Media Farm - West Virginia Division of Culture and History

NPS Form 10400
( 0 3 . 1990)
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Registration Form
s LR
operties and d 8 k % J e i mstructions in /nw to Complete the
This form is for use in nominating or requesting determinations for indiv
16A). Complete each item by marking "x" ih the appropriate box or
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (National Register
being documented, enter "NIA" for "not applicable." For functions,
by entering the information requested. If an item does not apply to the
ories and subcategories from the instructions. Place additional
architectural classification, materials, and areas of significance, enter o
entries and narrative items on continuation sheets (NPS Form 10-900a). Use a typewriter, word processor, or computer, to complete all items.
1. Name of Property
Media Farm
historic name
other nameslsite number
2. Location
Flowing Springs R d . , County Rt. 17, 2 miles
north of Charles Town
Charles Town
street & number
@ not for publication
Ed vicinity
3. StatelFederal Agency Certification
As the designated authority under the National Historic Presewation Act, as amended, I hereby certify that this
request for determination of eligibility meets the documentation standards for registering properties in the National Register of
Historic Places and meets the procedural and professional requirements set forth in 36 CFR Part 60. In my opinion, the property
Register criteria. I recommend that this property be considered significant
@ meets does not
See continuation sheet for additional comments.)
State of Federal agency and bureau
In my opinion, the property
Signature of certifying officialmtle
does not meet the National Register criteria.
(0See continuation sheet for
State or Federal agency and bureau
4. National Park Service Certification
I hereby certify that the property is:
entered in the National Register.
See continuation sheet.
determined eligible for the
National Register
See continuation sheet.
C] determined not eligible for the
National Register.
U removed from the National
C] other, (explain:)
Signature of the Keeper
Date of Action
Jefferson County, West Virginia
Media F a r m
Name of Property
County and State
5. Classification
Ownership of Property
Category of Property
Number of Resources within Property
(Check as many boxes as apply)
(Check only one box)
(Do not include previously listed resources in the count.)
E3 private
El building@)
0 district
O site
0 structure
0 object
Number of contributing resources previously listed
in the National Register
Name of related multiple property listing
(Enter "NIA" if property is not part of a multiple property listing.)
6. Function or Use
- --
Historic Functions
Current Functions
(Enter categories from instructions)
(Enter categories from instructions)
multiple dwelling
secondary structures
institutional housinq
multiple dwelling
secondary structures
Architectural Classification
(Enter categories from instructions)
(Enter categories from instructions)
Mid-19th centurv/Gothic Revival
Narrative Description
(Describe the historic and current condition of the property on one or more continuation sheets.)
See continuation sheets.
Media F a r m
Name of Property
8. Statement of Significance
Applicable National Register Criteria
(Mark "x" in one or more boxes for the criteria qualifying the property
for National Register listing.)
Property is associated with events that have made
a significant contribution to the broad patterns of
our history.
Property is associated with the lives of persons
significant in our past.
Property embodies the distinctive characteristics
of a type, period, or method of construction or
represents the work of a master, or possesses
high artistic values, or represents a significant and
distinguishable entity whose components lack
individual distinction.
Jefferson County, West Virginia
County and State
'Areas of Significance
(Enter categories from instructions)
A. education
B. literature
politics and government
C. architecture
Other - house built f o r farmerettes
during WW I.
Period of Significance
Property has yielded, or is likely to yield,
information important in prehistory or history.
Criteria Considerations
(Mark "x" in all the boxes that apply.)
Significant Dates
Property is: N/A
A owned by a religious institution or used for
religious purposes.
Significant Person
B removed from its original location.
C a birthplace or grave.
D a cemetery.
(Complete if Criterion B is marked above)
Ambassador John W. Davis
Julia Davis
Cultural Affiliation
E a reconstructed building, object, or structure.
a commemorative property.
G less than 50 years of age or achieved significance
within the past 50 years.
Narrative Statement of Significance
(Explain the significance of the property on one or more continuation sheets.)
9. Major Bibliographical References
(Cite the books, articles, and other sources used in preparing this form on one or more continuation sheets.)
Previous documentation on file (NPS):
0 preliminary determination of
individual listing (36
CFR 67) has been requested
0 previously listed in the National Register
C] previously determined eligible by the National
designated a National Historic Landmark
0 recorded by Historic American Buildings Survey
0 recorded by Historic American Engineering
Record #
Primary location of additional data:
State Historic Preservation Office
Other State agency
Federal agency
!B Local government
0 University
Name of repository:
Jefferson County Historic Landmarks
Jefferson County, West V i r g i n i a
Media Farm
Name of Property
County and State
10. Geographical Data
Acreage of Property
12 a c r e s
UTM References
(Place additional UTM references on a continuation sheet.)
( 2 ) 5 1 5 ) 0 1 4 1 0 14 , 3 ) 5 , 7 )1,OI0)
0See contmuation sheet
Verbal Boundary Description
(Describe the boundaries of the property on a continuation sheet.)
Boundary Justification
(Explain why the boundaries were selected on a continuation sheet.)
11. Form Prepared By
Crolius, Preservation Consultant
street & number
P.O. Box 1644
city or town
March 8 ,
zip code
Additional Documentation
Submit the following items with the completed form:
Continuation Sheets
A USGS map (7.5 or 15 minute series) indicating the property's location.
