The Old Half-Way House

Location: Pugh's Run, Virginia; on west side of Route 11.

Built: Prior to 1840


9 Jun 1823: David Miley and Magdalena his wife, and Joseph Strickler and Mary his wife, the said David Miley and Mary Strickler being heirs of Martin Miley, deceased, sold to George Koontz. Deed Book CC, page 292

9 Jun 1847: Joseph S. Irwin and Ellen, his wife, sold to Daniel h. Fravel which said land was assigned to Ellen (Koontz) wife of Joseph S. Irwin in division of lands of her father, the late George Koontz, deceased. Deed Book WW, page 226

7 Oct 1857: Daniel H. Fravel and Mary, his wife, sold to Isaac Painter. Deed Book 4, page 443

Isaac Painter, deceased, bequeathed his farm, etc. to his wife, Regina, and after her death, same was to go to her son, Robert Painter. Will Book 19, page 302

13 Sep 1932: Fred M. Painter and Margaret, his wife, conveyed to his sisters, Rena and Virginia, his share in the home place of which Robert T. Painter died seized and possessed, located on the Valley Turnpike on Pugh's Run, one and one half miles north of Woodstock, Virginia. Deed Book 110, page 409

Physical Description

This three and a half story rectangular frame house has a metal gabled roof with two outside stone chimneys. There are twenty seven windows with eighteen and fifteen panes and shutters with stationary slats. There is a two-story porch running the entire length of the house.

There are twelve large rooms with varying ceiling heights. There is a cellar which is used as a kitchen and dining room under the entire house. Most of the doors have two vertical panels the entire height of the door, some have six panels and two crosses; some have four panels with one cross, and there are batten doors in the basement.

Historical Significance

This stately old home was one of the taverns, popular in the days of stages and wagons, and was called "The Half-Way House" because of its being about half way from Lexington to Alexandria, which was the route of hauling.

It withstood much firing during the Civil War, and has bullet holes in the attic. When the railroad bridge, directly back of the house was burned, wet blankets had to be hung over that side of the house to keep it from taking fire. The weatherboarding is rough from turpentine roasting out during the fire.

Generals Banks and Early each had headquarters in this home. It has said by grandfather Painter that Banks could often be seen eavesdropping. A wounded Confederate soldier was taken care of by grandmother Painter (Mrs. Isaac Painter) and when a Yankee came to molest them, she struck him with a chair and knocked out his eye; later this wounded soldier died and was buried in their garden until after the war when his body was removed.

A son, Wm. H. Painter, was killed in Augusta County during the war and is buried in the family graveyard on the place. Another son, Erasmus Painter, was captured while walking on the Valley turnpike en route to see Miss Martha Doll at Maurertown whom he later married; she is still living at the age of 93. Mr. Painter was a prisoner at Fort Delaware for eighteen months.

Source: Virginia W.P.A. Historical Inventory Project, 1937

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Created October 15 2001