Wilton, Middlesex County, Virginia (37.529683, -76.423229

(a) Primary house Felling dates: Spring 1760, Winter 1760/1, Summer 1762, Winter 1762/3, Summer 1763, Winter 1763/4

(a) Stair string (2/2) 1762 (C), 1761; Stud (1/2) 1761 (½C); Staircase ledger (0/1); Floor joist (1/3) 1762 (½C); Ceiling joist (7/10) 1740, 1756, 1759 (½C), 1760 (C), 1762 (C), 1763 (C). Site Master 1597-1763 WLVx1 (t = 8.52 MONTP; 8.31 PIEDMO; 8.04 EYREHALL).

Wilton is a T-shaped brick house in Flemish bond topped by a gambrel roof with dormers in Middlesex County, Virginia. The five-bay front section features a front passage with a main room on either side, while the adjoining three-bay back section contains the staircase and two rooms divided by a double chimney stack. Dendrochronological analysis has shown that the original structure was built in one single phase from timbers that were felled and stockpiled over a three-and-a half-year span from the summer of 1760 through to the winter of 1763/4.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2013 The Tree-Ring Dating of Wilton, Middlesex County, Virginia , unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2013/02

Bowling Green

Library of Congress,  HABS VA,17-BOGR,1--1

BOWLING GREEN, The Old Mansion (38.043977, -77.347307)  

(a) Primary Phase: Front Range Felling dates: Winter 1738/9, Spring 1739, Summer 1740, Winter 1739/40, Winter 1740/41, Spring 1741, and Summer 1743

(b) Unprovenanced riven clapboards in west cellar Felling dates: After 1755

(c) Second Phase - Rear Wing Felling dates: Spring 1790 and Spring 1791

(a) Cellar partition studs (5/6) 1742(10½C), 1740(¼C), 1739(½C2, 11C); Partition sill 1740(24C); Principal rafters (3/6) 1738(½C, C2); Tiebeam (0/1); Common rafter (0/1). (b) Ex situ riven clapboards west cellar 1754(13), 1751(10), 1734. (c) Joists 1790(17¼C, 11¼C, ¼C2), 1789(8¼C), 1770(H/S). Site Masters (oak) 1570-1790 OMBx1 (t = 9.5 PIEDMONT; 9.4 MONTP; 8.2 WATCH; 8.1 BPR); (pine) 1614-1738 OMBx2 (t = 4.4 VA023; 4.0 PA004; 3.7 EYREHALL; 3.6 VA025).
Link to Historic American Buildings Survey site for this building here.

Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 20067 “ The Tree-Ring Dating of the Old Mansion, Bowling Green, Virginia”, ODL unpubl rep 2006/52 Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory Interim Report 2008/05

HEADQUARTERS FARM, Crozet, Albemarle Co;
 (38º 208.81N; 78º 675.92W)

(a) West wing cellar ceiling timbers Felling dates: Winter 1836/7 and Spring 1837

(b) West wing roof timbers Felling dates: Spring 1837

(c) East brick-built wing roof timbers Felling dates: Winter 1836/7

(a) Sill beams (2/3) 1836(24¼C, 22¼C); Floor joists 1836(28C, 2¼C, 1778). (b) Ceiling joists/collars 1836(4¼C, 1¼C3, 1730); Rafters (3/4) 1836(7¼C, 1755, 1732). (c) Collars 1836(19C, 16C, 10C, 5C), 1810; Rafters 1836(18C, 17C, 1C), 1832(9), 1802.

Site Master 1630-1836 HQFx1 (t = 11.8 WATCH; 8.0 VA009; 7.2 VA016).

Ex situ timbers from Yates Schoolhouse Felling date range: Shortly after 1815 Sill beams 1815, 1812, 1778; logs 1810, 1791.

Site Master 1643-1815 HQFx2 (t = 12.5 WATCH; 8.7 ALLENS; 8.6 PIEDMONT).

Hale Cabin Felling dates: Winter 1828/9 and early spring 1829

Joists 1828(14¼C, 8C), 1794, 1783; Rafters 1828(20¼C2). Site Master 1690-1828 HQFx3 (t = 8.0 WATCH; 6.8 VA016; 6.2 PIEDMONT).

Hay House Felling dates: Winter 1870/71, summer 1872, and winter 1872/3

Logs 1872(17C, 14C, 13C2, 12C), 1871(19½C, 15½C, 10½C, 1½C), 1870(13C).
Site Master 1715-1872 HQFx4 (t = 8.4 WATCH; 7.2 VA016; 7.1 PIEDMONT).

Rubush Hunting Cabin Felling dates: Winter 1850/51 and winter 1851/2 Logs 1851(14C, 13C), 1850(30C, 21C, 18C), 1849(10), 1841(4 + 8 NM), 1840(H/S), 1839(H/S2). Site Master 1661-1851 HQFx5 (t = 8.4 WATCH; 7.2 VA016; 7.1 PIEDMONT).

Three phases of construction from the main house at Headquarters Farm dated to between winter 1836/7 and spring 1837, suggesting that the brick-built east section was constructed first, followed immediately by the western timber-framed section. Five ex situ timbers from the demolished Yates Schoolhouse dated to shortly after 1815, while the Hale Cabin dated to the early spring of 1829. The Rubush Hunting Cabin dated to the winter of 1851/2, and the Hay House dated to the winter of 1872/3. It is likely that construction followed immediately the latest felling dates. Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2008 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Headquarters Farm, Yates Schoolhouse, the Hale Cabin, the Hay House, and the Rubush Hunting Cabin, Crozet, Albemarle County, Virginia’, unpubl ODL archive report 2006/05

Link to HistoryTech, LLC webpage for this building here.

SMOKEHOUSE, HEADQUARTERS FARM Crozet, Albemarle Co  (38º 20856N; 78º 67745W)

Felling dates: Summer 1810, Spring 1811, Winter 1811/12, and Spring 1812

Braces 1810(¼C3), 1809(16½C); Corner posts 1811(14¼C), 1810(14¼C); Stud 1811(18C).
Site Master 1648-1811 (oak) HQFx6 (t = 7.4 HQFx3; 6.8 HMHx2; 5.4 HQFx10).

Brightberry Farmhouse (38º 20894N; 78º 6728W)

(a) Primary cellar ceiling timbers Felling date: Spring 1790

(b) North-west Federal wing Felling dates: Summer/autumn 1818 and Winter 1818/19

(c) North-east wing and hipped roof Felling date: Winter 1853/4

(a) Joists 1789(16¼C), 1739, 1725, 1714, 1703, 1691; Cross-beam 1754. (b) Brace 1818(C); Rafters (4/5) 1818(C2), 1817(½C), 1767; Joist 1696; Cross-beam (0/1). (c) Cellar joists 1853(C), 1852(12), 1842(8C NM), 1829(2+16C NM), 1807; Rafters (4/6) 1826(+23C), 1781, 1779(3+4 NM), 1761.

Site Master 1571-1829 (oak) HQFx7 (t = 10.8 WATCH; 8.1 BPR; 8.0 PIEDMONT).

Mount Fair, Crozet, Albemarle Co (38º 16509N; 78º 67855W)

(a) Main House Felling dates: Summer 1847, Winter 1847/8, and Winter 1848/8

(c) Smoke House Felling dates: Summer/autumn 1835 and Winter 1835/6

Walnut Level: Corner block (38º 18663N; 78º 68833W)

Felling dates: Winter 1815/16 Joists(3/4) 1815(C3); Trimmer 1815(C). Site Master 1706-1815 (Tulip poplar) HQFx11 (t = 5.2 SOTx345; 5.1 UNAR; 5.1 HQFx7; 5.0 OMBx1).

Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2008 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Headquarters Farm Smokehouse, Brightberry Farmhouse, Walnut Level, and Mount Fair House and outbuildings, all in Browns Cove, Crozet, Albemarle County, Virginia’ unpubl ODL archive report 2008/39

Falling Creek Archaeology Site, Richmond, CHESTERFIELD COUNTY,  (37.439454, -77.4384)

Felling dates ranges: After 1712, after 1725, and 1760-70

Foundation timbers 1700, 1724; large timber block 1740; Stub of timber (0/1); Bottom rail (0/1)

Site Masters fct1 1563-1700 (t = 8.6 WVVAP; 7.4 TUVA; 4.0 PIEDMO; 3.7 MONTP); fct3 1518-1724 (t = 9.6 MONTP; 9.5 PIEDMO; 6.8 WVVAP; 6.7 TUVA); fct11 1644-1740 (t = 4.8 EYREHALL; 4.8 VA021; 4.7 OMB; 4.5 WATCH).

Falling Creek Ironworks was established in 1619 by the Virginia Company of London in Henrico Cittie (sic) on Falling Creek, near its confluence with the James River. It was the first iron production works in North America, although it was short-lived due to an attack by Native Americans in 1622 (Wikipedia). A long-buried timber structure was found exposed during heavy rains during the winter of 2007, and were thought to have related to this early 17th century ironworks. However, dendrochronology has shown that the timbers date from the middle of the 18th century, and are either a later phase of rebuilding, or relate to an entirely different structure altogether. It probably relates to the forge built by Archibald Cary that operated from 1750 to 1781. Worthington, M J, and Miles, D W H 2007 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Falling Creek Archaeology Site, Chesterfield County, Virginia’, unpubl ODL archive report 2007/15

Link to Falling Creek Ironworks Foundation webpage for this site here.

EYRE HALL, Cheriton,
Northampton County, Virginia (37.313366, -75.980844)

Felling dates:

Winter 1756/7 and Winter 1758/9 (Main House)
Winter 1805/6 and Winter 1806/7 (East Wing)
After 1757 (Dairy or Buttery)
Winter 1804/5 (Smoke House)

Site chronology produced: EYREHALL 1514-1806

Architectural description and historical documentation Eyre Hall consists of a two-storied gambrel-roofed house approximately 41 feet square with four porches of varying size, one on each side. A 20 foot wide wing extends 23 feet to the east, originally single storied, and which was later extended a further 34 feet at which time the whole 57’ wing was raised to two stories. In Whitelaw’s Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the earliest part of the building was considered to be the single storey 23’-long east wing, and thought to have been constructed in the 1760s. The same source also proposed that the main block was added between 1780 and 1796, and the east wing extended after 1805. The same theory is repeated in The Virginia Eastern Shore and Its British Origins by Forman in 1975. To the east of the east wing, there are two detached outbuildings, a smoke house to the north, and a dairy or buttery to the south. Buildings are shown in the same locations on Mutual Assurance Society insurance policies in 1796, and 1805, but the smokehouse is called a dairy in both instances. The buildings at Eyre Hall have been extensively studied by Michael Bourne and are detailed more fully in his report. As part of this study, he has proposed a different order of development in the house phasing to that published, with the original being the large square block dating from about 1760, the first eastern extension dating to before 1805, and the easternmost extension being constructed after 1805. In order to resolve the contradictory phasing theories, a thorough programme of dendrochronology was commissioned. To accomplish this, it was felt desirable to independently date the main gambrel-roofed block, both sections of the east wing, and to gain a fuller picture of the development of the grounds, a limited exercise on both the Dairy and the Smoke House. Miles, D H, 2003 “The Tree-Ring Dating of Eyre Hall, Cheriton, Virginia”, ODL unpubl rep 2003/8.

Wikipedia page for this building here.

GLOUCESTER COURTHOUSE, Gloucester (37.414721, -76.529431)

(a) Courthouse Felling dates: Winter 1765/6 37.415036, -76.529453

(b) Botetourt Hotel Felling dates: Summer 1800 and Winter 1800/1801 (37.414900, -76.528670)

(c) Debtors Prison Felling dates: Spring 1823 and Winter 1823/4 (37.415023, -76.529673)

(a) (poplar) Cripple rafter (2/3) 1765(C2); Dragon beam (2/3) 1765(C2); Rafter (0/1); Tiebeam (0/1). (b) (oak) Rafters 1800(8C,C3), 1798; Joists (3/4) (C3); (poplar) Collars (1/2) 1799(½C); Joists (1/3) 1800(C); Rafters (0/1); Inserted door jambs (0/2). (c) (oak) Rafter 1823(C); Joists 1823(34C, 21C, C2), 1822(15¼C). Site Masters 1702-1823 GLOx1 (oak) (t = 8.0 PIEDMONT; 6.9 EYREHALL; 6.6 MONTP); 1559-1800 GLOx2 (poplar) (t = 3.9 GLOx1; 3.8 HUTCH; 3.6 VA016).

The Gloucester County Courthouse is one of a dozen eighteenth-century courthouses that survive in Virginia. Like most public buildings of the late colonial period, the walls are laid in Flemish bond with glazed headers and compass-headed windows accentuated with gauged-and-rubbed work. Originally, the plan of this T-shaped building consisted of a central courtroom flanked on both sides by small, heated jury rooms. An advertisement in the Virginia Gazette in the spring of 1766 noted that magistrates would accept the lowest bid for the construction of a new courthouse on April 22nd, coinciding nicely with the tree-ring dates of winter 1765/6. The Botetourt Hotel is a large, two-storey brick tavern over 150 ft long and including a piazza along its entire front elevation. Built on three levels, service activities took place in the basement, whilst the ground floor included a taproom and dining rooms as well as the private accommodation for the tavern keeper. The upper floor included a large assembly room as well as a series of private rooms. Although there was a brick tavern advertised in the 1770s, the roof timbers have consistently given felling dates between summer 1800 through the winter of 1801/2. This would suggest that either the roof, or the entire tavern, has been re-built. No colonial Virginia prisons have survived and the one at Gloucester is among the earliest of a handful of structures that date from the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is a small, one-room building located near the colonial courthouse on court circle. The exterior of this heated prison consists of brick walls laid in Flemish bond on the front and 1:5 “American” bond on the back and sides. It has oak sleepers, ceiling joists, and studs that are laid on approximate nine-inch centres and sheathed with 1¼ inch-thick oak planks in order provide greater security. The tree-ring dates of 1823/4 fit well with the estimated date range of 1820 – 30. Mile D W H and Worthington M J, 2006 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of the Courthouse, Botetourt Hotel, and Debtors’ Prison at Gloucester Courthouse, Virginia’, archive report 2006/55

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, VA,37-GLO.V,2-2

WARE CHURCH, Gloucester,
(37.422691, -76.508492)

Felling dates: Winter 1717/18 and Winter 1718/19

Summer beams 1718(C2); Principal rafters (4/5) 1717(C4); Purlins 1717(C3).

Site Master 1501-1718 WRE (t = 5.6 SOTx45; 4.0 PA013; 3.9 EYREHALL; 3.5 VA023).

