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Charles Town Vicinity

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Most of the Washington family houses are west and southwest of Charles Town. All are privately owned, but are easily seen from public roads. Except for Harewood, none has received serious architectural study, although all have been the subject of antiquarian interest. The group was featured in the chapter entitled “Some Homes of the Washington Family” in volume 2 of The Georgian Period, William Rotch Ware's seminal 1901 effort “to catalog the existing architectural buildings of America's colonial period before they disappeared from the landscape.” Raymond J. Funkhouser, a native West Virginia industrialist who returned home after a successful business career, acquired most of the houses, excluding Harewood, during the early 1940s “with the announced purpose of restoring them to their original condition and opening them to visitors as a matter of historical interest.” When Jefferson County's first annual Historic House Tour was held in 1951, the brochure listed these houses and detailed their connection to the Funkhouser family:

Locust Hill has since burned, but the others remain largely in the state in which Funkhouser, who died in 1968, left them. Much remains to be learned of Funkhouser's approach and the degree of professional assistance he may have obtained. No matter that his aim, at least in its inception, was noble; his approach was hardly that of a purist.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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