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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Cole Digges House, circa 1925

Historic Yorktown

 

—Colonial National Historical Park —

 
Cole Digges House, circa 1925 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, December 9, 2011
1. Cole Digges House, circa 1925 Marker
Inscription. “…an example of all that was fine and most lasting in Colonial domestic architecture…” Clyde F. Trudell, 1938

Throughout its long history, the Cole Diggers House served many roles in the village of Yorktown. Originally used as a residence and warehouse, in later years was a teahouse/store and the First National Bank of Yorktown.

In 1921, Mrs. Helen Paul of Michigan bought the building and four years later began a major remodeling project transforming the 200-year old building into its current appearance by applying the Colonial Revival style made popular at Colonial Williamsburg and reflected in original and reconstructed buildings along Main Street, including Swan Tavern, the Medical Shop, and the Nelson House. Colonial Revival elements include red brick, side lights at doorways, paneled or louvered wood shutters, and multi-sash windows. John H. Scarff, the architect who developed the plans for the building, stated that the “intention of this restoration (is) to preserve the spirit of an early Eighteenth Century cottage in all details.”

There were major changes to the exterior and interior, including raising the first floor seven inches, altering the north end chimney to provide a window opening on the second floor, installing an entry to the basement from Reed Street, adding
Cole Digges House, circa 1925 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, December 9, 2011
2. Cole Digges House, circa 1925 Marker
wood paneling on the first floor walls, and adding a skylight in the stairwell. Slate replaced the wood shingles to protect the building from catching fire and “to give the appearance of an older roof.”

In 1968, the National Park Service acquired the building. Plans to repair the failing building included retaining the slate roof. However, the slate roof was replaced with wood shingles in 1978. In 2011, a simulated slate roof replaced the wood shingles, allowing for a more durable material and an appearance that more closely resembles the building’s Colonial Revival restoration.

(captions)
Cole Digges House after its remodeling, circa 1930

The Cole Digges House as it appeared in the 1890s when Elizabeth Cooper operated a restaurant or teashop and store
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 37° 14.103′ N, 76° 30.468′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia, in York County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Read Street, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 411 Main Street, Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cole Digges House, circa 1730 (here, next to this marker); Custom House, circa 1720
Cole Digges House image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, December 9, 2011
3. Cole Digges House
Now home to the Carrot Tree Restaurant.
(a few steps from this marker); Early Colonial Custom House (a few steps from this marker); Charles Cox House (within shouting distance of this marker); Somerwell House (within shouting distance of this marker); East Along Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); West Along Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Grace Church - circa 1697 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yorktown.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 5, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 348 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 5, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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