The Old Virginia Inn

Location: On the west side of Main Street, about the center of New Market, Virginia

Built: unknown


The Hinkles moved to New Market about 1802-1805, and the land has been handed down to the heirs ever since. No one member of the family ever owned any part of the inheritance, but each shared all with the others. Deed Book 46, page 165

Physical Description

The house is built in the German style; fronting right on the street, it has the yard or "patie", as it was called, on the back away from the prying eyes of the passer by. The front room of the house was frescoed in shades of grey about 1860 by a German painter who was passing through, and did many works of art at that time. It is a beautiful piece of work, and was still in good condition in 1937. It is done in such a way that it completely hides the opening of a secret door which leads to the back of the house.

Historical Significance

Wounded soldiers from both sides were cared for in this house during the battles in this vicinity; each receiving the same excellent care no matter to which side he belonged. Twenty Hessians were here during the Civil War, plundering and destroying. The house was locked and the wooden shutters barred on the inside. The mother of the family went up into the attic and poured scalding water on them in order to drive them away, this made them to angry they took their swords and cut holes in the blinds and unlocked them entering the house. They took everything of value and all edibles. They cut the lady's picture, a very beautiful oil painting, saying how they would treat her if they could find her; they also cut several other pictures.

General Breckenridge directed his troops from the chimney of this house during the battle of New Market. Three generals held the Yankees back until he came. For three weeks a Southern spy laid on a sofa which is now in the hall, with what was supposed to have been a sore hand due to having his thumb shot off. He wore a northern uniform and the lady of the house would have nothing to do with him, so the doctor brought his meals to him. Parts of the Union army marched through the town one hundred times from the beginning to the end of the war.

Furniture in this house is of pre war days. Chairs and sofas are upholstered in horsehair, and the chairs have knitted medallions on the backs and arms. The tables have marble tops, and are carved in roses and leaves. On the walls hang oil portraits of several generations of the family. One other picture depicts the crucifixion, and is done in a translucent paint giving the effect of an ethereal light; one other depicts a peaceful mountain scene. The pictures have wide gold frames, some plain mouldings, others are more elaborately flowered and scrolled.

Solomon Hinkle was a famous physician. He maintained an office and operating room in this house in 1810. Later the father and his son were partners; later the two sons were partners, and later still a son practiced with the father. The house was owned by Miss Martha Hinkle, a daughter of Dr. Hinkle in 1937.

The date of erection of the first part of the house is not known. It is known to have been rebuilt in 1800 and again in 1846.

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

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Created October 30 2001