Clio Logo
National Register of Historic Places, Jefferson County, WV
Item 19 of 78
Rock Spring is a two-story brick home near Shenandoah Junction, WV. The original core of the house was a 1.5-story structure built sometime between the 1790s and 1810 and the house was later expanded to its current appearance. Rock Hill is largely connected to the Hendricks and Snyder families who owned the property between 1762 and 1971. The house is a good example of the evolution of Jefferson County architecture from the first Federal/Early Republic style house to the Greek Revival appearance in the 1850s. Like many homes in the area, the house expanded along with the needs and wealth of the families as the county developed. Rock Spring is an example of the evolution of architecture and agriculture Jefferson County of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

Rock Spring

Property, Home, House, Land lot

Rock Spring

Property, Estate, House, Home

Rock Spring

Property, Home, Real estate, House

Aerial view of Rock Spring

Aerial photography, Bird's-eye view, Land lot, Natural landscape

Stone bake house/spring house/wash house/summer kitchen

Nature, Property, Land lot, Green

Frame stable

Property, House, Building, Home

Wagon shed/corn crib

Barn, Property, Land lot, Building

Plot map of Fairfax Grant lands

Text, White, Line, Diagram

1852 S. Howell Brown Map

Map, Text, Line, Parallel

1883 Brown Map of Jefferson County

Text, Line, Parallel, Tree

1925 Map of Jefferson County, with Rock Spring labeled

Map, Text, Line art, Line

NRHP nominated property

Text, Diagram, Line, Parallel

The Rock Spring property was originally part of Lord Fairfax’s large “northern neck” landholding. On November 4, 1754 Fairfax granted 360 acres to Samuel Darke, although there is evidence that Darke was living on the land earlier than that year. Two years later, on September 1, 1756, John Wright purchased the 360-acre plot from Darke to add to his other adjacent acreage.

August 3, 1762 James Hendricks purchased the 360 acres for 5 schillings. James and his wife, Priscilla, moved from York County, Pennsylvania with at least one child, their oldest son Daniel who was born in 1744/45. Daniel Hendricks married Jane Buckles around 1763 and records indicate that they settled on the western section of his father’s 360 acres. 1798 tax records show that Daniel and Jane Hendrick’s oldest son, William, owned a home there worth $840. The William Hendricks house is a 1794 1.5-story brick structure that is still standing. James and Priscilla had three other children—sons John and James Jr. and daughter Jane. In James Sr.’s 1795 will he divided his remaining lands between these three. James Jr. inherited the property that would become Rock Spring and he purchased an additional forty-two acres from his brother John. 1798 tax records indicate that James Hendricks Jr. had a home assessed at $630, which might be the Rock Spring home. This was a 1.5-story structure with two rooms and a central hall estimated to be constructed between the late 1790s and 1810.

By 1810 John Snyder had purchased the John Hendricks farm and was neighbors with James Hendrick, Jr. who was still living on his Rock Spring property. Snyder was born in 1770 and had moved from Pennsylvania. In 1831, John Snyder also purchased the James Henricks farm (117 acres) for $5200. In 1849 John Snyder, Sr. began dividing his land between his three sons, first selling the Rock Spring/James Hendricks farm to his son John Snyder, Jr. for $100. By 1852 Snyder, St. had divided most of the land between his children, while he continued to live on the John Hendricks property. John Snyder, Sr. died in 1858.

John Snyder, Jr. married twice. His first wife died and he had one son, Henry M. Snyder, from that marriage. His second wife, Elizabeth Jane Snyder, was a cousin and they had several children together. Her father, Abraham Snyder, owned a nearby farm named Pleasant Valley. It was John Snyder, Jr. who improved the main house and farm buildings between the 1830s and 1850s. Sometime around 1850 the original 1.5-story house was expanded with a second story and two additional rooms on the north side.

