Homes Tour Gala at the Historic Jarrett House

What could be better than a June evening spent sipping a glass of lemonade or wine, watching vintage carriages being smartly pulled around a meadow by magnificent horses, and touring, by candlelight, a house built circa 1815?

DSC00936All this can be yours if you attend the opening Gala of the Lemonade and Lavender Homes Tour sponsored by the Greenbrier Historical Society on Friday, June 7 from 5-7 p.m.  Advance tickets will be needed for the gala and are available at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, or the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 200 West Washington Street in Lewisburg.

DSC04142James Jarrett and 3 brothers came to the Greenbrier Valley as early as 1771 and first settled on Wolf Creek in what is now Monroe County.  They built a house fort, known as Jarrett’s Fort, which they shared with other early settlers such as Elder John Alderson.  James, however, must have liked the land on Muddy Creek because he claimed his first land by right of settlement there in 1774. He continued to acquire land in that area as well as in the Kanawha Valley where his property adjoined that of George Washington.

Back on Muddy Creek, where he made his home, speculation is that his first house was built of logs.  However, whether he liked the stone houses he saw in Camp Union (Lewisburg) or remembered fondly the ones near his birthplace in Berks County, PA, he began gathering stones from the fields and valleys to build one of his own.

The James Jarrett House was likely begun around 1815 and was placed on the tax rollsDSC02205 as an improvement to the property in 1820.  Mr. Jarrett died in 1822 and left “this my house” to his wife, Rosanna, for her lifetime or until she re-married and then to his young sons, Levi and Vincent.  When the land was divided, Vincent acquired the portion with the house and it was subsequently sold.

It passed through Lewis, Harvey, and Knapp hands before being acquired in 1976 by Margaret and David Hambrick and named “Fairhill”.  James Jarrett was her great-great-great grandfather, bringing it back into the family.  They protected and stabilized it and began the final restoration process in 2002.  Much original material was still a part of the house and will be seen by those who tour.

IMG_3176DSC02690Raymond and Lynn Tuckwiller have been collecting and driving their historic carriages for many years.  They will share several of them with the guests—both on display on the terraces and being driven in the meadow.  The Tuckwillers and their horses and carriages are regular performers at re-enactments and have appeared in several movies.

Refreshments, including wine from Watts Roost Vineyard, will be served by the pond and natural music will be provided by the waterfall.  Fairhill is a working farm with longhorn cattle in the pasture and located on a small country road.  Appropriate care should be taken.  The James Jarrett House will also be on the Homes Tour on Saturday, June 8.

Call the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304-645-3398 for more information.

Homes Tour Takes to the Country

The Greenbrier Historical Society’s biennial Lemonade and Lavender Homes Tour has been expanded this year and is featuring homes in the countryside of the Greenbrier Valley as well as the Town of Ronceverte.

Storm and Montgomery Cabin 033

Being held on June 7, 8, and 9, 2013, the event will open with a gala held at the historic James Jarrett House at Fairhill.  From 5-7 p.m. guests will be able to tour the house by candlelight, observe a display and demonstration of historic carriages by Raymond and Lynn Tuckwiller, and enjoy refreshments, including wine provided by Watt’s Roost Vineyards, down by the pond and waterfall.  Advance tickets will be needed for the gala and are available at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, or the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 200 West Washington Street in Lewisburg.



On Saturday, June 8, the more traditional homes tour will include Spring Valley Farm—Page Dickson; The Montgomery Cabin—Herbert and Katy Montgomery; Maple Hill—James Jeter; The Cedars—Pamela Bergren and Border Crow; and the James Jarrett House at Fairhill—Margaret and David Hambrick.  The Second Creek Mill and broom factory will also be open for exploration and the purchase of local products.  Most of these properties are on working farms and located on one lane country roads so care should be taken while driving and visiting.  Tickets will be available at each location as well as the North House.

Spring Valley Farm

                Spring Valley Farm

Maple Hill

                             Maple Hill

A CD providing history of the area will be available as an addition to the tour on Saturday.  Compiled from information in the Greenbrier Historical Society Archives by Kyle Mills, Americorps worker, and narrated by volunteer Lanny Howe, the various tracts will provide a historical setting for the areas through which visitors will pass on their way to the homes.  The CD will describe two loops—the Blue Sulphur Loop and the Second Creek Loop—and is arranged to begin in the parking lot of the Greenbrier Historical Society/North House Museum.  It will be available where tickets are sold.

On Sunday afternoon, the Homes Tour will feature the Town of Ronceverte.  Tickets, available in advance or at Edgarton, where tours are available and lemonade and cookies will be served, will provide admission to the sanctuaries of 3 historic churches as well as a self-guided walking tour of the town.  Visitors will be invited into the newly restored businesses to see how historic preservation can be economically viable as well.

Margaret Hambrick, President of the Board of Directors of the Greenbrier Historical Society, said, “There are interesting, historic, and elegant homes, churches, and businesses throughout the Greenbrier Valley and we are so pleased to be able to share these.  We are grateful to the owners and volunteers who are making this homes tour possible.”

For more information, contact the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304.645.3398 or or Like us on Facebook!