Chewy Morsel #8 – A Riddle You Can Solve

by Jim Surkamp on May 20, 2016 in Jefferson County

Chewy Morsel #8 A Riddle You Can Solve


So. There is a house built in 1773 but it was torn down in 1929. And its latest generation of the owners is sitting on the porch of a house.

And the porch looks VERY much the same as the porch of the razed house – it was called Tudor Hall – when Federal General James H. Wilson and his staff were staying there in August 20, 1864 according to an eyewitness, named James E. Taylor.


Question for you –

Is this porch of a house called Tudor Hall, as it looked in the 1980s . . . the same

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porch of a house on the same property called Tudor Hall by the person who sketched it in this drawing in 1864?


And, is this porch for the same house – the artist said it is Tudor Hall – where Federal General James Wilson and his staff were lingering?


How is that possible?

The answer is from Bill Grantham in his video interview:


The original Tudor Hall (which is not what you’re seeing. The original house was torn down in 1929 and rebuilt in 1930). It is built out of a large portion of what was salvaged out of the original house. All of the woodwork in Tudor Hall is 1820s woodwork. The windows are not. I just found that they are 1920s or 1930s windows. The front porch which I’m sitting on was left standing – jacked up. (They) tore down the house and (built) the house back up in accordance – to make it look decent (and) correct with the front porch. That’s basically how they did it.

NOTE: In Taylor’s drawing of Tudor Hall, he draws a different roof to the porch that appears in the two photographs of same. Taylor in his work in Jefferson County has a pattern of liberty-taking in visual detail. Elsewhere in his collection, he misportays the home of Charles Washington Happy Retreat and in th edetail of the tower of the R.D. Shepherd town building in Shepherdstown, than what is known to be their actual details. – JS

Made possible with the generous, community-minded support of American Public University System. Views in these posts and related videos do not reflect in any way the modern-day policies of the University. More at:


Bill Grantham

Series I – Volume XLIII – Chapter LV in Two Parts: Official records of the Union and Confederate armies – See more at: http://

Part II – Operations in Northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. August 4-December 31, 1864. Union and Confederate Correspondence, etc. Digital Library. Cornell University. 28 August 2004 Web. 10 July 2011.

Miller, Francis Trevelyan. (1911). “The photographic history of the civil war.” Volume 4. New York, NY: The Review of Reviews Co.

Miller, Francis Trevelyan. (1911). “The photographic history of the civil war.” Volume 4. Internet Archives 1997 Web. 10 May 2016.
p. 281.

Image Credits:

James E. Taylor

Adams, Julia D. (1990).”Between the Shenandoah and the Potomac: Historic Homes of Jefferson County, West Virginia.” Jefferson County Historical Society. p. 109.