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Allen to offer views on historic homes in Middleway

By Staff | Jun 1, 2012

The next in the successful series of presentations by local historians co-sponsored by the Jefferson County Historical Society and several other Jefferson County historical organizations will be on June 15. The Middleway Conservancy Association will sponsor an illustrated talk by John C. Allen, Jr. on his research on Middleway homes.

The talk, titled “Town in the Country: The Middleway Vernacular,” will focus on unusual architectural features of houses built between 1735 and 1835 in and around the Middleway Historic District. Historian Edie Wallace, of Paula Reed and Associates, will also be present to answer questions about the ownership history of each house to be discussed.

The illustrated talk will be given in Grace Church Parish Hall, 112 East Street, Middleway at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 15. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Allen is the author of the seminal architectural history of houses in Jefferson County, Uncommon Vernacular: The Early Houses of Jefferson County, West Virginia, 1735-1835, published by the West Virginia University Press in 2011. In this fascinating architectural exploration, Allen details his expansive seven-year survey of Jefferson County’s historic residences. By focusing on dwellings built from the mid-eighteenth century to the arrival of the railroad and canal in 1835, Allen unfolds the unique story of this area’s early building traditions and architectural innovations.

Allen is a graduate of Tulane University. He currently serves on the board of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, as chair of the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, and is a member of the Vernacular Architecture Forum and the Society of Architectural Historians.

Middleway Historic District has some 80 buildings erected before 1835. An interactive map of the Historic District can be found online at www.middlewayconservancy.org The Middleway Conservancy Association, founded in 1982, actively promotes the conservation of the Historic District of the village of Middleway through education and advocacy. The Conservancy also maintains an archive of records relating to the village and organizes Middleway Day, a village home-coming and street festival, each October.