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c. 1830. North side of U.S. 60 (W. Main St.) at western edge of Ansted, 1 mile east of Hawks Nest State Park

As originally built, this one-story frame house had five bays, fronted by a porch sheltered by an extension of the main roof slope. Walls behind the porch are vertical board-and-batten siding, while side and rear walls have horizontal clapboarding. The informal lines resemble cottage rows built during the same period at the many springs resorts of western Virginia, especially at White Sulphur, located to the southeast along the James River and Kanawha Turnpike. Former Confederate Colonel George Imboden bought the house in 1874, added two rooms to the west, and extended the porch to cover them. Because the house is built on a slope, rooms in the rear are several steps above those in front, providing a split-level arrangement unusual at the time. The second Mrs. Imboden gave the property its name, which fits it exceedingly well. Contentment, now owned and maintained by the Fayette County Historical Society, is the centerpiece of a museum complex that includes a furnished one-room schoolhouse, re-created from two early buildings.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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