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Woodville Plantation (John and Presley Neville House)

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John and Presley Neville House
c. 1780, c. 1785.1375 Washington Pike (PA 50 E) at Thomas Run Rd., Woodville
  • (Richard W. Longstreth)

This National Historic Landmark at the edge of Chartiers Creek is a mecca for student fieldtrips because it illustrates well the radically different way the region might have turned out had it not industrialized so soon after this house was built. When General John Neville built his log house (now the kitchen) on his 7,000-acre land grant, he registered the plantation as part of Virginia, since he refused to recognize Pennsylvania's claim to these lands.

This plantation aspired to be Mount Vernon, especially as its living room, entrance hall, parlors, and bedrooms were added to the kitchen nucleus. This was to be expected, perhaps, for John Neville was a blood relative of Martha Washington and an intimate of her husband, George Washington. Many Virginians visited Woodville, and in 1825, it was honored by a visit from the Marquis de LaFayette, a friend of John Neville's heir Presley Neville. Although Neville was one of the largest slaveholders in the area, no slave structures survive. The house remained in the ownership of Neville descendants until 1973, at which point the parlor wallpaper was sixteen layers deep.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.
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Citation

Lu Donnelly et al., "Woodville Plantation (John and Presley Neville House)", [, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-01-AL132.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 128-129.

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