Red Banks Farm

Location: Three and one half miles south of Edinburg, Virginia, on Route 11.

Built: prior to 1800


10 Feb 1776: George Ruddell to Abraham Bird

8 Aug 1803: Abraham Bird to Lawrence Pittman

1 Sep 1849: Lawrence Pittman to William Ripley

William Ripley's daughter, Laura V. Ripley (Mrs. Tiphen Allen, Jr.), inherited "Red Banks". Her daughter, Mrs. M.L. Walton, Jr., owned the farm in 1937.

Physical Description

This handsome brick house stands on the banks of the Shenandoah River, commanding a fine view of the mountains and surrounding country. Fine old evergreen trees form a pleasing setting for the large red brick house which has many bay windows, cupolas, dormers, gables and a brick tower. A large porch almost surrounds the house, giving a delightful view of the river and mountains in the distance.

Red Banks is a "T" shaped two and one half story brick house with gabled slate roof with four inside brick chimneys. The house has four gabled dormers and fifty windows with two 28x30 panes.

There are fourteen large rooms with ten foot ceilings. There is a three flight open-string stairway that is highly decorated in square paneling with square balusters and newels. The house has a cellar with a concrete floor. Some of the doors are half glass, while others have long, narrow panels of pine. The walls are papered and the floors are modern and an arched doorway leads from the main hall into each room. There is a beautiful white brick mantel of the fireplace in the hall.

Historical Significance

"Red Banks" was a favorite stopping place for travelers going from Baltimore to the Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs. It was one of the taverns, and William Ripley was a stage coach driver. It is said that Andrew Jackson and Madam Jerome Bonaparte were among the guests who stopped there from time to time. During the spring of 1862, Stonewall Jackson's army camped there several times. The camp was known as "Camp Buchanan".

Lawrence Pittman had ten grandsons in the Confederate army. Philip Pittman, his oldest son, at the age of sixteen, served in the War of 1812, and in 1861, at the age of sixty four, enlisted in the Confederate army, taking with him his youngest son, just sixteen years old. The last year of the struggle, his friends implored him to come home and be a candidate for the Virginia Senate. his reply was that the army had no soldiers to spare, but if they wished to elect him, they could do so, but he would remain in the army until officially notified of his election. He was elected, but remained at his post until the Senate convened.

Elisha Parmalee, distinguished as the man who carried the Phi Beta Kappa Charter to colleges of New England died at "Red Banks" and it is believed he was buried there, in 1784.

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

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Created November 12 2001