The Neff Home

Location: Three miles south of Mount Jackson, Virginia, on Shenandoah Caverns Road, across the Shenandoah River, 300 yards on the left.

Built: circa 1842


24 May 1842: John Neff, Sr. to John Neff, Jr.

20 Feb 1874: John Neff, Jr. to B.W. Neff.

B.W. Neff's will was recorded April 16, 1926, leaving his wife all of his property until her death.

Physical Description

The approach to this large brick house was once beautiful and dignified as one passed through rows of boxwood and mock orange blossoms to the old-time portico of white, against a red brick background and green shutters. Now (1937) the large lawn is overgrown with shrubbery and honeysuckle, and the untrimmed boxwood has closed in the wide walk to the front portico, so that a side entrance to the rear of the house is used.

This house has a wide hall from the front to a rear porch. Much hand carved trimming adorns the stairway, the rail of which ends in a scroll. Four heavy doors of six panels and two crosses, put together with wooden pegs, iron locks with brass knobs, lead out from this hall into large rooms and porches. The outside doors have transoms of narrow panes of glass. The living room has paneled wainscoting. From this living room another portico with plastered pillars, and long slat benches against slat banisters extends on the east side of the house.

Three large chimneys with double partitions afford a fireplace in every room. Large closets are built in every chimney corner. These have paneled doors put together with wooden pegs. The lower part of the doors are of perforated tin done in fancy designs. Tall narrow mantels are above each fireplace. These are made in paneled designs with turned posts or fancy moulding.

The windows are of fifteen panes of glass, with sills a foot wide, which are of heavy roughened boards. Old iron brackets with shelves afford a place for potted plants in these deep windows.

There is a basement under the entire house. This has always been used as a kitchen and dining room combined; the other rooms are used as a cellar, or storage place for foods.

A narrow winding stairway leads up from the basement to the living room above. Old worn rock steps lead outside to the flower garden, with its sunken old brick walls.

This house contains many beautiful pieces of antique furniture, dishes, pictures, etc.

Historical Significance

Colonel John Francis Neff, a brother of B.W. Neff, also lived here. He commanded the 33rd Regiment, Virginia Volunteer Infantry, at Second Manassas, where he was killed. He was the youngest colonel in Stonewall's Brigade, and commanded this regiment in 1862. He and other members of the family are buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, on the summit of Rude's Hill, nearby.

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

Return to Shenandoah County VAGenWeb

Created October 30 2001