Standing a few miles east of Gloucester Courthouse, Ware Church is one of the largest parish churches erected in colonial Virginia. Measuring 40 feet in width by 80 feet in length, the plan of this brick building originally consisted of a double aisle with a central entrance on the west gable and chancel doors on both the eastern end of the south and north walls, an unusual arrangement for a Virginia church where there was generally only a single chancel door. The interior was completely gutted in the nineteenth century and reworked again in the twentieth century so that no original fabric except a small west gallery survives from the colonial period. Fortunately a principal rafter roof remains intact. The roof is unusual for the fact that it is not a true king post truss, but instead relies on long angled struts (shorter ones are typical of principal rafter roofs with great spans) and a central post that rises between tie beam and collar to simulate a king-post arrangement. This is the earliest known attempt in Virginia to transition from a conventional principal rafter system to king-post-like framing. The architectural significance of Ware Church is its transitional brickwork. The building has traditionally been assumed to date somewhere between the 1690s and the 1720s; its provisional tree-ring date of 1718/19 makes it one of the earliest surviving examples of the “neat and plain” style of brickwork characteristic of building practices from the 1710s through the end of the colonial period. Laid in Flemish bond with glazed headers above and below a beveled water table, the exterior also features gauged-and-rubbed work around compass-headed windows and pedimented frontispieces at the chancel entrances on both the north and south walls. However, the primary entrance on the west façade is not pedimented and is instead enframed by a compass-headed opening of gauged-and-rubbed bricks that extend out at the spring of the arch to form a slightly projecting hood of molded bricks. This treatment is not found in later Virginia churches, the most elaborate of which have segmental pedimented frontispieces. Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2006 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Ware Church, Gloucester County, Virginia’, unpubl ODL archive report 2006/56

Montpelier Station, Mansion ( 38.220566, -78.167746)

Felling dates: Autumn 1762, Winter 1762/3, and Spring 1763

King post strut 1762(29C); Queen strut 1762(36C); Principal rafter 1762(23C); Cellar ceiling joists 1762(29¼C, 25½C), 1761(22½C), 1745, 1740; Attic ceiling joist (0/1); Tiebeam, Dragon beam, king posts (pine 0/4).

Site Master 1580-1762 MTP (t = 8.5 MONTP; 5.1 PIEDMONT; 5.7 OMBx1; 5.4 EYREHALL).

Montpelier is the second mansion to occupy the 2,750 acre estate belonging to the Madison family. The first phase of the house, built by James Madison Sr in 1763, consists of a three-storey central block including a full basement, all in brick. The plan is traditional in form and includes 4 rooms on each floor with a central passage, a hipped roof, and interior end chimneys. Between 1797 and 1800 James Madison, Jr. extended the house to the north to provide self-contained living quarters for himself and his wife Dolley. The portico was erected on the west side unifying both parts of the house. Between 1809 and 1812, after being elected President, James Madison, Jr. extended the house with single-storey wings with unusual ridge-and-furrow felted roofs. He also constructed a rear colonnade and reorganised the interior to serve two households, with a shared, central, public block. Following Madison’s death in 1836, the house was sold and between 1844 and 1901 several subsequent owners improved the house, including rendering the exterior and carrying out internal alterations. The most radical of the alterations were ordered by William and Annie duPont in 1901, who more than doubled the size of the house. In 1983 the house was bequeathed to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and starting in 2001 the extensive duPont additions were demolished. The house is currently being restored to its 1820s appearance. A total of 14 timbers were sampled, 10 of oak and 4 of pine. Of the oak samples, 4 were from the attic floor and roof structure, and 6 from the basement ceiling beams and joists. All but two of the oak timbers sampled dated, and six of these had complete sapwood. These produced precise felling dates ranging from summer/autumn 1762 to spring 1763. This latest felling date was from a basement ceiling joist, suggesting that construction begun in 1763. Four samples were taken from pine roof timbers – two kingposts, a dragon beam, and a tiebeam. Most retained complete sapwood, but despite three being combined to form a 108-year chronology, it failed to date with any other pine chronologies. Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2006 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Montpelier, Montpelier Station, Orange County, Virginia , unpubl ODL archive report 2006/19.
Link to Montpelier Mansion's webpage here.

The Gardener’s House, Mount Vernon, Fairfax (38.709726, -77.081881)

Felling dates: Winter 1775/6

Ceiling joists 1775(C4), 1770; Trimmer 1775(C); Centre post 1775(C); Centre post 1775(5C).

Site Master 1680-1775 MTVx2 (t = 5.6 FORES; 4.7 EYREHALL; 4.3 MTVx1).

The building now known as the Gardener’s House was originally erected as a hospital for ailing slaves and servants. A series of documentary references indicate that construction was underway by November 1775, and that the building probably was completed by the following spring. As such, its construction was part of a major building campaign -- consisting of demolishing and replacing the great majority of the plantation outbuildings – that was initiated by George Washington just before he left to command the American troops in the Revolutionary War. Records indicate that 10 years later the building had been pressed into service in support of the plantation cloth making operation. Finally, in 1792 it was being used as a domestic space, and in July 1793 it was converted to serve as a residence for the Gardener and his family. There are remarkably few references to the function of the building over the next century, although in 1886 at least part of the structure apparently had been converted as a “post office.” By 1893 the function of the Gardener’s House had changed once again, this time to provide quarters for the Estate security guards on the second floor and in two of the first floor rooms, with the remaining room on the first floor serving as the “guard office.” The building continued to act as the nerve center of the Estate’s overall security network until 2005, when a new structure was built to take over that function. In the fall of that year work began to restore the building to its 18th-century appearance, and it is scheduled for completion by the spring of 2007. At that time the building will be opened to the public for viewing as the restored quarters for Mount Vernon’s Gardener. Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2006 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of the Gardiner’s House, Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Fairfax County, Virginia’, unpubl ODL archive report 2006/20

The Mansion House cellar, Mount Vernon, Fairfax

Felling dates: Spring 1732, Summer 1733, and Spring 1734

Sill beam 1732(16½C); Transverse beam 1731(26¼C); Central summer beam 1732(28½C); Joists 1733(22¼C, 23¼C).

Site Master 1513-1733 mtv215 (t = 6.6 MTVx1; 6.3 MONTP; 6.3 PIEDMONT). 

The first evidence that members of the Washington family resided at Mount Vernon dates to 1735, when George Washington’s father, Augustine, is listed as residing in the area. The early history of Mount Vernon is only poorly understood, but a house is likely to have been built on the site of the present Mansion by that date (1735). The structure was passed down to George Washington’s elder half-brother, Lawrence, who may have substantially rebuilt the house some time in the 1740s. This event is marked by a stone -- emblazoned with the initials “LW” -- that is set into a partition wall in the basement. Although it is impossible to know for certain, Lawrence Washington may have decided to expand the building only a decade after its construction in order to adopt a more modern floor plan. Whether completely rebuilt or only modified, at this point the dwelling was one and one-half stories, with four rooms and a central passage on the first floor, with another four rooms on the level above. George Washington acquired Mount Vernon after Lawrence’s death in 1752, and began expanding his brother’s house in 1758. He raised it to two and one-half stories, added exterior closets to either gable, and upgraded the interior finishes and furnishings. In 1774 he began a second, more extensive building campaign, adding a wing to the south that accommodated his study on the first floor, his and Martha Washington’s bedroom on the second level, and a storage room above. When he left in the spring of 1775 to serve in the Second Continental Congress, and ultimately to fight in the Revolutionary War, the completion of this wing, and the other planned additions to the house that were carried out over the next eight years, were left to his plantation manager and cousin, Lund Washington. In 1775 the interior of the Small Dining Room was completely renovated, with the addition of an ornate plaster ceiling and an elaborate carved mantel and plaster overmantel. In 1776 Lund Washington began construction of the north addition, which accommodated a two-story dining room and a store room above. The following year the piazza, a highly unusual double-height porch supported by eight pillars, was added running the length of the east façade of the house. A pediment and a cupola were added to provide a strong central axis to divert attention from the asymmetry of the west front that was the result of the various building campaigns. Finally, curving open colonnades were built to link the Mansion with the Kitchen and Servant’s Hall dependencies. Drawn from a description by Dennis J Pogue, PhD, revised 17 October 2006. Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2006 ‘ The Tree-Ring Dating of timbers from the Mansion House cellar, Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Fairfax County, Virginia, unpubl ODL archive report 2006/20.

