Lemonade and lavender, the hallmarks of the Greenbrier Historical Society’s biennial homes tour, seem especially well suited to Spring Valley Farm. During the tour on Saturday, June 8, from 10:00 a. m. to 5:00 p.m., visitors can imagine long summer afternoons drinking lemonade in the rocking chairs on the porch and almost smell the lavender in the air. Tickets for the home tour are available at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 200 West Washington Street in Lewisburg or at each house on the tour.
The Spring Valley Farm, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, is an elegant example of the evolution of a farmhouse. The first Richard Dickson settled just down the creek in 1774 on 190 acres of land. His son, the “second Richard” bought additional land from John Knox who had decided he didn’t like the area and left his log cabin, constructed in the 1780’s, and moved on. “Second Richard” built the main part of the house, finishing it in 1837. He moved the Knox log cabin to the new house site using two teams of oxen and it became the dining room. A kitchen was added, however, both the kitchen and dining room could only be entered from outside the main house. A “new” wing was added in 1890 and bathrooms in 1916. The house contained a unique “stove” room, now a laundry and office, where the stoves from the rest of the house were moved and stored during the summer.
Spring Valley Farm served as a stage coach stop on the route from White Sulphur Springs to Salt Sulphur Springs both of which were extremely popular with residents of the coastal areas of South Carolina before the Civil War. “Second Richard” provided fresh teams of horses to the stage coach lines and charged visitors 50 cents in gold for breakfast.
The surrounding house dependencies and farm buildings are considered to be one of the most significant collections of late eighteenth to early twentieth century buildings in the greater Greenbrier Valley. Here are represented some of the valley’s best preserved examples of pioneer building, ranging from hand-hewn logs to the sophisticated braced frame constructed barns of the early twentieth century.
Page Dickson, owner, said, “It has been a privilege to live in this house. I am looking forward to sharing it and its history during the tour..
Other events during this exciting weekend include a gala at the historic Jarrett House on Friday, June 7 from 5-7 p.m. and a tour of areas of Ronceverte on Sunday, June 8, from 1-4. Call the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304-645-3398 for more information.