The William Smith House
38678 Piggot Bottom Road
The William Smith House (c. 1813) is one of a number of early Quaker-built homes
situated on the fertile acres surrounding what is now the village of Hamilton in Loudoun
County, Virginia. William Smith was 40 years old in 1804 when he purchased the land
where he soon built his brick, federal-style farmhouse and fine brick barn and
springhouse. Only one generation removed from his parents’ migration from Bucks
County, Pennsylvania in 1769, William was well regarded within the Loudoun Valley
Quaker community and was made an elder in his Quarterly Meeting in 1814. Six years
later, his sons John and Jonas were listed in the tax rolls as participants in the farming
operation William had established and the family was taxed $10.14 that year on their
personal property of 11 mules, colts and horses, two cattle, one two-wheel carriage, one
watch and two candlesticks of silver or cut glass.
The brick house William constructed was both substantial and quietly stylish with the front façade laid in Flemish bond and the remaining sides and wing primarily in five-course American bond. The interior woodwork is unusually fine for an isolated Loudoun County Quaker farming community of the early nineteenth century. Originally the house consisted of a two-story main block with a one-and-one-half story wing that included the dining room and kitchen. A small room was added onto one side of the kitchen at approximately the same time the house was built and a pump to provide water from the spring was later placed there. The wing was raised to a full two stories some time in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Also during that time period, part of the second floor of the wing was extended over a downstairs porch. The bedroom resulting from this extension is sheathed in German siding and has decorative diamond-shaped shingles on the gable.
The house, which contains original woodwork and a significant amount of old hardware and window glass, has been altered very little although the partition between the downstairs double parlors has been removed and two of the six fireplaces are covered. There are three interior brick chimneys, a large one on the west wall which provides flues
for four of the original fireplaces, a smaller one on the east wall of the main block which
serves a dining room fireplace, and one on the east wing wall to service a 6′ wide cooking fireplace in the kitchen.
Constructed at or near the time the house was built was a large brick barn and a brick springhouse. The barn, which is one of only five brick barns extant in Loudoun County, has hewn frame work, chamfered main support posts, and unusual diamond-shaped air ventilation openings. This last feature is characteristic of Pennsylvania bank barns of the period. Following a storm in the mid-1900’s, the roof of the barn was lowered during repair work. Attached to the west side of the barn is a nineteenth-century stone shed.
The brick springhouse is two-storied and has a segmental arched entrance. Spring water supplies the cooling trough and then flows into a nearby pond via an underground pipe. The spring was the source of drinking water for residents of the house as recently as the 1980’s.
The frame corncrib was built in two stages: the first in the nineteenth century, the second
between 1919 – 1941. Boards used on the inside of the structure are as wide as 19″.
Additionally, the William Smith House property includes a combination horse stable/
storage building and a two-car garage. The garage is on the site of the former icehouse.
After William Smith died in 1842, “Smith Farm” was inherited by his son, Jonas, who died only ten years later after “…he took cold while wagoning to Georgetown, pneumonia and galloping consumption.” Jonas’ will specified that his farm should remain in the hands of his wife, Miriam, until his eldest son was twenty-one; and in 1859 commissioners were appointed by the Loudoun County Court to oversee the disposition of the property. This was effected with the help of Jonas’ cousin, Yardley Taylor, who had included the property of “J. Smith’s heirs” on his famous 1853 map of Loudoun County. By 1870, Joshua Smith, the middle of Jonas’ five sons, had reassembled the original 369 acres by purchasing his mother’s and his brothers’ portions.
Many older residents of Hamilton and members of Goose Creek Friends Meeting in Lincoln are aware of the prominence of the Smiths in the Loudoun Valley during the mid-to-late 1800’s: Joshua at Smith Farm, Thomas R. as owner of Hedgewood near Lincoln, and John R., who ran Loudoun Valley Milling in Purcellville.
In 1919, after a total of 115 years and four generations of Smith stewardship, the farm (then 212 acres) was sold out of the family by Laura Smith Hoge, daughter of Joshua and great granddaughter of the builder.
The current owners, John and Brenda Boidock, purchased the house, the historically significant outbuildings, and the twenty-five acres that constitute the core of the farm in 1978. This property continues to be farmed and serves as a tangible reminder of the influence of the industrious, principled Quaker farmers of Loudoun County. The William Smith House, including its historic outbuildings and acreage, is a Virginia Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located at 38678 Piggott Bottom Rd.
Web #: 644977
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