Link to Mount Vernon's webpage here.

The Spinning House, Mount Veernon, Fairfax
(38.708461, -77.086258)

Felling dates: Winter 1763/4, Autumn 1764, Winter 1764/5, Autumn 1765, and Spring 1767

Sill beam 1763(28C); Principal posts 1766(¼C), 1763(½C), 1764(C, ½C), 1755; Cellar ceiling joists (0/4).

Site Master 1555-1764 MTVx1 (t = 7.7 PIEDMONT; 5.7 OMBx1; 5.0 EYREHALL; 4.3 BPR).

The Spinning House is one of a collection of outbuildings that served the needs of plantation life at Mount Vernon. These outbuildings were largely constructed during a building campaign begun by George Washington just before the Revolution in 1775. It is of two rooms with an asymmetrically-placed chimney between, and is a storey-and-a-half over a full English basement. The structure is of timber frame construction with principal posts and interrupted first-floor girts, and the roof does not employ a false plate, unlike the other, later, outbuildings in the group. There is some documentary evidence surviving to support the dendrochronological dates. The building does not appear on Lawrence Washington’s 1753 probate inventory, and it is not until 1776 when the first written reference to the actual building appear in a letter from George Washington to his plantation manager Lund Washington. This document implies the Spinning House was pre-existing at the time. In 1767 Washington orders spinning wheels and appears to be expanding his textile production, which is interesting, given the spring 1767 latest felling date, suggesting construction during 1767. Compiled from notes by Dennis Pogue, Associate Director for Preservation, who commissioned the study on behalf of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2005 “The Tree-Ring Dating of the Spinning House, Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Fairfax County, Virginia”, ODL unpubl rep 2005/29

Trees from the estate, Mount Vernon, Fairfax (38.708512, -77.087771)

Summary: During 2004 and 2005 some 40 trees were sampled in the gardens and surrounding Estate at Mount Vernon, of which 38 produced usable core samples. Of these, 11 were from on or around the Bowling Green, 3 from the area in front of the Mansion on the top of the escarpment overlooking the Potomac, with 5 more on or below the escarpment itself. A further 7 trees were sampled in the woodland to the east of the Mansion, 3 to the north, and 9 to the west at the top of the steep escarpment. Of the trees sampled, 16 were oaks, predominantly White oaks (Quercus alba), with a few other varieties including the Swamp chestnut oak (Q. michauxii Nutt), Red oak (Quercus rubra ), and Chestnut oak (Quercus prinus). Two White ash (Fraxinus americana) were sampled, as well as 5 Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), 4 Pitch pine (Pinus rigida Mill.), 4 American holly (Ilex opaca), and one each of Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus), Mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa), White mulberry (Morus alba), Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), American Beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.), and American elm (Ulmus minor Mill). The oak trees were cross-matched and 15 were found to match each other, producing a 220-year chronology extending back to 1786 and providing a replicated, independently-dated reference chronology to cross-check some of the other species as well as provide a chronology to date later oak structures within the immediate vicinity of Fairfax County. Of particular interest were to try and determine which trees were possibly propagated by George Washington during his improvements to the gardens and Estate at Mount Vernon. A total of 10 were determined to be old enough to date from this period of pre-1799, one from the western escarpment might even pre-date the tenure of George Washington. On the Bowling Green, two trees were determined to have been planted during the George Washington era: an Eastern hemlock and a Yellow-poplar, both located on the eastern side of the green. A second Yellow-poplar on the western side of the green is of equal size and although not sampled, it is almost inconceivable to imagine it not being coeval as the one sampled. Although it was not possible to prove it through the dendrochronology due to an area of decay within the tree, a White mulberry is most likely to predate 1800. On the eastern side of the Mansion, two of the oak trees sampled were also determined to have been planted during this period, if not earlier. Outside the historic core surrounding the Mansion, a number of oaks and pines, mainly to the west along the steep escarpment were found to have a number of trees dating to the period of GW. This is of interest, as it might relate to a scheme of planting that has survived to this day. One of these, a Pitch pine, extended back about 300 years, predating any planting by GW. Although the core extracted during 2004 did not have more than 125 rings until a rot pocket was encountered, one taken some years ago by Dean Norton had about 300 growth rings. Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2006 “ The Tree-Ring Dating of Trees from the Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Fairfax County, Virginia ”, ODL unpubl rep 2006/34

R R Moton House, Rice, Prince Edward;  (Pleasant Shade Kitchen-Quarter) (37.273802, -78.290555)

Felling date: Winter 1745/6 Braces 1745(C), 1743, 1737;

Corner posts (0/2); Collar(0/1); Rafters (3/4) 1730, 1700, 1632.

Site Master 1564-1745 RRM (t = 7.1 TUVA; 6.2 WVVAP; 4.7 PHWV).

The centre-chimney kitchen-quarter at Pleasant Shade was the boyhood home of prominent African-American educator Robert Russa Moton in the late 19th century. It has a classic two-room plan, with exterior doors opening into the lower spaces, both of which have large work fireplaces. A single ladder leads up through unfinished space to an occupiable but unheated attic. Close observation reveals that the building began as a higher-status 18th-century house, probably built for a white landowner, and was remodelled and possibly moved to provide service to the main house at Pleasant Shade, itself a relatively small planter's house. In its earliest form, the secondary building had centred front and rear doors, opening into a hall from which a stair ran along an off-centre partition. The house had a steep gable roof with tilted false plates, a means of roof framing that fell from prominence for house construction in late colonial Virginia. Ceiling joists were planed, beaded, and left exposed, an approach that declined for houses of this scale in south-central Virginia in the early 19th century. Given these factors and the era when planters settled Prince Edward County, the building was thought to date to the 3rd quarter of the 18th century. Thus the single felling date of 1745/6 is slightly earlier, and hence significant. Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2006 “The Tree-Ring Dating of the R R Moton House, Pleasant Shade Kitchen-Quarter, Rice, Prince Edward County, Virginia”, ODL unpubl rep 2006/59

Link details about Robert Russa Moton here.

St John’s Church, East Broad Street, Richmond (37.532062, -77.419641)

(a) West transept roof Felling dates: Winter 1743/4 and Summer 1744

(b) Repair to floor Felling date: Summer 1813

(c) Reconstruction of north wing Felling date: Winter 1829/30

(d) Replacement of floor to transepts Felling dates: Winter 1849/50 and Summer 1850

(a) Tiebeam 1743(½C); Ceiling joists 1743(C,½C2), 1742; Wind-brace 1740. (b) Sill beam 1812(½C). (c) Collars (2/3) 1829(C), 1718; Rafters 1779, 1775, 1756; Floor joists (1/2) 1820. (d) Floor joists 1849(C2, ½C).

