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Purcellville’s Amos Goodin House named National Historic Landmark

The Amos Goodin House in Purcellville. Times-Mirror/Elizabeth Stinnette
A contingent of local politicians, representatives of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Viking division of the Naval Sea Cadets were on hand for Saturday's dedication of the Amos Goodin House, a 19th-century fieldstone-and-log structure in Purcellville, as a national historic place.

The house looks as if it’s been standing strong for centuries, but its existence—and national register status—are due to a small team of neighbors who value Loudoun history.

“This is not just the marking of a house,” Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser said. “It’s the dedication of a … living museum.”

For property owner Matthew Parse and his wife, Brenda Morton, this living museum was seven years in the making.

When the couple bought the land in 2010, it was the “junk lot” of the Wright Farm neighborhood – a worn barn and farmhouse on a property crowded with undergrowth and trash. One wall of the Goodin House had collapsed, and the third floor was home to turkey buzzards. By law, Parse could do one of three things with the structure: build onto it, restore it or raze it.

From left, Kecia Brown, Barbara Allen, Matthew Parse and Brenda Morton in front of the National Register of Historic Places plaque. Times-Mirror/Elizabeth Stinnette

For Parse, who rebuilt an 18th-century home with his parents, the choice was simple.

“I’ve been working on old houses pretty much all my life,” he said. “It’s part of my DNA.”

Parse spent one year turning the barn into the family’s current home, and then spent the next two and a half years tackling the house.

“Anyone who saw the house at that point in time thought it was a wreck—except Matt,” Morton said of her husband. “He felt a sense of obligation to make this house alive.”

What Parse didn’t know is that the Goodin house was built by a Revolutionary War veteran who purchased the land from Mahlon Janney, son of Loudoun landowner Amos Janney, in 1760. The house is one of the earliest examples of “Loudoun Stuga” architecture, a style imported by Swedish settlers. While the structure officially dates to 1810, Parse believes that some of the building materials indicate it was constructed as early as 1775.

Parse saved as much of the house as he could, even salvaging bits of original wood for new baseboards. Today, the house enjoys modern conveniences for its current tenants, but smoke-stained roof beams and spacious fireplaces remain.

At an informal unveiling of the completed house a few years ago, neighbor and DAR member Kecia Brown offered to apply for the National Register of Historic Places. Two thick binders and hours of research later, Brown’s applications went through. She even found Barbara Allen, Goodin’s fifth great-granddaughter, and invited her to the dedication.

Besides getting a special plaque, registry status will help preserve the Goodin house for future generations. Kecia’s daughter, Alyssa Brown, who made a video about the house for her high school English class, is glad that this piece of Loudoun’s past still stands.

“We have a duty to these people,” she said.


Thank you do all of these great stewards of our history!

This is awesome! Thank you for keeping our history alive!

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