Centreville Historic District

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Centreville Historic District

This view of Centreville during the Civil War includes Braddock road and what is now the Centreville Historic district.

This view of Centreville during the Civil War includes Braddock road and what is now the Centreville Historic district.

This view of Centreville during the Civil War includes Braddock road and what is now the Centreville Historic district.

This view of Centreville during the Civil War includes Braddock road and what is now the Centreville Historic district.

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Our group walked from Spindle court across the shopping center towards the Alto Plaza on the corner of route 29 and Braddock road. While walking we passed over the grounds of the Confederate winter camp site of 1861-1862.  The cool wind reminded us of how cold it must have been.  The view looking West at Lee Highway showed that this was a high point in the region and that troops during the Civil War liked to be protected on hilltops that could view the surrounding area.  After we crossed over into the Centreville Historic district we stopped at the foundation of the 18th century New gate Tavern which is located on the old mountain road.

Centerville 729

Confederate Winter Camp Site 1861-1862 Centreville, Virginia

 

Our county historian Cheryl enlightens us on the artifacts discovered at this travelers rest spot. George Washington was a frequent patron here.

Our county historian Cheryl enlightens us on the artifacts discovered at this travelers rest spot. George Washington was a frequent patron here.

 

The underground foundation of the tavern  had buried artifacts such as wine bottles, plates, glasses, and games.  They were evidence of how they had been having fun inside the tavern, perhaps drinking some wine, resting and talking.  I wonder if Civil War soldiers also visited this tavern and spoke about the battle that they were having the day after.

 

Then we went down to visit one of the “modern” old houses in the district, the Spindle house was built after World War I during the Great Depression.  It was a modern style for the time and it was ordered by catalogue from Sears.  The house actually had well preserved technology made by the General Electric company from the 1930s

Old washing machine from the 1930s.

Old washing machine from the 1930s found and preserved in the Spindle house.

Electric stove

old electric stove in the Sears catalogue Spindle House from the 1930s. This is preserved in good condition and was the most modern of appliances during the Great Depression.

Sources:

http://www.novahistory.org/Centreville_History.htm

http://www.seln4u.com/Local-History

http://www.novahistory.org/Centreville_Fortifications.html

http://patch.com/virginia/centreville/officials-want-to-double-the-size-of-centrevilles-historic-park

 

Old picture of Mt. Gilead house right after the Civil War

Old picture of Mt. Gilead house right after the Civil War

Finally we visited one of the oldest houses in the country, and actually the oldest house on the historic grounds of Centreville. Mt. Gilead was surrounded in its grass yard by a Civil War era trench. It was cool to imagine  the soldiers using the Trench to protect themselves, and it has said that the soldiers would even ride horses along the trench. The Jamesson House at Mt. Gilead was built as a tavern along the old western mountain road in the 18th century.  It is older than the US Constitution. Some historians say that Gorge Washington visited the house several times but there is not proof of that and it may be likely that he stopped in at the more lively Newgate tavern.

During the Civil War in the winter of 1861-1862 Mount Gilead was used as a refuge by the confederate commander and his troops. Being inside the house was awesome everything was in good condition. It had the same furniture and floor that when is was first built. Taking advantage that our group was in the house, the resident history professor taking care of the house borrowed our rakes, shovels, tools and willing hands so we ended up doing some community service.

Students enjoyed the opportunity for some outdoor service as they cleaned up the grounds of Mt. Gilead.

Students enjoyed the opportunity for some outdoor service as they cleaned up the grounds of Mt. Gilead.

As our guide Dr. Cheryl-Ann Repetti helps us imagine the past, a student sits atop one of the earthen trenches that acted as passageways to keep towns people safe during the Civil War.

As our guide Dr. Cheryl-Ann Replete helps us imagine the past, a student sits atop one of the earthen trenches that acted as passageways to keep towns people safe during the Civil War.

 

 

Mt. Gilead now in days still looking in very good conditions

Mt. Gilead today is still looking in very good condition.