Crowder House, Church Street, Fincastle, Virginia


"He is very plain, but his mind is well-informed and he is a good scholar." That's what Lady Stafford, the aunt of George, Lord Fincastle said about him back in the 1700's. But, like the old saying goes, it actually didn't matter whether he was good-looking or smart, because his daddy was rich. 

George was the son of John, Lord Dunmore, who became the Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia in 1771. The following year, the town of Fincastle was established and named for the title of his oldest son. Lord Dunmore's eventful tenure in Virginia ended in 1783, right about the time when his son's town really started getting established. (Needless to say, they didn't stick around to see it happen.)

This log cabin, or Crowder House (number 30 on the map above), was built during that era, circa 1787. 

The internet is letting me down in regard to the house's origin story, but there have been Crowders in Fincastle at least since 1815.

Historic Fincastle renovated the house in 1976 (removing clapboard siding to expose the original logs), and since then it has variously served as a church office, library, coffee house, and short term rental, as well as a bit of a landmark.

It's well-preserved and full of character.

If it were mine, I'd add a little more designer character, like this:

The kitchen, dining nook and bathroom are small but serviceable:

The bedroom is upstairs. The cabin has one bedroom and one bathroom and 1,092 square feet.

I'd want that roomy retreat to look something like this:

Just behind the cabin is an outbuilding that served as an outdoor kitchen:

It's still in need of restoration...

but could ultimately become a very cool detached home office:

Speaking of offices, Crowder House once served as one because it's right behind the 1895 Baptist Church on Main Street (number 31 on the old map). 

{see the cabin at the far left?)

Just as the cabin hasn't always been a cabin, the church is no longer a church. It's been a private residence since 2006.  It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms in 6,385 square feet.

The sanctuary is still intact, though -- the living quarters were created out of the old Sunday school classrooms behind it.

The sanctuary has been used for events like Christmas markets. It hosted a wedding for the first homeowners' daughter shortly after they moved in. Crowder House is also a good event venue and has been used for wine tastings.

Much like Lord Fincastle himself, Crowder House might be a little plain, but it looks smart and has good connections.

The Old House Dreams listing is here. More pictures of the Baptist church residence are here, and a cute news story about it is here.

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