Care To Weigh In?

Colvin House: the mystery

Have you seen me? Source: K. W. Protho, Pride of Place: rural residences of Fauquier County, pp 72

Hoping to learn more about the Tenerife Mill noted in a Civil War-era map, about which I previously blogged, I recently reviewed a copy of Kimberly Williams Protho’s A Pride of Place: Rural residences in Fauquier County, Virginia. Protho specifically mentioned the Mill in her book and I e-mailed her with a query regarding her sources. Ms. Protho, a Washington D.C. Architectural Historian with the city’s Planning Dept. has not responded (and I have not followed up. Shame on me, I know.) Instead, I ordered her book via Interlibrary Loan. Alas, the blurb on Tenerife was more about its architecture –it is a book about architectural history in Fauquier County after all so, no surprise there – but she does mention the cacti growing there, something reportedly imported by the original owner, a captain, who brought the prickly things back from a seafaring adventure during which he was ship-wrecked somewhere called Tenerife Islands.

No comment as to the reliability of a century-old saltwater story.

Nevertheless, another item I found is more intriguing – almost – than the Tenerife Mill: something called The Colvin House.

The only data about the house in the Protho account are its architectural features – that is to say, what‘s left of them. Which is to say, further, that the state of things at the Colvin House is a mite better than the ruins named the Marshall Wine House,  a heap of rocks with a lone stone-wall left, according to the photo in Protho’s book.

Still, The Colvin House is a mystery. On whose land is it (or was it) and is it still there and what, if at all, do the Fauquier Colvins have to do with it?

If you care to wade into the waters of the unknown and have some insight, I’m all ears.

Along with its image featured here, there are a few particulars given by Protho:

Age: Built 1830-1860.

Location: Upperville: reportedly built on a land grant that had originally belonged to John Ball. The main house [is] at Colvin farm. It’s VDHC (Virginia Dept. of Historical Resources) ID number is: (03-0763) I will no doubt need this when I contact them and pepper them with questions. Or if you have answers, email me at

Source: Williams, Kimberly Protho,A Pride of Place: rural residences in Fauquier County, Virginia, pp. 72,University of Virginia Press, 2003.


About Alex Colvin

Senior, History, minoring in Anthropology, University of Houston. Charter President, Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, (Webb UH Main 2014-2015) University of Houston. Additional credentials can be found in the CV / Services tab.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.