Quaint Dry Fork House

On a cold and rainy day, we encountered a charming house nestled along the Dry Fork of the Cheat River in West Virginia.

On a cold and rainy day, we encountered a charming house nestled along the Dry Fork of the Cheat River in West Virginia. This structure exemplifies the architectural style of Folk Victorian, characterized by a gable front and wing design, as well as bay windows. Initially, the front porch boasted humble spindlework porch detailing and a typical Queen Anne pent roof below the gables. However, the original adornments have since been replaced by off-the-shelf spindling and more simplistic woodwork.

Dry Fork of the Cheat River House

Folk Victorian architecture is identified by the presence of Victorian decorative elements on unadorned folk house forms. In comparison to the intricate Victorian styles they endeavor to imitate, the folk structures are considerably less embellished. Typically, the details draw inspiration from either the Italianate or Queen Anne style, and are primarily applied in the porch and cornice line. While Folk Victorian styles can be found across the United States, they are predominantly located in the southern regions and along railroad lines. The expansion of the railroad system facilitated easy access to heavy woodworking machinery, which led to the production of low-cost Victorian embellishments. Additionally, the railroads provided local lumber yards with ample supplies of pre-cut detailing from distant mills. As such, numerous builders simply affixed these newly available adornments onto the traditional folk house forms.


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Beautiful old house with probably a wonderful history. It is so sad to see many of these once beautiful homes abandoned because people can no longer afford to have them. We have this problem in Canada too!

Looks pretty much like our house here in Lancaster, Ohio, so I suppose we qualify as Folk now. We’re just on the edge, ragged as it is, of Appalachia, and most of our neighbors are from towns like Possum Trot (my favorite name.) There were once manufacturing jobs here, with wages kept low by the isolation enforced on the workers by the factory owners. Our neighborhood is distinguished by houses located some ten feet apart, so there’s lots of Folk Victorian nearby.

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