1978 Holiday Tour
Christmas in Victorian Danville
There were no photos in the tour brochure this year
Designation: The Sparks House
Address: 120 Holbrook Avenue
Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. Aiken
A period green and ivory-trimmed clapboard facade gives the passer-by no clue that this house serves a dual function, as business office and residence, for its present owners. Its scale, size, and large front porch suggest late Victorian design but in detail the house follows the less elaborate style favored early In this century.
Built in 1911 by B. H. Sparks, the house became the property of attorney Harry Wooding, Jr. in 1922. His father, Mayor Harry Wooding, who served the longest tenure as mayor in the history of the nation, lived here the last years of his life until his death in 1938 at the age of 94. The house remained in the Wooding family until purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Aiken in June of 1977. Since then the owners' creativity and careful planning, evident in the working spaces and living area, have made this house a prime example of adaptive use in Danville.
Designation: The R.B. Graham House
Address: 879 Green Street
Owners: Mr. and Mrs. t. Terry Shadrick
Many persons are familiar with the successful transformation of the first floor of this structure Into Brown's 879 Shop. More recently the second floor, reached by a handsome spiral staircase, has been returned to its original use, as residential space.
R. B. Graham, a well-known architect and contractor, built this house for his residence in 1885 About fifteen years later he remodeled the facade, adding a domed, three-story corner tower of brick like that used In the Southern Railway Station he built on Craghead Street In 1899. In 1907 Mr. and Mrs. Graham moved to Main Street and sold their house to T. Allan Fox, who lived there nearly 25 years. After his death in 1931, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Stephens acquired the house. It was sold to W. Dan Cooper in 1960. In 1973 the Cooper heirs gave the house to the Danville Historical Society, whose plans to restore it were hampered at that time by a lack of funds. Consequently, the Society gave the house to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas T. Shadrick who put it to constructive use in 1976 as a seasonal gift and decorative accessory shop. Their son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. T. Terry Shadrick, have refurbished the second floor for their home. Original architectural details were retained in a remodeling sensitive to the needs of a young couple.
Designation: First Christian Church
Address: 200 Jefferson Avenue
Dominating the many fine brick and frame houses lining Jefferson Avenue, the First Christian Church Is a massive white stuccoed brick structure with gray trim. In the city's 1971 architectural inventory it is cited as a NOTABLE Gothic Revival building utilizing lancet arched openings in a gable end facade that is flanked by octagonal and square towers. It dates from 1879, the third church built on this site by the local Presbyterian congregation. In 1910 the building was sold to the First Christian Church, delivered the following year, and the First Presbyterian Church moved to Main Street. The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was organized in 1884. It is parent to the West End Christian Church.
Inside, many-hued stained glass windows, walnut pews and decorative pressed metal on the walls and ceiling warrant close inspection. Another original Victorian feature is the 1899 M. P. Moller organ, a focal point in the sanctuary, and the oldest known to exist that was originally installed In a Danville church.
Designation: The Lawson House
Address: 782 Main Street
Owners: Mr. and Mrs. William T. Fowlkes, Jr.
Elegant and imposing, the profile of this house is the result of a unique blending of the Italianate and Georgian Revival styles. Architect-builder T. B. Fitzgerald constructed the two-story, red brick Italianate dwelling in 1881 for Robert W. Lawson, a successful tobacconist. After he died in 1884, it was purchased by Sallie E. Shepherd. Mrs. Shepherd, grandmother of W. D. Overbey, lived there until her death in 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Overbey resided in the Main Street house for over a half century thereafter. It was they who in 1911 gave the house a Georgian Revival face-lift, adding a two-story semi-circular Ionic portico and a roofline restyled to harmonize. In 1972 the old Overbey home, facing an uncertain future, was purchased and returned to its original beauty by Mr. and Mrs. John DeAlba. Since November of 1977 it has been the home of Mr. and Mrs. William T. Fowlkes, Jr. Their tasteful appointments complement the detailed woodwork, moldings, mantels, and beautiful floors of these spacious rooms.
Designation: The Acree House
Address: 833 Main Street
Owners: Mrs. W.A. Terry and Miss Nancy Terry
Its original wooden trim work intact, this Main Street house is immediately identified as the one with the "gingerbread." Richly ornamental, it exhibits architectural features characteristic of the Eastlake, Queen Anne and Shingle styles. Edward Fox Acree built the complex dwelling in 1881. He and his brother, James, who also lived here, purchased the old Eagle Warehouse on Craghead Street and changed its name to Acree's. When they died early in this century, the Acree brothers headed the Danville Cooperative Warehouse Company. They were considered leaders In Danville's emergence as the world's largest loose leaf tobacco market.
In 1910 Mrs. E. F. Acree and her sons sold the house to P. F. Conway, for many years president of the Danville Lumber and Manufacturing Company. After his death the house was sold by Mrs. Conway to William Aubrey Terry, in 1949. His widow, the former Eva Chaney Dodson, and his daughter, Miss Nancy Terry, continue to reside there.
A commanding feature of the house is a corner tower rising three stories above the street. Inside, its four stained glass windows illuminate the dark paneling beneath. Pairs of Ionic columns at the end of the long entrance hall and in the divided living room lend dignity to the interior. Other
classical motifs include a dentil design in the cornices, repeated in the mirrored mantels, and a Greek key pattern bordering the parquet floors.
Designation: The James G. Penn House
Address: 862 Main Street
Owners: Dr. and Mrs. Allan A. Hoffman
Boldly formed and lavishly detailed, the James G. Penn House exemplifies the eclectic taste of prosperous Danvillians in the last quarter of the 19th century. In October 1978 It was selected as a Virginia Historic Landmark and has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. According to the state landmarks commission the house gains importance from its "especially significant and varied interior and a notable facade that combines Second Empire monumentality and Italianate detailing."
James Gabriel Penn, a tobacco-commission merchant and a partner in the highly successful Pemberton and Penn, Inc., built the house in 1876, only eight years after he settled in Danville. He and his second wife, Sallie Johnson Penn, had it remodeled several times between 1887 and 1903. In 1934 Landon R. Wyatt, especially remembered for his service in the state senate, purchased the house and most of its furnishings. Some of these same pieces were in turn sold to Dr. Allan A. Hoffman when he bought the house from the Wyatt heirs In May of 1977. The keen appreciation of Dr. and Mrs. Hoffman for their landmark residence is also evident in the well-maintained carriage house, currently the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Norman, Jr., and the garden where perennials typical of the Victorian era have been planted.
Danville Historical Society P.O. Box 6 Danville, VA 24543-0006