The Smucker Home

Location: Three miles northeast of Maurertown, Virginia, Route 654 to Zion Church, then Route 648 north one mile.

Built: prior to 1800


11 Mar 1805: John Grove and Barbara, his wife, sold to Jacob Cochenour, Sr., a tract of land lying on Toms Brook, it being part of a larger tract that was devised to the said John Grove by his father, Christian Grove, June 9, 1786. Deed Book B, page 291; Deed Book O, page 139

13 Oct 1809, probated 15 Nov 1809: Jacob Gochenour, Sr. bequeaths to his wife, Elizabeth, the plantation on which he now lives, and on which the mill stands, for her lifetime, after which it is to be sold by his executors: Jacob Crabill and John Gochenour. Will Book G, page 379

9 Jan 1810: Jacob Crabill and John Gochenour, Executor. for Jacob Gochenour convey to Ferdinand Smucker for the sum of $3533.34 the same that was conveyed by John Grove and Barbara, his wife, March 11, 1805. Deed Book R, page 185

12 Dec 1829, probated 13 Dec 1830: Ferdinand Smucker bequeaths to his two sons, Joseph and Ferdinand, Jr., all real estate, consisting of two tracts, one being the same purchased of Jacob Gochenour's executors whereon the mill stands, and he now resides. Will Book O, page 185

19 Oct 1887: Ferdinand Smucker and Catherine, his wife, convey to Morgan Smucker for the sum of $5000 certain tracts of land, part of which was the estate of Ferdinand Smucker, deceased, and was willed by the said deceased to his two sons, Joseph and Ferdinand, Jr. Deed Book 29, page 257

25 Jan 1912: Morgan F. Smucker conveys to Roy F. Smucker for $4500, the home place. Deed Book 26, page 373

Physical Description

This large home stands on the hill above a steep cliff facing the Shenandoah River. It was once an attractive place, surrounded by a large lawn and shrubbery. It had a two story front porch with pillars, all of which have been torn away and replaced by an ordinary medium-sized front porch, one story high. The house is sadly (1937) in need of repairs. One is impressed with the wide board floors, unpainted; some of the boards measuring eighteen inches.

Historical Significance

This house was old before the Civil War, and was remodeled afterwards. The mill mentioned in the deeds was said to have been a very important one to the community. The flour was hauled by teams to Alexandria; on one occasion after a four-horse team was heavily loaded with many barrels of flour, in starting up the hill the wagon upset, causing the barrels to roll away in every direction. The driver swore that he would still get to Winchester (a distance of 28 miles on roads of other days) before dark, and it is said that he accomplished his aim.

The bottom lands along the river on this farm are said to have been the burying ground of Indians, as many bones and other relics of Indian days have been dug up.

This family of Schmuckers (Smucker) is of German ancestry. Nicholas Schmucker came from Michelstadt, near Heidelberg, Germany, to Lehigh County, Pennsylvania in 1781, lived in Menheim, Pennsylvania in 1782, then went to Woodstock, Virginia in 1783. He had Ferdinand and John George born in Germany, and Jacob, John Nicholas, Peter and Mary born in America.

The son, Rev. John George Schmucker, came to America in 1785, went to Woodstock, and became the founder of the general synod of the Lutheran Church in the U.S. He was President of the board of directors of Gettysburg Theological Seminary, and a trustee of Pennsylvania College for many years. He was a poet, and author of a number of articles and books in English and German, published in 1807-1838. The records show a line of ministers of the Gospel from the first Smucker family down to the present time of Rev. Roy Smucker, the present (1937) owner.

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

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Created November 13 2001