1103 Juliana Street.

This was in the front of one house - isn't it cool?  I asked Mum why we haven't got a canon in our front garden!

Smith-Gillespie House built in the Queen Anne Style in 1888, is situated at 1125 Juliana Street.  This house consists of an area of 4,500 square feet over three stories!

Deming-Hayhurst House built circa 1853 is of the Italianate and Shingle Style and is said to be the oldest standing structure in the Julia-Ann District.

Boreman House built circa 1884 in the Victorian Vernacular, Gothic and Stick Styles is situated at 1201 Juliana Street.

The Van Winkle-Wilson House, circa 1860 is a Vernacular Victorian Cottage and was ever so pretty with its front garden which also catered for the wildlife.  It sits at 1216 Juliana Street.

Casto-Douglass-Longacre-Harris House, built in 1913 combining two styles popular at the time, Four Square and Prairie which were each a reaction to the elaborate European influences that predominated this period in time.  The house is 5400 square feet and has been restored to its original condition..

Van Winkle-Hiteshew-Duranti House built circa 1860 in the Queen Ann Style is situated at 112 13th Street.

This house is the Amis-McCrary House built circa 1872, again in the Queen Anne Style.  111 13th Street.

Such a pretty garden this is the Leach-Holmes-Mallory-von Westerholt House built circa 1840 in the Gothic Revival Style and is number 1214 Ann Street.

Now I am sure this house must be haunted!  It looks just the sort that would be.

"The Castle"  Van Winkle - Wix House, built circa 1855 it is a house of grand scale, Chateauesque Italianate style.

It looks like it requires a lot of restoration work.

It is on the market - currently being offered for sale at the grand price of $199,900 a simple search on the internet shows more about this house. 

Mum said it would take a lot of work and money to restore it to its former glory and no we couldn't buy it!

This house at 1214 West 12th Street is the Smith-Dodrill House and was built circa 1886 in the Queen Anne Style.  Reading the brochure, this house celebrates Halloween like no other and has a special treat for visitors at Halloween.

Smith House, circa 1895 in the Colonial Revival Style 118 West 12th Street.

This little office just tickled my fancy  :-)

There was another street we unfortunately didn't get to explore as my Mum's face had turned the brightest red ever seen and Norvell thought it was best we got back to the hotel before Mum had heat stroke and was ill.  Personally I could have gone of for hours!  But then I didn't have to do all that walking!


  1. What absolutely wonderful homes. I really loved the little cottage one Henry. Love Aunty Sarah xx

    1. Hi Aunty Sarah,

      I am so glad you loved my photos - the homes were really beautiful and such fun to look at. It would have been great to have been able to go into them.

  2. I loved this post Lorraine--was a bit teary because Parkersburg, West Virginia was where my dear yellow Labrador Retriever Abby came from. Rescue people got her out of the municipal shelter there and brought up here to Ontario. She died in March 2012 of lymphoma at about 12-13 years of age.

    So I was riveted to see this town and the beautiful historic homes. I have a kit for a 1/144 scale dollhouse for a dollhouse of a Queen Anne house that looks similar to the Davidson-Bennett House you posted a picture of. I haven't made it yet but I'm doing it up like a painted lady in grey, burgundy and lilac.

    Henry is getting quite an education in architecture!

    1. So very glad you enjoyed this post, that means a lot :-) Sorry it was a bit bitter sweet though. Our dogs are nearing their end and it is not easy at all is it?

      How wonderful that you have a kit for a similar house to that of the Davidson-Bennett hosue. I wonder if this will inspire you to work on it?

      Henry is certainly getting an education in architecture....good thing he enjoys it as much as I do!

  3. Lovely post Henry!!!! Parkersburg is about 75 miles from my home in West Virginia though I have not seen all of these wonderful structures. So glad you were able to visit this historic area in Parkersburg that is located on the left bank of the Ohio River. Wonderful for you to have these experiences and fab photos to remember your trip!

    1. Oh you must see if you can go and visit sometime Aunty Ginger - it was a very interesting place and much more we could have seen and done if we had had time to do so.

  4. Oh I really love all these houses, they remind me a bit of the houses in New England, just like dolls houses. I expect they might be a bit expensive to maintain though, which is a shame. So it's nice to see that the people in this town are doing everything to keep them lovely like this.
    I did wonder if Henry would want to make an offer on the one for sale! Henry, you would have trouble getting that through customs!!!

    1. I am sure they must be expensive to maintain - as much as Henry wanted to make an offer on the one for sale, all I could see was a great big money pit!

  5. How lovely to see their streets and roads with such unique, individual and beautifully designed houses, so different from here where so many of our streets are filled rows of the identical terraced houses or estates of almost uniformly built homes.

    How super to have all these photos to remember this wonderful US adventure by.

    1. It really was so different and wonderfully interesting and very beautiful gardens and houses.