During the Civil War, both the Union and Confederate armies operated in and traveled through Jefferson Country frequently. John Snyder’s son from his first marriage, Henry M. Snyder, enlisted in the 2nd Virginia Infantry, Co. H and served with the Confederacy for much of the war. He visited home several times during the war, whether on sick leave or visiting while his regiment was camped nearby. On one of these visits, on November 9, 1864, intruders threatened his parents—it is disputed whether these were local robbers or northern “carpetbaggers”—and Henry was shot while confronting the men. He died on November 11, 1864 and local lore has it that there is a bloodstain in the hall of Rock Spring where he lay wounded.

After the war, John Snyder, Jr. was listed as living with his wife and their 18-year-old son Nelson. Also living with them was a black family employed by the Snyders, Daniel and Priscilla Jackson with their two daughters. Snyder’s 1873 will gave the property to his wife for life, after which it would pass to Nelson. Elizabeth Snyder wrote her will in 1884 and left the farm to Nelson as her husband had intended. She also left a life estate for Nelson’s wife, Emma Snyder, and their children. Elizabeth Snyder died in 1907. Nelson and Emma Snyder had orchards on the property and used the nearby railroad depot at Shenandoah Junction to send their products to eastern cities. Nelson T. Snyder died in 1932 and Emma Snyder in 1944 at which time Rock Spring passed to their ten surviving children.

A few of the Snyder siblings continued to own Rock Spring until 1971 when they divided the property and sold a portion, including the house, to nephew Henry M. Snyder, Jr. In 1993 Snyder sold the house plot and ten additional acres to Roger and Patricia Perez. Stephen Skinner and Sinclair Dunlop acquired the property from Patricia Perez shortly before the property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The house was back on the market in 2020.

In addition to the main house, other contributing structures to the NRHP nomination include: a frame wagon shed/corn crib (c. 1850); frame stable (c. 1900); and limestone domestic outbuilding—bake house/wash house/spring house/summer kitchen (built around 1830s-1840s). This last structure is particularly significant because it still houses a squirrel-tailed brick oven and the channel for the spring to go though the building. It is rare for an original oven of this type to survive, which adds to the agricultural and historic significance of the site. According to the NRHP nomination: “The Rock Spring house and outbuildings, with the remaining 12.25 acres as setting, are an architectural representation of the cultural landscape’s development Jefferson County through the 19th century. The region today (2007) is under significant residential development pressure with large historic farms and their associated building quickly disappearing.”

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form--Rock Spring." Accessed November 23, 2020. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/07001416_text.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

"2000 Ridge Rd, Shepherdstown, WV 25443." Coldwell Banker Realty. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/wv/shepherdstown/2000-ridge-rd/pid_36799731/.

"2000 Ridge Rd, Shepherdstown, WV 25443." Coldwell Banker Realty. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/wv/shepherdstown/2000-ridge-rd/pid_36799731/.

"2000 Ridge Rd, Shepherdstown, WV 25443." Coldwell Banker Realty. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/wv/shepherdstown/2000-ridge-rd/pid_36799731/.

"2000 Ridge Rd, Shepherdstown, WV 25443." Coldwell Banker Realty. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/wv/shepherdstown/2000-ridge-rd/pid_36799731/.

"2000 Ridge Rd, Shepherdstown, WV 25443." Coldwell Banker Realty. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/wv/shepherdstown/2000-ridge-rd/pid_36799731/.

"2000 Ridge Rd, Shepherdstown, WV 25443." Coldwell Banker Realty. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/wv/shepherdstown/2000-ridge-rd/pid_36799731/.

"2000 Ridge Rd, Shepherdstown, WV 25443." Coldwell Banker Realty. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/wv/shepherdstown/2000-ridge-rd/pid_36799731/.

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form--Rock Spring." Accessed November 23, 2020. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/07001416_text.

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form--Rock Spring." Accessed November 23, 2020. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/07001416_text.

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form--Rock Spring." Accessed November 23, 2020. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/07001416_text.

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form--Rock Spring." Accessed November 23, 2020. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/07001416_text.

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form--Rock Spring." Accessed November 23, 2020. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/07001416_text.