We first read about Old Hemlock Foundation in January 2015 in the local paper. It had been recently added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) because it was the house of the late George Bird and Kay Evans. George Bird Evans was an illustrator for Cosmopolitan, bird hunter, writer, bird dog breeder, and conservationist. If you're interested in the story of the Evans, you can find more information here. Old Hemlock House now serves as a museum of the Evan's artifacts (books, illustrations, sketches, etc!) and it is really a neat place.
We noticed while reading the news article that while the property had been added to the NRHP (yay!), it was not because of the age of the log house. The construction date of the house was unknown, though it was assumed it had been built sometime in the 1700s. After reading this we decided to contact LeJay Graffious, director of the Old Hemlock Foundation, to see if he would be interested in having us date the log house. LeJay was happy to entertain us, and we started work immediately.
Old Hemlock House is a two story log structure that is now covered. Logs are still exposed in the basement, stairwells, and attic of the house. Though the name suggests that the house was built out of hemlock, it was actually built out of oak logs. It was named Old Hemlock House because it is surrounded by beautiful old hemlock trees!
We will be presenting our results in spring, so for those of you here in mountaineer country that are interested in Old Hemlock House or the Historic Timbers Project, we invite you to come to our presentation of results! We will announce details of this in the next few months.
Thank you LeJay and Helen Ann for the wonderful hospitality you show on our every visit. We are so glad to be working with you and we can't wait to add to the history of Old Hemlock!