Winchester Historic Homes – The Godfrey Miller Home: Standing along the Old Town Walking Mall at 28 South Loudoun Street you’ll pass the gorgeous stone building identified as the Godfrey Miller Home. This large and amazing stone home stands on what was historically known as Lot 17, originally granted by Lord Fairfax to Jacob Sowers in May of 1753. From there, the property changed hands several times before it reached the ownership of John Miller in 1812. Property records and pricing on several of those prior transactions generally indicate that the home was built sometime between 1785 and 1801 by Daniel Sowers before he sold it to Adam Douglass. (Continue reading below…)
It was in 1857 that the heirs to John Miller’s Estate conveyed their interests to Godfrey Miller who apparently had been living in the home. The heirs of Godfrey Miller inherited the property which stayed in the family until 1938, approximately 126 years! Upon the death of Ms. Margaretta Sperry Miller, then sole owner of the property, she willed it to the Grace Lutheran Church in 1938. The Church operated a home for elderly ladies from approximately 1948 onward, as expressly requested by Ms. Miller. The Godfrey Miller Home Incorporated as a non-profit by that time.
By the late 1960s/early 1970s the Godfrey Miller Home, Inc. petitioned the Court to operate as a fellowship center; the request granted, the Godfrey Miller Home & Fellowship Center opened in 1976 and continues to operate as such today!
Historical treasures are on display in this 1785 home, and they include:
- The transcript of Margaretta Sperry Miller’s Diary from March 23, 1863 to September 19, 1863;
- Three birth and baptismal Frakturs for Godfrey Miller Family printed by the Henkel Press of New Market, Virginia;
- The Chevron Batten door called a “sheathing door” (Indian arrow proof) with diagonal layered construction. Both door and hinges pre-date the home.
- Two 12 over 12 windows with original glass.
From their website: “Today the Judge Robert K. Woltz Pavilion addition has been completed and provides needed space for programs. In 2004 the completely renovated and restored historic Godfrey Miller Home reopened. Private tours of the Historic Home led by trained docents can be arranged for groups (540) 667-5869. The Historic Home is open to the public the first Friday of each month beginning in April through November.”
Also, the Godfrey Miller Home & Fellowship Center, in conjunction with the 275th Anniversary of Winchester, is offering a series of historical lectures during the month of July 2019. For more information you can download the flyer here: 2019 Godfrey Miller Home & Fellowship Center 2019 Summer Lecture Series.
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