Battlefield Guide Services

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Blog Reader Locates Minor House - Soon to be demolished! Updated 7/25/2016

Recently, a reader of this site, Stephen Masters, left comments to this blog's August and October 2013 postings regarding the location of the Minor House in Fairfax County, Virginia. On a site once inside the Falls Church boundary, the original structure has been absorbed by several additions since the Civil War, and is currently slated to be demolished to make way for new construction. Masters has indicated he will supply images of the interior of the building, detailing the original log walls and chimney.

The site is approximately 430 yards slightly northwest of my previous suggested location. There had been prior indication that the house was long demolished.

This is all exciting, yet sad news if the building will not be preserved. It is fortunate that we can now know the true location of the following January 1862 photographs, including one that shows General McClellan meeting with officers outside.
Click on images for larger examination.

 "Then", in January 1862.
 This is an approximate "now" image of the above January 1862 photograph,
courtesy of Google Earth Street View. The trees unfortunately block the building, at center.

View from Google Earth indicating the original structure, outlined in red, and the approximate location of the nearby signal tower, also marked in red. Click image for larger examination.
The McClellan mystery photo as solved in the August 19, 2013 posting. Click link.

My previous site suggestion appeared in the October 2, 2013 posting, to which Stephen Masters commented recently, alerting us to the true location and impending demolition.

As stated in the beginning of this update, we were hopeful to have
 photographs of the structure as it stands today, both inside and exterior.
Below, with kind permission of Stephen Masters, here are comparison 
images of the structure as it stands today. More will be posted soon.

 The original building is the left hand portion, since converted to two-story.
Circled is a side entrance on the east face, as it appeared in 1862.
Further enlargement of the entrance.
Stephen Master's view of that side entrance as it looks today.
The original log structure was bricked over.


Todd Berkoff said...

Excellent detective work.

To add to the historical story of the Minor House, apparently both President Madison and his wife Dolly spent time at the house during their retreat from Washington in August 1814.

If the house is destroyed, yet another piece of Arlington/Fairfax history that has been razed in recent years to make way for more McMansions in this very exclusive part of the county. It seems that entire neighborhood has new construction homes.

Probably too late for the McLean Historical Society to get involved. They are an influential group. I think it is worth bringing to their attention.

Anonymous said...

Very nice, you can clearly see the original alignment on the exterior front door and windows of the historic images to the brick covering on the modern photos, it is all there!! Cannot believe that Arlington County would allow this, do you have any info on the owner/name, you should publish it. Shame on them.

Robert Alton