Site Master 1556-1849 SJC (Pine) (t = 10.9 WVVAP; 10.6 TUVA; 8.9 BAC, 7.72 PIEDMONT).

St John’ Church is the oldest surviving church in Richmond and is a National Historic Landmark as the venue of Patrick Henry’s famous speech. It originally consisted of an east-west linear church, to which was later added a north and south wing. The orientation was then changed with the north wing forming the nave or body of the church, and the altar placed in the southern extension. The west end of the primary core of the building was sampled and produced felling dates of winter 1743/4 and summer 1744, slightly later than the traditional 1741 construction date. Documentary sources suggest that the north wing was built in two stages, and the purpose of the dendrochronology was to try and determine if anything survived from the first northern extension thought to date from the 1770s. The analysis however suggested that any earlier wing was pulled down completely and reconstructed shortly after 1830. Finally, replacement floor joists from the original core of the church were found to date to 1850, consistent with documentary evidence of re-pewing at that time. Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2008 “The Tree-Ring Dating of St John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia”, ODL unpubl rep 2008/36

Link St. John's Church webpage here.

Brockenbrough, King Street, Port Royal, Caroline County (38.170467, -77.191083)

Felling dates: Winter 1777/8, Spring 1778, Summer 1778

Principal rafters 1777(18C, 17C), 1773(13), 1770(10); Strut 1777(21C, 16C); Rafter brace 1771(7); Summer beams 1777(30¼C, 18½C); Joist (0/1); Purlins (Tulip poplar) 1777(C2); Rafters (Tulip poplar) (0/2). Site Master 1481-1777 BPR (t = 8.1 OMBx1; 7.3 MONTP; 6.7 WATCH). 

Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2006 “The Tree-Ring Dating of Brockenbrough House, King Street, Port Royal, Virginia ”, ODL unpubl rep 2006/51

Adam Keeling House, 3157 Adam Keeling Road, Virginia Beach, (36.90058,-76.067229)

Felling dates: Summer 1734 and Winter 1734/5

Mantelbeams 1733(28½C), 1718; Ground floor transverse beams 1734(14C), 1719(36); Rafters (5/6) 1734(C4), 1709.

Site Masters 1556-1734 KELx1 (Oak) (t = 4.6 MONTP; 4.6 PIEDMONT; 4.5 EYREHALL), 1650-1734 KELx2 (Tulip-poplar) (t = 3.8 KELx1).

The Keeling House is one of a significant group of small brick dwellings that were built in Princess Anne County in what is now present-day Virginia Beach, Virginia. This assemblage of dwellings—including the Thoroughgood, Lynnhaven, and Weblon houses—have traditionally been dated to the seventeenth century, but scholarship over the past several decades has shown them to be part of improved gentry housing in the lower Chesapeake that emerged in the 1710s, ‘20s and ‘30s. The Keeling House is a particularly fine example of this building type given its superb brickwork, centre-passage plan, and refined woodwork. All in the group of houses are of a single story with chambers in the attic and are laid out with a hall and parlour on the ground story. The more advance of them, such as the Keeling House, include a centre passage. Likewise, the Keeling House and the better dwellings have fireplaces in all four rooms. Keeling’s brickwork is among the best of the group, with glazed-header Flemish bond walls that are contrived to form rakes of headers in the upper gables. Although a rather old fashioned segmental arch with alternating glazed headers are used for one of the doorways, the window openings are supported by gauged-and-rubbed jack arches, despite having little exposure between the window heads and the wall cornice. The interior woodwork of the Keeling House is sparse by later standards, yet its close-string staircase with moulded stair nosings, loosely proportioned Georgian handrail, classical balusters, and a stair stringer with a pulvinated frieze shows it to be one of the most up-to-date of the group. The fireplace wall of the hall includes ceiling-height panelling with pilasters flanking the chimney. This panelled wall also forms the closet fronts, spaces that are lit in a manner common to the region with small, gable windows. This housing group is the forerunner of the grander and more elaborate two-story, double-pile brick mansions of the gentry after the mid-eighteenth century. Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2006 “ The Tree-Ring Dating of the Adam Keeling House, Virginia Beach, Virginia”, ODL unpubl rep 2006/57

Adam Thoroughgood House, Virginia Beach (36.893533, -76.113916)

(a) Pine structural timbers Felling dates: After 1703

(b) Oak roof clapboards Felling dates: After 1716

(a) Rafters (5/7) 1703, 1681, 1680, 1650, 1622; Collar 1644; Floor joists 1676, 1671, 1668, 1651, 1643; Front plate 1651. (b) Roof clapboards (12/14) 1716, 17133, 1712, 1710, 1707, 1701, 1697, 1694, 1678, 1666. Site Masters (a) 1551-1703 ATHx1 (pine) (t = 7.9 WVVAP; 4.1 VA021; 4.8 TUVA; 3.6 PIEDMONT), (b) 1608-1716 ATHx2 (oak) (t= 5.8 VA021; 4.1 PIEDMONT; 3.9 MONTP).

The building is a one story, single pile brick house that is laid out on a two-room, center-passage plan. Center passages, while known as early as the 1690s in Virginia, are rare locally until the 1720s. The scale of the building when combined with its brick detailing makes it part of a small group of Chesapeake buildings erected between ca. 1720 and 1750, dwellings that were foreshadowing the larger brick mansions of the late colonial period. Although clapboard roofs were the staple covering of 17th-century houses, they continued in routine use throughout the colonial period, most notably seen on the ca. 1749 roof of the Benjamin Waller House in Williamsburg and should not be considered an oddity here. Perhaps the most important datable feature in the house is its tilted false plates. These first show up in the region in the mid 1710s; that at Sotterley in Southern Maryland, recently tree-ring dated to 1715, is now the earliest known example. A recent analysis of archaeological evidence on the Thoroughgood site by Nicholas Luccketti of the James River Institute for Archaeology (based on a new survey and re-examination of Floyd Painter’s 1965 excavations) failed to produce evidence of 17th-century usage of the site and instead indicates that first significant historical occupation occurred in the second quarter of the 18th century. While earlier writers were predisposed to date the Thoroughgood House sometime between 1640 and 1680 depending on their reading of the documentary record, contemporary knowledge of Chesapeake colonial building practices plainly demonstrates that the dwelling is conceptually 18th century in plan, form and detail. Several key features suggest that the most plausible date of construction for the house is about 1720, based on the probate documentary evidence of 1719 suggesting that the house was in the process of being built, and strongly supported by the terminis post quem date of after 1703 for the pine structural timbers, and after 1716 for the oak roof clapboards. Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2005 “The Tree-Ring Dating of the Adam Thoroughgood House, Virginia Beach, Virginia”, ODL unpubl rep 2005/15

Lynnhaven House, 4405 Wishart Road, Virginia Beach, Princess Anne County

Felling dates: Winter 1722/3, Summer 1724, and Winter 1724/5

Cellar ceiling joists 1724(41C, 36C2, 30C), 1723(34½C), 1722(58C); Ground floor ceiling joist 1721(+2-3C NM); Rafters 1724(C2), 1723(+1C NM), 1722, 1721(+2-3C NM),1709, 1677. Site Master 1577-1724 LVNx1 (pine) (t = 8.6 ATHx1; 6.8 WVVAP; 5.0 VA2008X; 4.5 VA021); 1535-1724 LVNx2 (oak) (t = 7.5 VA2008X; 7.1 VA021; 6.9 KELx1; 5.6 ATHx2).

