Hartwood, Winchester Avenue, Martinsburg, West Virginia


Comfortable, long-lasting, and beautiful. These are the keywords that stocking manufacturer George W.F. Mulliss applied to both his socks and his house.

Mulliss was vice president and director of the Interwoven Stocking Company's plant in Martinsburg, West Virginia. It was formerly known as the Kilbourn Knitting Machine Company. Interwoven had many plants and claimed to be the world's largest producer of men's stockings.

Interwoven also had some very interesting advertising. This is a tame selection compared to what they did in the 1970's.

Both Mr. Kilbourn and Mr. Mulliss built their homes on Winchester Avenue. This is the Kilbourn house, built in 1895:

It was a bit upstaged in 1929 by the Mulliss house:

Mulliss was said to be a dictator of a boss. "The guards saluted him as he came to work, no one was allowed to sit in his presence, and his management people sat at 'Mahogany Row,' a row of desks outside his office."

Apparently he wasn't as much of a dictator at home though, because the house became known as Hartwood at the suggestion of his father-in-law and housemate, Reverend Doctor Francis Marion Woods. (His father-in-law twice over! Mulliss married two of his daughters.) The Reverend suggested the house share the name of his first assignment, the Hartwood Presbyterian Church.

Today the house is known as The Purple Iris at Hartwood Mansion, an elegant restaurant and wedding venue.

It's possibly even more comfortable and beautiful now than it was in Mr. Mulliss' day:

The living room fireplace was modeled after one in a tavern in Haddonfield, New Jersey:

If it were mine, I'd like to give this lovely living room a little lighter refresh, like so:

In the meantime, we can keep admiring what's already in place.

Here's a little peek behind the scenes, where they've been working hard to make things beautiful.

The listing doesn't have pictures of the upstairs rooms. There are 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms in 10,880 square feet.

Since we're not able to peek upstairs, let's cross the courtyard and check out the carriage house instead:

The carriage house has three bedrooms and three bathrooms (and more importantly, I found pictures of them.)

The carriage house is currently used as a bed and breakfast, as well as offering bridal parties a little prep space:

If Mr. Mulliss' keywords were comfortable, long-lasting, and beautiful, my keywords for these rooms would be wedding dresses and purple irises. I've paired the pretty "befores" with some dreamy "afters":







The carriage house is a later addition to the original property. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places. It's notable for its connection to George Mulliss, but also because of its Neo Georgian Revival architecture, designed by Alexander Merchant. The exterior is  Pennsylvania blue limestone, and the interior has locally sourced stone.

If your keywords are "cyma recta and fillet molded mantel shelf with cavetto and beadbed moldings," you might enjoy reading Hartwood's registration form. If you just want to see more pretty pictures, the listing is here.

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