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Near Kearneysville in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Kearneysville Area Historic Properties

West Virginia 9

— Charles Town to Martinsburg —

 
 
Kearneysville Area Historic Properties Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), May 28, 2020
1. Kearneysville Area Historic Properties Marker
Inscription.  
Traveller's Rest
Traveller's Rest is the site of a pre-Revolutionary War, 1½-story limestone dwelling and several log, wood frame, and masonry outbuildings. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark as the home of General Horatio Gates (1727-1806), a major military figure in the Revolutionary War from 1773 to 1790. Born in England, Gates became a professional soldier in the British Army and fought in North America during the French and Indian War.

In 1773, Gates purchased 659 acres in present-day Jefferson County, upon which he built his still extant 1½-story, limestone house. Based on a mid 18th-century survey map and architectural plans drawn up for Gates's "new" residence, the eastern half of the house was most likely built for previous owner John Hyatt sometime prior to 1753. Gates then added the western wing and renovated the interior of the older eastern section in 1773. The work was performed under the direction of Virginia architect John Ariss, who is credited with designing the Neo-Palladian villa Mount Airy, a National Historic
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Landmark property in Richmond County, Virginia.

At the onset of the Revolutionary War, Horatio Gates joined the American cause, being appointed in Congress in 1775 to the position of Adjutant General of the Continental Army. In that post, he drafted the first set of army regulations. After his promotion to commander of the army's northern department in 1777, General Gates successfully led many campaigns, including capturing nearly 6,000 men at Saratoga in 1777, the first great American victory of the war. The feat earned him a Congressional Gold Medal and a public day of thanksgiving. In 1780, after his disastrous defeat at the Battle of Camden (South Carolina), Gates lost his command but was returned to active service in 1782, and was stationed in New York for the remainder of the war. In 1790, Gates sold Traveller's Rest, moved to New York, the seat of the new federal government, and remained there for the duration of his life.

Aspendale/West Virginia University Experimental Farm
In 1868, the northern portion of Horatio Gates's Traveller's REst property was sold to brothers Daniel and Edward Getzendanner. Several years later Daniel Getzendanner, a general farmer and stock raiser, built the current 2-story brick farmhouse, calling the property Aspendale. Blending both Georgian and Greek Revival elements, the house represents an uncommon example
Kearneysville Area Historic Properties Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), May 28, 2020
2. Kearneysville Area Historic Properties Marker
of a local adaptation of national stylistic influences.

In 1930, the West Virginia State Board of Control purchased 158 acres of the prime agricultural land from the Aspendale Farm, including the house and outbuildings, for use as an experimental farm by West Virginia University (WVU). Since then, Aspendale has continued to function in this capacity, with the farmhouse serving as the residence of the farm manager. Several stone outbuildings surrounding the main dwelling were constructed in the 1940s and 1950s by the Jones family, locally prominent stone masons.

The experimental farm provided the University with a research and educational facility for developing pesticides and disease control methods relative to the orchard industry, which has been an important aspect of the Eastern Panhandle economy since the 19th-century. New cultural varieties have been developed at the WVU Experimental Farm including an improved York-type apple.
 
Erected by West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureColonial EraEducationNotable Buildings
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Settlements & SettlersWar, French and IndianWar, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks, and the West Virginia 9 series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1773.
 
Location. 39° 23.452′ N, 77° 53.562′ W. Marker is near Kearneysville, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Route 9 Bike Path, 0.7 miles north of Leetown Road (County Road 1), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kearneysville WV 25430, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Kearneysville Area Historic Properties (approx. 0.4 miles away); "Travelers' Rest" (approx. 0.4 miles away); John C. Heinz House (approx. 1.1 miles away); Shaw Run Wetland Complex (approx. 1.4 miles away); Stone House Mansion (approx. 1.6 miles away); Veterans Administration Center (approx. 2 miles away); Valley View / Tackley Farm (approx. 2.1 miles away); The Greenback Raid (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kearneysville.
 
More about this marker.
Images:
1,5. 1997 photographs, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
2. Image adapted from a ca. 1782 painting by Charles Wilson Peale, in the October 13, 1784 issue of Freeman's Journal and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser.
3. Illustration from My Ride to the Barbecue: or Revolutionary Reminisces of the Old Dominion by an Ex-member of Congress (1860).
4,6. Undated early photographs, courtesy of the West Virginia University Tree Fruit Research and Education Center, Kearneysville, West Virginia.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 272 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 28, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 25, 2024