The Lynnhaven House is one of a significant group of small brick dwellings that were built in Princess Anne County in what is now present-day Virginia Beach, Virginia. This assemblage of dwellings—including the Thoroughgood, Keeling, and Weblon houses—have traditionally been dated to the seventeenth century, but scholarship over the past several decades has shown them to be part of improved gentry housing in the lower Chesapeake that emerged in the 1710s, ‘20s and ‘30s. The Thoroughood House (documentary date of 1720) and Keeling House (dendro date of 1734/5), were the subjects of previous studies in 2004 and 2005 respectively. The Lynnhaven House is a brick-built in English bond with projecting gable-end chimnneys. It is of one-and-a-half storeys with two rooms on each floor, as well as a cellar below. The roof framing is of pine, as are the main ceiling joists, whilst the cellar ceiling joists are all white oak. The oak joists were previously sampled by Dr Jack Heikkenen in the early 1980s who dated them to the winter of 1724/5. The pine was not sampled at this time. During the current study additional oak samples were taken as well as sampling the pine in the roof. Both the oak and the pine produced precise felling dates ranging from winter 1722/3 to winter 1724/5, confirming the earlier work of Heikkenen. Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2007 “The Tree-Ring Dating of the Lynnhaven House, Virginia Beach, Virginia”, ODL unpubl rep 2006/06

The Brush-Everard House, Williamsburg (37.273216, -76.701640)

Felling dates: Winter 1718/19 and Spring 1719

Stair trimmer at landing level 1718(C); Cleats 1718(C), 1698; Treads/boards (1/5) 1718(½C); Strings 1693(+7 heartwood rings NM), 1663; Landing joists (2/3) 1701, 1695. Site Master 1593-1718 BEH (t = 5.4 VAPINE; 5.1 PHWV; 4.9 ATHx1; 4.7 WVVAP; 4.7 TUVA).

The Thomas Everard House, on Palace Green, is one of Williamsburg’s most intact buildings from the colonial period. As restored, it is a 1-1/2 story, five-bay, frame house with a centre-passage, single-pile main block built in 1718 and a rear wing to the north-east built a couple of years later. It has a well-appointed interior, with wainscoting in all three front rooms and a generous staircase with ornately carved brackets. The Everard House was built for gunsmith John Brush and renovated by Thomas Everard in the 1750s and 1760s. Between these two major building episodes, however, the house’s complex evolution has been a long-standing puzzle. In the 1940s, Albert Kocher and Howard Dearstyne hypothesised that the stair and passage panelling were later additions, based on their dissimilarity to the panelling in the two main rooms. More recently, Willie Graham and Mark R. Wenger confirmed that the stair and its panelling were indeed not original, noting that the stair blocks an original door opening at the back of the passage. As important, they found no evidence for an earlier stair, suggesting that access to the second floor was initially via a steep ladder, rising from the rear. The date of the stair, however, has been impossible to determine with any precision. Paint evidence indicates that it was in place, and painted red-brown, before Thomas Everard’s first remodelling campaign of the 1750s. The similarity of its brackets to those at Tuckahoe, dated 1733, and Carter’s Grove, dated 1755, would seem to suggest that it was installed no earlier than the 1730s. If this were true, however, the passage would have remained unfinished and without a permanent stair for at least a decade, and perhaps as much as a quarter century. The dendrochronology has shown that the staircase was in fact installed as part of the same phase of construction as the northern rear wing in about 1720, completing the ensemble. Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2006 “The Tree-Ring Dating of Staircase Timbers from the Brush-Everard House, Williamsburg, Virginia ”, ODL unpubl rep 2006/49 Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory Interim Report 2006/58

The President’s House, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg (37.271090, -76.708442)

Felling dates: Winter 1783/4 and Summer 1784

Principal rafters (2/3) 1756(+24¼C NM), 1754; Common rafters 1783(C2); Joist 1783(½C); Tiebeam 1724; Lower purlin 1783(C); Hip rafter 1783(½C). Site Master 1626-1783 PHWV (t = 9.2 WVVAP; 7.4 TUVA; 5.1 BEH).


Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2006 “ The Tree-Ring Dating of the President’s House, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia ”, ODL unpubl rep 2006/58

Rose Hill, Frederick County, Winchester (Lat 39.151373, Long -78.220250)

(a) Primary log house Felling dates: Winter 1791/2, Winter 1792/3, Spring 1793, Winter 1796/7

(b) West addition Felling date: Winter 1828/9

(c) North addition Felling date: Undated Pine  

(a) Logs (7/8) 1778, 1780, 1791 (C) 1792 (C); Studs (7/7) 1792 (¼C); Joist (1/1) 1796 (C). (b) Joists (4/8), 1747, 1793, 1828 (C). (c) Joists (0/4); Ex-situ timber (0/1) Site Master 1671-1828 RHVx1 (t = 10.45 MD2011; 9.23 HQFx2; 9.22 DC-AREA).

Rose Hill is a large multi-phase historic house belonging to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. It consists of a two-room, two-story primary phase log structure with a large brick addition to the west and a later stone addition to the north. Dendrochronology was commissioned to aid in interpretation of the structure as part of an ongoing restoration project.

Initial results for the dendrochronological analysis show that the logs for the primary phase of the building were felled from the winter of 1791/2 through to the spring of 1793. Stockpiling of timbers over a period of two or three years for the construction of large buildings is relatively common, with the felling dates indicating that the primary phase of the building was constructed in the spring of 1793 or shortly thereafter. One of the floor joists from the first floor, however, provided a felling date of winter 1796/7, which seems to suggest that the internal divisions were inserted several years after the construction of the exterior walls of the building, an unusual detail that might merit further investigation. Samples taken from the west addition provided a precise felling date of the winter of 1828/9, while the samples from the north addition have so far failed to date.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2012 The Tree-Ring Dating of Rose Hill, Winchester, Virginia, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2012/02. 


Slave Quarters, Four Square Plantation, Isle of Wight Co (36.96426, -76.6892)

(a) South (right-hand) cabin Felling date: Winter 1788/9

(b) North (left-hand) cabin Felling date: Winter 1829/30

(a) Corner posts 1788C; Door posts (1/2) 1788(C); Ceiling joists (1/2) 1783; Rafter (0/1); Wall-plate (0/1). (b) Corner posts (0/3); Ceiling joist (0/1); Floor joists 1829(C), 1786; Brace (0/1). Site Masters (a) 1576-1788 FSQx1 (pine) (t = 5.3 SJC; 4.8 WVVAP; 4.8 LVNx1; 4.6 fct1); (b) 1728-1829 FSQx2 (pine) (t = 6.9 VA021; 6.6 BAC; 6.0 LGN).

This slave quarter is comprised of two framed single-celled cabins with garrets supported on brick piers. The southern cabin is as constructed, incorporating some timbers felled in 1788/9, although these may have been reused from a previous building as the present structure was thought to have been constructed circa 1810, shortly after the main plantation house was built. The north cabin was constructed from timbers felled in 1829/30, and was subsequently moved and attached to the existing southern cabin.

Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2009 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Eight Virginia Slave Buildings’, unpublished ODL archive report 2009/05.


