Town residents rally behind petition to save house

By Ryan Cornell

A petition signed by “at least 95 percent” of Toms Brook residents aims to prevent the historic yellow house on Main Street from being demolished.

Last month, Doug Boyd, owner of the property at 3415 N. Main St., told the Northern Virginia Daily he was planning to raze the house in August and develop the land into a subdivision.

After hearing the idea of a petition brought up by other residents, Lisa Currie started going door-to-door for signatures about two weeks ago.

Not only was everyone she met willing to sign the petition, but also they were “more than eager” to help out and protect the historic building, she said.

According to Currie, the house was built in 1874 and is one of the oldest houses in town.

It sheltered various families, from the Bordens and the Calverts to the Browns and Konopas, and saw Toms Brook transform from the biggest town in the county to what it is today.

In 1974, the family living there held a 100-year birthday party for the house, Currie said.

“You can’t just tear down a house because it’s old,” she said. “My house is 110 years old and I’m not going to tear it down.”

She said a number of people have expressed interest in purchasing and restoring the house.

“We want the house to be saved and there are people who know how to do it, who have the funding and would love an old house,” she said.

She added that the petition also calls for leaving the stone wall running northwest of the property undamaged. She said the wall is one of the area’s earliest Civilian Conservation Corps projects.

Currie recalled hearing visitors to the recent Route 11 Yard Crawl from Northern Virginia comment to her about Shenandoah County.

“They all said this is a great place with all your main streets and old houses and small towns, and that’s what makes us unique,” she said. “Sometimes we live here and we forget that.”

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com