Architecture Sites: Twentieth Century

 

Though the county's economy became more diversified during the first

half of the twentieth century, the valley's economy continued to rely on agriculture. Agriculturally related buildings of the early twentieth century

continue to include smokehouses, meat houses, cellars, barns, machine

sheds, cribs, and livestock shelters. The largest number of barns and farm-

related buildings surveyed in the valley date from this period of increased agricultural productivity in the valley. These include bank barns, stables,

and hay barns, many of which were constructed using modem techniques

and materials. Several bank barns dating to the early twentieth century

were recorded in the valley. These were generally of frame construction,

set on stone foundations, and covered by either a gambrel or gable roof.

Examples of bank barns include the barn at La Grange, built around 1900

by Paris contractor Ambrose Hinson; the barn at Liberty, also constructed

around 1900; the log and frame barn at Hurry Hill, probably built near the

mid-nineteenth century; and the barn at the Simper Farm. Though modi-

fied in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, a portion of the

Simper barn may date to around 1800 when the dwelling on this farm was constructed. Unfortunately, the bank barn at Woodside (Chappelear house),

a large frame structure with high stone foundation walls that sat near the

road, recently burned. Other notable barns include the log and frame barn

at Hurry Hill, and the C.E. Strother barn at Valley View Farm, which was constructed around 1940 and the two early-twentieth-century barns, one a

bank barn and the other a hay barn with later feeder shed additions, locat-

ed on the former Turner farm and now part of Sky Meadows State Park.

One example of a stone bam, constructed around 1940, is located at Edge

hill and is the most impressive of that property's collection of early-twen-

tieth century outbuildings. The increased use of tractors and other mechan-

ized tools on the farm necessitated the construction of additional machine

sheds. Wagon bams are also common. Most silos in the valley are of con-

crete stave construction and date from the 1930s to mid-twentieth century.

Only one wooden silo, that at Oakwood, was recorded and was probably

built around 1900. Another notable exception is the glazed tile silo at

Woodside, which was probably built in the late 1920s or early 1930s. A

tile silo is also located on the Strother farm, Valley View.

 

Many of the tenant houses associated with area farms also date to the early

to mid-twentieth century. These dwellings are vernacular in form and style, usually exhibiting little to no architectural distinction. They were located

on or near the farm, within walking distance, with which they were associ-

ated. The frame I-house located at 10099 Three Fox Lane is an example

of a typical two-story, frame tenant house probably constructed around

1900. The dwelling is currently undergoing restoration. Another early-

twentieth-century tenant house, now abandoned, is located on Fleetwood

Farm and is typical in its frame construction and vernacular form. Towards

mid-century, some tenant houses were built of concrete masonry units

(concrete block) or were frame construction clad with masonite siding.

 

The early twentieth century was also a period when regional fox hunting

clubs, some of which date to the early nineteenth century, established ken-

nels and stables in the area, including the Cobbler Mountain Hunt kennels

located near Willow Hill Farm, but no longer extant. The Cobbler Moun-

tain Hunt Cub hunted on land primarily in the southern end of the historic

district, while the Piedmont Fox Hounds club hunted in the northern end

of the valley and east of Lost Mountain towards Upperville. Some club

members who were not valley residents, kept their horses and dogs at lo-

cal farms. Many of the board fences in the valley contain coops--short A-

frame, roof-like jumps placed within the fence line to allow horses to pass.

At present, residents report that there are no clubs actively hunting in the

valley.

 

Throughout the late twentieth century, there were several active farmsteads

in the Crooked Run Valley, most run by second and third generation family members, that were primarily related to the raising of livestock (beef cattle, horses, and sheep) and the production of hay. Notable among these is the

John Rucker family farm, which has raised Angus beef cattle since 1927.

Another important cattle production farm is Oakdale. Soon after her father

died when she was 18, Mary Howe DiZerega took over her family's farm,

which had been part of Thomas Glascock's land holdings and had produc-

ed Angus cattle. In 1968, DiZeregabegan a purebred Charolais cattle facil-

ity that became nationally known. With DiZerega's declining health, the

farm has recently completed a dispersal sale of their stock after 35 years

of operation. Also though no longer operating, the Shoemaker farm began commercial dairy production in the early twentieth century and continued operations for over 50 years. Hollin Farm, which has been operated by

three generations of the Davenport family, was started by Robert C. Daven-

port around the mid-twentieth century. The farm was named after Hollin

Hills, an award-winning community Davenport developed in the 1950s

and 1960s in Fairfax County. At his farm, Davenport focused on perform-

ance testing bulls and developed a purebred Angus herd. He was awarded

Virginia Cattleman of the Year award for his efforts at improving beef cat-

tle in Virginia. The elder Davenport died in 2002, but his son, grandson,

and daughter-in-law continue the farming operations that include the rais-

ing of beef cattle, production of vineyards and orchards, and hay production.

