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Enos House (Circa 1820)

The Warren House, known locally as the Enos House, is located on the grounds of Surry County Parks and Recreation, near the junction of State Routes 10 and 31 in Surry County, Virginia (See Map page) (View Exterior only - the interior is not open to the public). It is a story-and-a-half, four-bay structure, with a low, full-length shed porch on the front. This porch is a later addition, but it appears to have replaced an earlier one. Some early nine-over-nine and nine-over-six sash windows survive in the house.

The Enos House is a good example of a middle-class farmhouse of the early nineteenth century in Surry County. Built by the Warren family before 1820, the house has an unusual double-pile, hall-and-parlor plan. This plan is a regional peculiarity found in a few late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century houses in the area of the south of the James stretching from Surry County to Chesterfield County. It is a hybrid type of plan and represents the first infiltration of Georgian ideas, in the form of two-room-deep houses, into an area which was traditionally isolated and consequently clung tenaciously to traditional forms, such as the hall-and-parlor house, until well into the nineteenth century. The inconspicuous social status of its builders is a significant fact since few earlier dwellings of persons of this economic level
in Virginia have survived.

Set on a low Flemish-bond underpinning, the house has two brick exterior end chimneys on the west gable end; the front (south) one is laid in Flemish bond, while the rear one is laid in three-course American bond. A chimney which served the southeast room has been replaced by a window. The whole structure is clad with beaded
weather- boards, with some un-beaded
late nineteenth-century replacement weatherboards used on the gable ends. Box cornices embellish the ends and two pedimented dormers break each slope of the standing-seam sheet metal-covered roof.

The porch roof has preserved several courses of original, round-butt shingles. The plan of the house is an unusual one in Virginia, but one found in a number of late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century houses in the river counties south of the James River from Surry to Chesterfield. It is essentially a double-pile, hall-parlor house with the front (south) rooms slightly deeper than the rear rooms, and the west rooms wider than the east rooms. Tandem exterior doors lead into the two front rooms, and an enclosed winder stair ascends in the northwest (inside rear) corner of the southeast room. An original mantel with paired rectangular recessed panels, surmounted by an unsupported shelf, survives in the southwest room. A similar mantel in the northwest room has been torn from the wall and broken by vandals, but all of the pieces survive. A pedestal chair rail survives in the two west rooms as well. No other early trim remains on the first floor. It is unlikely that there ever was much more.

A double-beaded chair board is used throughout the second floor, which is distinguished by its beaded, whitewashed ceiling joists (actually the collar beams of the roof). An ell of no distinction was added to the house early in the twentieth century. At the same time, a matchboard ceiling was installed throughout the first floor of the old house, while matchboard wainscoting and a brick stove flue were installed in the northeast room(then being used as a kitchen). No early outbuildings survive.

The ownership of the Warren House has been difficult to trace. However, land book data indicates that the property was owned in the early nineteenth century by the Warren family, who had probably held it since the seventeenth century. The earliest county landbooks for 1783 credit ownership of 275 acres to Joseph Warren. In 1803, the land was divided between Joseph Warren and Rebecca Warren, possibly an unmarried sister to whom a life tenancy was specified. It was apparently sometime between 1803 and 1817, when Rebecca Warren's portion was transferred to a Mark Warren, that the present house was built for her. Several rapid transactions after 1817 resulted in ownership passing to James Jones by 1819. If the Warrens did not construct the house, then Jones likely did it during the first year of his tenure. In 1820, the first year in which building valuations were recorded in the land books, the buildings on the property were assessed at $250, a valuation which remained unchanged until 1840 when a $50 increase was recorded. No more change in the assessment occurred until 1858 when $200 was added to the valuation of the land. Several more changes in ownership occurred between 1826 and 1837, when the land was acquired by the Spratley family who held it until 1870. Twelve changes in ownership later, the property, by then known as the Enos Tract, was acquired by the County government. A comprehensive site plan has been developed for use of the tract for County administration and for recreation, with the adaptive use of the house and the construction of new buildings sympathetic to it as central concerns.

Surry County Administrative Office
PO Box 65
Surry, VA 23883
757-294-5271
Email:pbernshausen@surrycountyva.gov
Web Site: www.surrycountyva.gov

(The County has plans to restore the structure in the future, but because of safety concerns, cannot open the interior to the public, You may view the building from the outside when you visit the Parks & Recreation grounds.)

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Flemish Bond American or Common Bond