The Hines Memorial Pythian Home

Location: On the northwest side of Route 11, northern part of New Market, Virginia.

Built: 1834


Dr. John W. Rice. 1834

Dr. John W. Rice's heirs.

Knights of Pythias of New Market, Virginia. 1927

Physical Description

Hines Memorial Pythian Home was an old colonial type building, and was remodeled into the present (1937) structure, retaining in the main, its original architectural design. The building is surrounded by fifty odd acres of fertile land, part of which is used for a playground for the children. The buildings consisted of an old brick mansion in good state of preservation, containing fourteen large rooms, with broad porch and massive columns; a brick tenant house containing six rooms, (now converted into a boys dormitory and modernly equipped); a large bank barn, stone springhouse and other outbuildings. The main brick house is square, has three and a half stories and has a deck roof which is covered with metal. The plain cornices seem to be made of wood. There are four brick chimneys, two at the north and two at the south ends of the house. There are thirty eight windows which have fifteen panes each, size twelve by fourteen inches. There have been shutters at the windows by they have been removed. There are front and back porches, both with Colonial columns. Above the front door is a small balcony which is entered through the upstairs hall door. The entrance door downstairs is partly glass, with side lights and a fan light above it. Each side of the door has hand carved panels. This door has the original iron lock and key, and has a brass knob on the outside and a thumb latch on the inside. The door facings and arch above the door are hand carved.

The interior consists of twelve large rooms and wide halls. The hall has wide beaded wainscoting. The ceilings are twelve feet high. All of the inside partitions and all walls are of solid brick and very thick. The inside walls are painted, and there are tooth design carved cornices. The hand carved wood mantels are done in lattice design, with carved Ionic columns. The winding stairway has three landings, small, square posts and curved or monkey-tail balusters, small turned newel post in center of turned newel. Other doors in the house are six panel, elaborately moulded double cross doors; the door facings and archways are hand carved.

The basement consists of four rooms; kitchen and dining room and office and laundry. It is walled, and has a cement floor.

The house is in good condition and the original design has not been destroyed through remodeling.

It took a year to make grooves and install electricity when the house was being remodeled.

Historical Significance

This beautiful home known now as the Hines Memorial Pythian Orphans Home, was bought by the Grand Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, for a home for their orphans and aged widows, and was dedicated at an impressive service, October 29, 1927.

The Grand Lodge of Virginia, at its 1925 convention, voted for the establishment of the Hines Memorial Pythian Home for the purpose of caring for aged members, widows and children, and authorized the purchase of a tract of land of forty acres adjoining the town of New Market, Virginia. Several years later, the Grand Lodge acquired an additional ten and three quarter acres. The buildings consisted of an old brick mansion in good state of preservation, containing fourteen large rooms, with broad porch and massive columns; a brick tenant house containing six rooms, a large bank barn, stone springhouse and other outbuildings.

The home is situated in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, famed for its scenic splendor and historic lore; was dedicated October 29, 1927. The house was erected in 1834, by Dr. John W. Rice. It was battle rifted by shot and shell, as it stood in the line of artillery fire during the Battle of New Market, fought May 15, 1864, between General Franz Sigel, commanding the Federal troops, and General John C. Breckinridge, commanding the Southern troops, and was remodeled into the present structure. During the Civil War, it was commandeered as headquarters several times by the Northern armies; more particularly on account of a large never-failing spring nearby, and its strategic location.

The original owner of the estate was the grandfather of the present (1937) superintendent of the home, and was at one time one of the largest land owners and slave holders in the Valley of Virginia. he was also a veteran of the War of 1812. He was the father of ten children, some of whom distinguished themselves on the field of battle and in their professional careers.

On December 1, 1927, the doors of this institution were opened for admission of eligible children on the 15th of the same month, the inmates now (1937) number thirty four; fifteen girls and nineteen boys, ranging from seven to nineteen years of age.

Certainly no more beautiful and healthful location could have been found in all the world for the establishment of such a home, just on the outskirts of town, in close proximity of the public school and churches, and on the great highway leading from the North to the South. With its fifty odd acres of fertile land, which is adaptable to grazing and the production of various crops, it may be made to produce a goodly portion of its maintenance, besides affording ample playgrounds for the children. In all, it is ideal, and merits the support of every loyal Pythian of the domain; a cause in which we might well be proud to engage; a duty to our God and fellow man.

The land on which this home was built was purchased by Dr. John W. Rice, March 4, 1834. The home was completed May 27, 1834, according to papers in possession of one of the later heirs.

March 4, 1834 Jacob Shirley and Mary, his wife (the debtor) of Shenandoah County, Virginia, Joseph M. Newman and Joseph R. Sibert (the trustee) of the second part and John W. Rice (the creditor) of the third part - for the sum of $1,455 of lawful money of Virginia to be paid according to deed, house and lot containing one half acre of land on the west side of the pike leading from Woodstock to New Market near and in New Market being known as lot #49 and one acre of other land as specified in the deed.

March 6, 1862, John W. Rice made his will which was put on record September 8, 1862; the heirs being Anna Mariah (wife), each receiving slaves as follows:

Anna Mariah, his wife, slave Ann, daughter of Levina and Robert Johnson.

William Hamilton Rice, slave William and small female slave.

Robert Sidney, old mansion.

Jacob Walter, slaves John and Peggy.

Caroline Ann Newman (Rice), slave Dianna.

Charles Edward, slave Emanuel

Emily Catherine Zirkle (Rice), Francis Eugene, slave Arthur, and mother's slaves after mother's death.

Richard Stratford Rice, deceased, children and their mother Sarah Ann.

John Harper, slave George and slave boy Lemuel.

Robert Sidney, slave Robert Hughs and Savinia.

Elizabeth Gilliam Moore left out of will because of difference of opinion of her husband Charles Moore and her father in reference to the states government of the Confederate States.

April 21, 1865, R. Sidney Rice willed his share of his father's estate to his wife, Louisa Madison. He was a first Lieutenant and was shot near Richmond, during the Civil War.

March 2, 1882, E.E. Stickley, special commissioner, sold to John E. Rice home mansion for $6500 containing one hundred acres; sold from Charles E. Rice.

April 10, 1885, D.S. Henkel and R.E., his wife, sold to Gideon Koiner for $5500, land near New Market, being residence lands bought of John E. Rice March 2, 1882, containing twenty nine acres, three rods and twenty six square poles.

After the death of Rebecca Koiner, the property was to be sold and the proceeds given to Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of New Market. Put on record January 10, 1892.

March 14, 1916, John D. Crim, administrator of the will of Gideon Koiner, deceased, chancery cause against trustees the 13th day of April, 1916, sold to W.J. Stirewalt of Virginia, John M. Rhodes of North Carolina, Martin L. Stirewalt of Indiana, for $7334.37 to be paid according to deed all land north of New Market and on both sides of the road which Gideon Koiner died possessed.

Several of Dr. Rice's boys were officers in the army. William H. Rice was a captain and R. Sidney was a first lieutenant. Dr. Rice turned his home over to a hospital during the war, doctoring northern soldiers as well as southern boys. During one memorable battle the top of the house was riddled with shells, some of which are still in the same.

Dr. John W. Rice had a large practice; often going on horseback to West Virginia to visit the sick. After he died, his son took over his practice.

At present (1937) time there are sixteen children and one adult in the home. One pupil graduated in 1937 and is taking up typing and a business course at Strayer's College.

In this home are several books of records kept by the Rice family; especially Dr. John W. Rice, who was first president of Valley Pike Road, or Route 11.

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

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Created October 15 2001