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house may soon be put on historic register

November 17, 1998|By SCOTT BUTKI

A farm near Knoxville with a stone house built around the 1790s soon might be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 9.82-acre Robert Clagett Farm has both historical and architectural significance, said Merry Wilson of Hagerstown, an architectural historian and consultant.

The farm contains the stone house, a mid-19th century timber frame dairy farm and an early 20th century garage and shed. The farm, at the narrow southern end of Pleasant Valley, is bordered by Israel Creek.

At the request of the Washington County Historic District Commission, the Washington County Commissioners today will consider recommending the property be placed on the national register.

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The issue is to be discussed at 2 p.m. in the County Commissioners meeting room on the second floor of the County Administration Building, 100 W. Washington St.

The register lists cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. A successful listing makes the property owner eligible to apply for certain federal tax benefits and assistance.

Wilson wrote a summary detailing the farm and its history as part of a packet of documents required for the application process.

Richard and Nancy Hamilton purchased the property last spring. The previous owners thought the building dated back to the Civil War and had no idea that it was almost 100 years older than that, Wilson said.

The Hamiltons appreciate the importance of the history of the farm and plan to carefully restore the stone home, she said.

The Hamiltons could not be reached for comment Monday.

Although it is more then 200 years old, the stone dwelling's original design is intact, Wilson said.

"It is incredible. And the whole interior is very well finished," she said.

She credited "dumb luck" for the fact that the building is in such good condition.

One unique aspect of the farm is that it uses English design and architectural techniques more commonly found in northern Virginia. While most homes in the area are made of limestone, this house is made of sandstone, she said.

The three-room end-chimney floor plan is more reminiscent of homes in Loudoun County, Va., than those in Washington County, she said.

The Robert Clagett farm was on about 130 acres when Clagett died in 1855 but various parts of it were sold over the years.

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