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Pear Valley

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c. 1740. Pear Valley Ln. (VA 689), Shadyside vicinity (west on VA 628 [Wilson Neck Dr.] .7 mile from U.S. 13, right on VA 689). Open to the public by appointment

Described by historians as an important survivor of eighteenth-century Virginia building, this cottage provides a rare glimpse of the smaller houses that once dotted the Chesapeake. The house stands about 200 feet on the east near a barn. A one-room-and-loft frame house with an elaborate brick end, it dates, according to the most recent research and dendrochronolgy, from 1740; earlier literature dated it much earlier. Handsome craftsmanship is displayed in the chamfering of the ceiling joists and other exposed structural posts. The tilted “false plates” that support the rafters are visibly pegged through round-ended ceiling joists, and glassed headers in the brick end-wall form decorative patterns. This clasp-purlin type of roof is one of the two known examples in Virginia. The wood lath in the loft has feathered and lapped ends, thus requiring only one nail for fastening. The property is owned by the APVA. A modest restoration is underway, and the local APVA chapter installed a tin roof and wood siding to shield the building from the elements.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Pear Valley", [Machipongo, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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