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The Little House (Florence Shaw Demonstration Cottage)

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Florence Shaw Demonstration Cottage
1928–1930, Florence Shaw. West side of Princess St. between German and High sts.
  • The Little House (Florence Shaw Demonstration Cottage)
  • The Little House (Florence Shaw Demonstration Cottage)
  • The Little House (Florence Shaw Demonstration Cottage)

Had George Bagby returned to Shepherdstown around 1930, he would have seen something even more remarkable than the “wooden eye a foot long.” This cottage of coursed, rock-faced limestone, standing one and one-half stories tall with three gabled dormers piercing the lower slope of its gambrel roof, is almost a textbook example of the Dutch Colonial Revival style. But it does not quite measure up to a textbook example. In fact, it measures only 10 feet by 9 feet 6 inches and stands only 10 feet tall.

The cottage, the brainchild of Florence Shaw, supervisor of teacher training at Shepherd College, was built as part of a miniature farm that she hoped would make summer school classes more interesting for children. Various individuals and companies donated labor and materials: Charlie “Big Moustache” Jones was the stonemason, and the Potomac Edison Company donated the wiring. The house is completely furnished and has working lights and a working fireplace, all easily seen by bending down and looking through the windows.

To the rear, across meandering Town Run, is a miniature dairy barn that was also part of the summer school project. Grounds surrounding the buildings were originally platted in miniature gardens and fields, but these have been replaced by more easily maintained lawns. Otherwise, the house and barn stand as they always have, a delightful miniature vignette in the middle of town.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.
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Citation

S. Allen Chambers Jr., "The Little House (Florence Shaw Demonstration Cottage)", [Shepherdstown, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WV-01-JE30.

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