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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Hawthorne and Old Town Spring
Reference Number 13000364
State Virginia
County Winchester
Town Winchester
Street Address 610 and 730 Amherst Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 6/5/2013
Link to full file
Hawthorne, a handsome Late Georgian- to Federal-style stone dwelling, the main block of which was constructed ca. 1811 and rests on parts of an 18th -century foundation, stands on an approximately five-acre parcel on Amherst Street in the western portion of the City of Winchester, Virginia. The surviving foundations likely date from the ownership of James Wood, Jr., son of Winchester's acknowledged founder, Col. James Wood. The present dwelling dates from the first decade of the 19th century and was one of a few residences, including Fair Mount and the original Selma (no longer standing), purportedly constructed in Winchester by builder Lewis Barnett, likely for Alfred Harrison Powell, a Winchester attorney. Augmenting the historical significance of the property is the presence of an important and rare ca. 1816 springhouse and spring, a site that from its earliest years helped to define the estate. Hawthorne is eligible for the National Register at the local level of significance under Criteria A, B, and C. Under Criterion A, in the area of Government/Politics, Hawthorne is the site of a historic spring and springhouse that are often cited in Winchester's history and land conveyances and that represent an unusually well-documented early municipal water distribution system purchased by the City in 1840 and believed to be one ofthe earliest such operations in Virginia. Delivery of clean water to local businesses and residences has long ranked among the most critical responsibilities of municipalities everywhere. The spring and springhouse are rare surviving reminders ofthat important function of government that continues to the present day. Hawthorne is also eligible under Criterion A with the theme of Social History and, under Criterion B as the primary and only known surviving building associated with one of Virginia's most articulate Civil War-period diarists, Cornelia Peake McDonald. In 1862-1863, McDonald recorded in her journal and diary the serious practical challenges with which women on the home front were confronted during the Civil War while concurrently demonstrating a remarkable knowledge and grasp ofthe ongoing events of the war years. Published by a grandson, McDonald's diary and recollections represent a particularly significant source for first-hand information about the impact of the war on the Shenandoah Valley's civilian population, particularly its women. Under Criterion C, Hawthorne, a well-preserved 19th-century, Late Georgian- to Federal-style dwelling, retains a high degree of architectural integrity with much of its original interior configuration and detailing. It is believed to be one of only two surviving houses in the City by local builder Lewis Barnett, and the least altered. The ca. 1816 springhouse is also architecturally significant as a handsome and well-preserved Federal-style building with a remarkably elegant exterior laid in Flemish-bond brick. Hawthorne stands on a prominently visible site overlooking the primary western entrance to Winchester, offering a well-preserved image of a fine 19th-century residence, defined by the distinctive springhouse at the front of its lot. The period of significance begins ca. 1811, the construction date of the current Hawthorne dwelling, includes its enlargement with a rear wing in ca. 1840, and ends ca. 1915, when a garage was built on the property, thus capturing all of the architecturally significant resources on the property. Secondary resources include a ca. 1915 contributing stone garage; a mid-19th century stone wall that was heavily repaired after the Civil War, a contributing structure; and a non-contributing brick potting shed, ca. 1840, which has been substantially altered and no longer retains its integrity.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria