On December 5, 1925, the author visited the old Clower house, which is located (1927) on the east side of Main Street, Woodstock, and which is furnished with many pieces of antique workmanship. The fine old yellow pine ceiling and partition boards in this house are typical of those to be found in many old houses of the Shenandoah Valley. Many of these boards are more than a foot wide, without a knot. One is 22 inches wide. Mr. Lewis H. Zirkle, who was also a visitor there at the same time, stated that in one of the old Strickler houses on Smith Creek is a board 34 inches wide, and another 32 inches. These are either yellow pine or poplar. In the old Spengler house in Strasburg are flawless boards at least 24 inches wide.
In the Clower house is a beautiful old hand-carved mantel similar to one in the Spengler house in Strasburg. Miss Clower said she had been told that these mantels were made by some artisan in New Market.
Near the Clower house, on the opposite side of Main Street, is the home of Mrs. Mary Grabill, who was a Miss Hollingsworth of Winchester. Just in the rear of Mrs. Grabill's house is an old wash house and summer kitchen, which is furnished at one end with a very roomy fireplace and chimney, in accordance with the style of antebellum days, when pots and kettles were suspended over the open fire. One day during the Civil War a young Confederate soldier, a near relative of General R.E. Lee, climbed up into this particular fireplace and thus escaped detection and capture by several Federals who were close on his heels.
In an old building near the Lee Highway, between New Market and Massanutten Gap, is a fireplace 16 feet wide.
Excerpted from John W. Wayland's A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia
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