Arcola Slave Quarters, Loudoun Co (38.946844, -77.528538)

(a) West Duplex Felling date: Winter 1811/12 and Spring 1813

(b) East Duplex Felling date: Winter 1844/5

(a) Ceiling joists (5/7) 1812 (¼C3), 1802, 1793; Rafter 1802 (+9 NM); Door lintel 1811(C); Stud 1754. (b) Ceiling joists (8/10) 1844(C5), 1842, 1835, 1823(+22 NM). Site Master 1570-1844 ARC (oak) (t = 7.0 VA2008x; 6.9 WATVA; 6.7 PIEDMONT; 6.7 UTCx1).

This one-story stone, gable-roofed building consists of a pair of duplexes, each with two first-floor rooms. The rooms were once separate compartments, each accessed via single doorways set in the south façade. The western duplex was built first around 1813, which also included a small cellar under the western room with external door. This building was then extended to the east in 1845 by a further two rooms.

Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2009 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Eight Virginia Slave Buildings’, unpublished ODL archive report 2009/05.


Cabin, Walnut Valley Plantation, Surry Co (37.14034, -76.723387)

Felling date: Spring 1815 and Winter 1815/16

Corner posts 1815 (20C), 1814(51¼C); Down braces (2/4) 1813(11), 1803(20); Door post 1812(15+3C NM); Chimney post (0/1); Door hinges (0/2). Site Master 1654-1815 WVY (oak) (t = 7.8 GLOx1; 5.5 VA2008x; 5.4 EYREHALL; 5.3 HQFx10).

This cabin, dating to 1816, is a frame, one-story, with an unheated garret, and supported by six brick piers. The walls are clad in beaded wooden weather boards. The first floor consists of a single room, with an exterior chimney. The north door is original, whilst the south doorway (slightly larger and off line with the north door) is a later alteration. A ladder stair currently is positioned in the north-west corner of the room, but evidence in the form of a surviving header indicates that the stair originally was placed in the opposite corner, overlapping slightly with the fireplace. Probably at the same time that the stairway was repositioned, the partition in the garret was shifted from the east to the west end of the structure. The door in the current partition is hung on a pair of large wooden hinges that are attached to the door using machine cut and headed nails.

Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2009 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Eight Virginia Slave Buildings’, unpublished ODL archive report 2009/05.


Cabin, Ben Lomond, Manassas, Prince William Co (38. 048767, -77.600215)

Felling date: Winter 1833/4 and Spring 1834

Floor joists 1833(14¼C, 14C2), 1827(5), 1793, Rafters (3/4) 1833(9C, 12C), 1822(2). Site Master 1735-1833 BLV (oak) (t = 7.9 VA2008x; 7.9 ARC; 7.5 HQFx2; 6.5 WATCH).

This one-story stone building, with a garret, originally consisted of two rooms on the first floor, each with an end chimney, and divided by a wooden partition. Each room is accessed directly from the outside via doorways placed on the east facade. A short door located in the north gable provided exterior access to the garret. Originally constructed circa 1834, the building was moved about 1979 from one side of the main house to its current location on the other side.

Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2009 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Eight Virginia Slave Buildings’, unpublished ODL archive report 2009/05.


Slave Cabin, Logan Farm, Ivor, Isle of Wight Co (36.9048, -76.8972)

(a) Re-used timbers Felling date: Winter 1785/6

(b) Present structure Felling date Winter 1837/8

(a) Ceiling joists 1785(C2), Door post 1785(C). (b) Studs 1837(C), 1826; Ceiling joists (0/1); Braces (1/2) 1784), Post (0/1); Corner post (0/1). Site Master 1702-1837 LGN (pine) (t = 6.2 BAC; 6.0 FSQx2; 5.7 SJC; 4.8 VA021).

This frame duplex of 1837/8 is of one story with an attic, under a gable roof covered with wooden shingles. It has horizontal siding and rests on brick piers. Each of the first-floor rooms is accessed via a single doorway located in the east facade, with an added third doorway in the west wall of the south room. A substantial brick-lined cellar is positioned beneath the south room in front of the hearth. The partition appears to be comprised of reused siding boards, and several of the structural members also appear to have been salvaged from an earlier structure dating to 1785/6. There is no stair to the attic, but empty mortises in the joists in the north room suggest its possible location. At present, a section of flooring covers the joists above the south room, but it is unclear whether the space was floored originally.

Worthington, M J, and Miles, D W H 2009 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Eight Virginia Slave Buildings’, unpublished ODL archive report 2009/05


Slave Quarters, Sherwood Forest Plantation, Stafford Co (38.788784 -77.506319)

Felling date: Winter 1845/6

Rafters (7/8) 1845(C2), 1833, 1822, 1801, 1770, Studs 1845(C2). Site Master 1739-1845 SHR (pine) (t = 9.3 ME024; 7.1 ME016; 5.4 NH003; 4.9 ME018).

This one-story frame building, with garret under a gabled roof, is oriented north-south. Framing methods and nail types, along with documentary evidence, suggests that the building was constructed between the 1830s and early 1850s, according well with the tree-ring date of 1846. Two rooms on the first floor share a central chimney of sandstone, and each room has a ladder stair to the garret. Dendro-provenancing suggests the white pine studs and rafters originated from around Maine.

Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2009 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Eight Virginia Slave Buildings’, unpublished ODL archive report 2009/05.


Slave Quarters, Spring Hill Farm, Culpeper Co.  (38.048767, -78.600215)

Felling date: Winter 1857/8 and Spring 1858

Rafters 1857(C, 15C2, 8C, 13C); Rails 1857(14¼C, 9C); wall plates 1857(13C, 11C); Girt 1853. Site Master 1759-1857 SPR (oak) (t = 8.1 HQFx; 7.8 VA2008x; 7.5 HQFx4; 7.0 HQFx2).

This one story with garret, timber-framed building is oriented north-south and is the more northerly of two surviving slave buildings. It dates to 1858 and has a rear, shed roof addition that likely dates to the antebellum period. The building’s exterior has board and batten vertical siding. Two rooms on the first floor share a central chimney and there are two corresponding unheated rooms in the garret, which also had a central partition of boards and battens, but with no communication between the rooms. Originally the building had separate doorways for each first-floor room on the east façade. Access to the garret was provided by a stair in each room situated against the building’s end walls and toward the western corner of each room.

Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2009 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Eight Virginia Slave Buildings’, unpublished ODL archive report 2009/05.

Bacon's Castle

Slave Quarters, Bacon's Castle Plantation, Surry Co.  (37.10658, -76.7229)

(a) Felling date: North (Left-hand side) Winter 1828/9

(a) Felling date: South (Right-hand extension) Winter 1847/8

(a) Ceiling joists 1828(C), 1807, 1788; Principal rafter (0/1); rafters (0/3). (b) Ceiling joists 1847(C), 1842; Rafters (0/3); Wall-plate (0/1); Studs (0/2); Post (0/1). Site Master 1730-1847 BAC (pine) (t = 8.9 SJC; 6.7 VA021; 6.6 FSQx2; 6.2 LGN).

This 1½ -story pine-framed duplex has a gable roof, horizontal siding, and two exterior end chimneys. The building rests on brick piers and has a porch centred on its front (west) façade that covers the three exterior doorways, one each for the two downstairs rooms, and a third that opens onto the central staircase providing access to the two garret rooms. The interior walls of the first floor rooms are covered with wood, butted planks in the south room and beaded siding in the north. Each of the garret rooms has a brick fireplace and gable-end windows. The building is the result of two phases of construction, with the earliest section to the north constructed circa 1829, and was extended southwards in about 1848.

Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2009 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Eight Virginia Slave Buildings’, unpublished ODL archive report 2009/05.

Wellington VA

Wellington, 7211 Wellington Neck Road, Franktown  (37.49183, -75.91165)

(a) Felling date: Primary house Spring 1763, Winter 1763/4

(a) Felling date: Secondary framed section After 1789

(a) Joists (5/8) 1762, 1763 (¼C, C); Crossbeams (2/2) 1729, 1747. (b) Brace (0/1); Post (3/3) 1781, 1786, 1789. Site Master 1611-1763 WNRVx1 (t = 9.96 EYREHALL; 9.89 MONTP; 9.53 PIEDMO). Site Master 1656-1789 WNRVx2 (t = 5.91 WNRVx1; 5.44 EYREHALL; 4.84 MONTP).

Wellington is a four-bay brick house, enlarged and improved with a later frame addition and further expansions to the south end of the building in the mid-19th century. A dendrochronological study of Wellington was undertaken in an attempt to date the primary and secondary ranges of the building.

Dendrochronological analysis has shown that the primary brick structure was built in the winter of 1763/4 or shortly thereafter, with the secondary framed structure added sometime after 1789.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2012 The Tree-Ring Dating of Wellington, Wellington Neck, Franktown, Virginia, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2012/08.

Bull Drive

5148 Bulls Drive, Cape Charles, Virginia (37.150355, -75.954486)

(a) Main House Felling date: Spring 1789

(a) Floor joists (3/8) 1788 (¼C), 1772; Crossbeams (1/2) 1788 (¼C). Site Master 1672-1788 BULx1 (t = 6.64 WLVx1; 6.61 EYREHALL; 6.11 WRNVx1). Individual timber 1618-1788 bul5 (t = 5.42 EYREHALL; 5.21 WRNVx1; 4.96 VA2011).

The house at 5148 Bulls Drive is a large timber-framed structure with oak timbers forming the lower level of the framing and pine timbers throughout the rest of the building. Dendrochronological analysis has shown that the original structure was built in the spring of 1789 or shortly thereafter.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2012 The Tree-Ring Dating of 5148 Bulls Drive, Cape Charles, Virginia, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2012/12


Burnham Davis House, 2109 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia (37.533476, -77.422139)

(a) Rear Wing Felling date: Winter 1859/60
(b) Main Block Felling date: Undated

(a) Joist (1/2) 1859 (C); Trimmer (0/1); Stud (0/1); Rafter (0/4)
(b) Joist (0/5); Rafter (0/1); Offcut (0/1).

The Burnham Davis House is located in the St. John's Historic District in Richmond, Virginia. The house is composed of a two-story main block with an attached single-story rear wing. The main block is a Greek Revival frame residence with a hipped roof and a single-bay portico with square columns. The rear wing, which measures approximately 12 x 24 feet, has a two-room plan with a central chimney stack. Dendrochronological analysis has shown that a single timber used in the construction of the rear wing was felled in the winter of 1859/60. The main block remains undated.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2012 The Tree-Ring Dating of Burnham Davis House, Richmond, Virginia, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2012/10

Morgantown House, Marshall, Virginia

Morgantown House, Marshall, Virginia (38.83674, -77.86775)

(a) Main House Felling date: Winter 1806/7, Spring 1807

(a) Logs (2/4) 1806 (C); Rafters (2/2) 1806 (¼ C); Single sample 1727-1806 (pine) mthv1a2 (t = 6.44 OMBx1; 6.18 shb2; 5.35 DC-AREA2); Single sample 1691-1806 (pine) mthv3 (t = 4.76 SJC; 4.34 FORES; 4.34 GLOx1); Site master 1693-1806 (oak) MTHVx2 (t = 5.85 MD2011; 5.69 PIEDMO; 5.40 ARC).

Morgontown House is a three bay, one-and-a-half story log house with a framed addition on the east end.

Dendrochronological analysis has shown that the original structure was built of yellow pine logs that were felled in the winter of 1806/7 and that the roof was built of oak timbers that were felled in the spring of 1807.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2013 The Tree-Ring Dating of Morgantown House, Marshall,
Virginia, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2013/10

Stone House Log Addition

Stone House Log Addition, Stephens City, Virginia (Long 39.08251, Lat -78.21864

(a) Primary phase of log addition Felling dates: Spring 1785, Winter 1785/6
(b) Secondary phase of log addition (raising of the walls) Felling dates: Winter 1803/4

(a) Logs (2/6) 1784 (¼C), 1785 (C); Posts (2/2) 1751, 1785 (C). (b) Logs (1/6) 1803 (C); Timbers in chinking (2/4) 1803 (C). Site Master 1725-1803 SHSVx1 (t = 5.70 MONOCACY; 5.37 ARC; 5.33 HQFx8). Site Master 1674-1785 SHSVx2 (t = 7.27 DC-AREA2; 6.59 ARC; 6.30 MD2011). Site Master 1664-1803 SHSVx3 (t = 6.73 MD2011; 6.39 DC-AREA2; 6.17 ANTIETAM).

The log addition to the Stone House in Stephens City, Virginia, was originally a three bay, one-and-a-half story structure butting against the original stone house. It was subsequently raised to its present height of a full two stories. A dendrochronological study was undertaken in an attempt to date the primary and secondary phases of this structure.

Dendrochronological analysis has shown that the primary log structure was built in the winter of 1785/6 or shortly thereafter, with the secondary raising of the log structure taking place in the winter of 1803/4 or shortly thereafter.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2013 The Tree-Ring Dating of Stone House Log Addition, Stephens City, Virginia, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2013/05

Picture Credit Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD Wikipedia

The Tanner House, LA CROSSE, Mecklenburg Co., Virginia (36.63843387, -78.11950296

(a) Main body of house Felling dates: Winter 1769/70

(b) Reconstruction of roof Felling dates: Winter 1818/19 and Spring 1819

(a) Braces 1769C3); Joists 1769(C2); Doorpost 1769(C); Studs(1/4) 1769(C); (b) Rafters 1818(C, ¼C2). Site Master (Pine) 1671-1818 TNR (t = 5.96 SJC; 5.75 VAPINEx1; 5.31 PHW; 4.39 LGN).

The Tanner House is a gambrel-roofed timber-frame house that stylistically dates to the early nineteenth century. The house originally was situated near Bracey in the crossroads community of Marengo, just north of Lake Gaston. It sat several hundred yards to the west of St Tammany Road. It had become very dilapidated and due to various reasons of land ownership, it was moved wholesale about one mile south on St Tammany Road. It is of two storeys, four rooms on each floor, and features included hewn and pit-sawn framing timbers and beaded weatherboards. Framing features are typical for the Chesapeake region which includes large corner posts and down braces. Internally the doors, chimney pieces, and panelling are typical for the early nineteenth century.

The dating has shown that the gambrel roof was later added to the building in 1819, and the lower two floors was originally constructed in 1770. Interestingly, the State Architectural Review Board had described it as a late eighteenth-century house with associations with local government officials. Further details of the building can be found in the report by Carl Lounsbury and Jeff Klee dated 31st October 2006.

Miles and Worthington 2010 The Tree-Ring Dating of the Tanner House, La Crosse, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2010/13