The Davenport family also farms other land in the valley including Garaby

Farm located on Route 710 (Carr Lane) and Stonebourne on Route 724

(Pleasant Vale Road). Both of these farms are located within the historic

district. The largest property owner in the valley (other than the Common-

wealth of Virginia) is the Fleetwood Land Corporation, which operates

farmland throughout the central portion of the Crooked Run Valley total-

ing over 3,000 acres, and is primarily focused on the raising of livestock

(beef cattle) and on hay production. Other multi-generational farm opera-

tions in the Crooked Run Valley include Valley View Farm (Strother fam-

ily), Sky Hill (Tompkins family), and Bendemeer (McCarty family).

 

Cultural features that have not been recorded individually, but that never-

theless contribute to the historical appearance of the Crooked Run Valley

Rural Historic District are the historic roadbeds and the historic stone walls

that are located throughout the district. Some historic roads, such as the Summerset Mill Road, Grigsby Mill Road, the Boston-Yerby Mill Road

(Snowden Road), and the Greenland Road, took their names from the

places they connected or the destination at which they ended. These roads

are no longer used, in which case they have largely vanished, or are used

only for non-vehicular travel and bridle paths. Some roads, such as Route

17 and the southern end of Route 826 (Scuffleburg Road), have been re-

routed through the valley, though the historic path of the roads can still be discerned on the landscape. These roads attest to the historical development pattern in the valley and the efficient routes by which residents traveled.

 

The numerous stone fences that are still extant on the landscape are remin-

ders of early land divisions, as well as early land use patterns. The walls

were constructed using stones found in the fields, which also provided

building materials for houses and outbuildings. Aesthetically, the walls

are examples of early craftsmanship in the valley. Practically, the walls

illustrate land divisions and the efficient use of available materials. The

stone walls, as well as the use of stone for house foundations and outbuild-

ings, tie the man-made elements in the valley to the natural landscape, be-

ing at once on the place and of the place.

 

Another cultural feature that has been briefly mentioned in the above des-

cription are the numerous cemeteries located throughout the valley. A

handful of these, including the Paris Community Cemetery, the Westmin-

ster Presbyterian Church Cemetery, and the Emmanuel Episcopal Church Cemetery, are associated with or have been associated with a religious in-

stitution. The overwhelming majority of cemeteries in the valley, however,

are small family cemeteries located on private farms that contain as few as

two and as many as twenty-five graves. Notable family cemeteries in the

district include the Hicks-Edrnonds Cemetery, the Edmonds-Settle Ceme-

tery at Belle Grove, the Ashby Cemetery near Belmont, the Nalley-Strother-Ferguson Cemetery, and the Armistead Cemetery at Ben Lomond farm, the

Ash-Blackmore Cemeteryat Willow Hill Farm, the Herndon Cemetery at

Locust Grove, the Chunn Cemetery at Mount Independence and the Oak-

wood Farm Cemetery. Nancy Chappelear Baird, a local historian descend-

ed from the owners of Belle Grove, surveyed Fauquier County's cemeteries

during the 1980s and 1990s. She also recorded memories of residents as to

the location of lost cemeteries, including several slave and late-nineteenth-

century Afiican-American cemeteries that have long since disappeared due

to the fact they were often marked with only fieldstones or wooden markers. Baird's book records several of the latter in the boundaries of the Crooked

Run Valley Rural Historic District, as well as local reports of Native Amer-

ican burial sites. The latter have not been substantiated with archaeological surveys or other investigations. Since such cemeteries and burial sites con-

tain no identifiable markers, they may be considered archaeological resources.

 

The majority of the 297 non-contributing resources in the historic district

are buildings that have been constructed since 1954, and, therefore, do not

fit within the identified period of significance. Some of these resources are

ranch-style houses and small, one-story frame vernacular dwellings. Farm-

related buildings, such as barns, cribs, and machine sheds, also continue to

be built in the valley. A large percentage of the late-twentieth century dwell-

ings in the valley are either seasonally occupied or occupied only on week-

ends or vacation periods by owners whose primary residence is elsewhere.

Many of these landowners have chosen the valley for its unspoiled rural

character and are sensitive to the historic land use patterns in the area.

Only a couple of areas of large-scale residential development, largely de-

void of any agricultural elements, are located in the Crooked Run Valley.

Only one, the Possum Hollow area, has been included within the boundar-

ies of the historic district. This subdivision includes dwellings built in a

variety of revival and vernacular styles, most dating to the 1970s and 1980s. Though the majority of the valley's current residents work off the farm,

many farm part time or rent their land to the still active full-time farmers

in the area.

 

Although there has been residential growth in the area and an increase in automobile traffic, the character of the Crooked Run Valley has remained agricultural throughout the twentieth century. For over 250 years, buildings

have been constructed within the Crooked Run Valley, some designed in

well-known architectural styles and some constructed for utility with little architectural decoration. Together, these resources illustrate the develop-

ment, growth, and changing face of the valley, while maintaining the rural

nature that has characterized the valley over that time period. The area has

retained its rural character to a remarkable degree given its location near

the development pressures of large urban areas. The historical architectural resources surveyed in the district retain a high level of overall integrity and

display a wide range of styles and materials. While individually, some of

the resources may not possess architectural significance, viewed as a whole,

this concentration of resources, which are connected by historical themes

and a physical interrelationship, form a unified entity that visually conveys

a sense of the overall historical environment, development, and rural aes-

thetic of the Crooked Run Valley.

 

 

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