1777: Burr Harrison to Mounce Byrd Deed Book C, pages 140-143
1786: Mounce Byrd to Derk Pennybacker Deed Book F, page 90
1842: Joel Pennybacker to Robert Gray Deed Book TT, page 115
1849: Robert Gray to Ephram Woods Deed Book 1, page 201
1890: J.M. Woods to David Neff Deed Book 34, page 329
1905: David Neff estate to C.S. and D.W. Beaver Deed Book 34, pages 117-118
This stone house stands on an elevation facing a broad meadow through which Smith Creek winds. There is a nice view of the New Market Gap in the distance.
The house has a steep roof with an inside chimney at each end. Portholes on each side of the chimney are the only openings on the west side of the house. On the east side there are two small downstairs windows in addition to the two portholes. The windows are framed with hewn logs and are about twice the size of the portholes.
The house is constructed of native limestone with lime mortar plastered inside against the stone walls making an uneven finish. The stone work is arranged in circles around the portholes. There is a fracture on the east side beneath the portholes, the result of a lightning strike. Iron rods were inserted as support as a result of this fracture. There is a portico on the front of the house which was probably added later. There is also a wing added onto the house in the rear.
From the portico, entry is into a long room with hewn log rafters running lengthwise. A large chimney takes up about one third of the west side, with a cupboard on one side and a winding stairway on the other. On the right are two small rooms with a triangular chimney which comes to an angle at the wide board partition with a fireplace across the corner of each room. At the side of each fireplace is the small log-framed window. The front windows are larger, with fifteen small panes of glass.
The inside doors are six panel, double cross; one with strap iron hinges in the form of a carpenter's square. The front door has two long panels with a border and the original old iron lock has been replaced by an ordinary lock. The door to the stairway is made of three wide boards held in place by a rough horizontal board. The stairway winds up to the attic with a landing on the second floor, then begins again with a small door with an iron latch and wooden button for fastening. These winding steps are difficult to ascend with their narrow tread which reaches a decided point on the right. In the tall attic may be seen where the plaster ends, leaving only the stone walls to the roof. The walls are at least two feet thick throughout the house. Each room downstairs and upstairs has a locking chair board around it. The floors are of old wide boards, some of which are more than a foot in width. The bedrooms upstairs are very small.Historical Significance
"Near the 'White House' on the opposite side of Smith Creek, is an old stone house, said to have been the home of Mounce Bird, who was a prominent citizen of Shenandoah in the days of the Revolution and following. In 1783, he was credited with eighteen whites in the family and one black slave or servant." Mounce Byrd, Sr., who resided on Smith's Creek in Shenandoah County, died in 1793.
This old stone house was known as an Indian Fort on the Pennybacker plantation.
Source: Virginia W.P.A. Historical Inventory Project, 1937
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