A Sketch map for historic districts and properties having large acreage or numerous resources.
Representative black and white photographs of the property.
Additional items
(Check with the SHPO or FPO for any additional items)
Property Owner
(Complete this item at the request of SHPO or FPO.)
Mrs. Louise M. O'Brien
city or town
St. Auaustine
zip code
Paperwork Reduction Act Statement: This information is being collected for applications to the National Register of Historic Places to nominate
properties for listing or determine eligibility for listing, to list properties, and to amend existing listings. Response to this request is required to obtain
a benefit in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.).
Estimated Burden Statement: Public reporting burden for this form is estimated to average 18.1 hours per response including time for reviewing
i n ~ t r u ~ t i o ngathering
and maintaining data, and completing and reviewing the form. Direct comments regarding this burden estimate or any aspect
of this form to the Chief, Administrative Services Division, National Park Service, P.O. Box 37127,Washington, DC 2001 37127;and the Office of
Management and Budget, Papework Reductions Projects (1024-0018), Washington, DC 20503.
OM8 Approval No. IM4-0018
NPS Form 10-900-a
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Media Farm, Jefferson Co., WV
Media, a fine Gothic Revival farm house, on County Route 17, the main
road between Shepherdstown and Charles Town, is at the end of a treelined serpentine driveway which bisects rolling grazing fields and is
surrounded by numerous dependencies, a swimming pool on the west side
and two tenant houses. The farm has a commanding view of rolling fields
against the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. The 2-1/2 story house,
a contributing structure dating from 1780, is sheathed in board and
batten siding with decorated bargeboard gables. The shingled roof has
numerous symmetrical dormers, due to other additions over the years.
Another important architectural feature is a huge stone gable-end
chimney on the northwest wing. The house's variety of architectural
features tell the story of it being a tenant house, farm house, and
resort hotel.
The house and its additions stands on limestone foundations that
provide a crawl space. The wing has a partial basement. The exterior
is of yellow painted board and batten with the exception of the original
2-story stone and wood wing at the northwest elevation. Its gables and
dormers have asphalt shingles. The gables throughout have scalloped
white painted bargeboards.
The center gable entrance is at the southeast facade and is flanked
by one-story porches with 4 doric column supports beneath a fascia with
dentil trim. The porches stretch across the rest of the facade. The
southwest elevation reveals the gable-end with inside center chimney of
the original tenant house and the 2-1/2 story addition and 2 dormers.
The wing also has a 1-story frame addition along its southwest wall to
accommodate a kitchen and enclosed porch. The northwest elevation is
the gable-end of the wing that also has a 1-story concrete black
addition for an apartment which obscures the first floor level of the
massive stone chimney. Finally, the northeast elevation has undergone
many additions. These include a 2-story porch open at the first floor
and enclosed at the second floor; an addition at the rear of the
original house for a hall and powder room sheathed in german siding;
and a 1950 double garage. There are symmetrical dormers on the wing
There is a vestibule enclosing the center entrance of the house which
can be entered from the porch at either side. It has coral painted
plaster, a plaster medallion with a 20th century lamp hanging from its
center, and tile floor. Leading from this vestibule to the hallway of
the house are double recessed single panel doors. The panels have two
rows of raised mouldings with flat arches at the top and the reverse
at the bottom. The brass escutcheons and doorknobs are of ornate
victorian design.
N P F-~
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Media Farm, Jefferson Co., WV
A 3-light transom is above the doors and are flanked by four vertical
lights over single raised panel wainscot. The pale orchid plastered
center hall has its original late 19th century configuration of the main
entrance leading to the opposite end which has an entrance to the
outside. It's ten foot ceiling has a plaster medallion with a hanging
20th century light Cixture at the center of the two entrances to the
livingrooms. A bevelied edge baseboard defines a random width pine floor.
A stairway to the second floor is on the southwest wall. It has a walnut
mushroom capped newel1 post and handrail which rest on a machine tooled
baluster. The doors in the hall leading to other rooms are twosvertical
recessed panels with again the ornate brass hardware. The northwest
end of the hall has had renovations to create a cloak room and powder
room. The entrance is the original doorway to the outside. At the southeast wall the entrance to a pale yellow livingroom, now being used as a
guestroom, mirrors the livingroom opposite it. Their fireplaces are
centered on the ouside walls, their 8-light double french windows are
identical on the facade wall and their two vertical raised panel doors
are at the same position on the northwest wall. That door in the northeast guestroom leads into an early 20th century bathroom. The one in
the southwest livingroom leads into the diningroom in the wing. The
bathroom and a closet in the northeast room were built to accommodate
gcests when the property became a resort. The northeast room's fireplace has a simple painted wood mantel and surrounds resting on a large
handmade brick hearth. The southwest room experienced a fire so that the
fireplace was rebuilt with a painted wood mantel on wood brackets and
surrounds. The hearth and fireplace itself are of contemporary brick.
The floor also was replaced with 3 " oak flooring. This room is the
first floor of the original tenant house. The other difference is this
pale orchid room still has its double 8-light french window on the
southwest wall whereas the other one lost its window on the northeast
wall to accommodate a closet. Bdth4;roomsand entrance hall give a feel
of elegance due to their ten foot ceilings, large panel doors, embossed
hardware and pairs of french windows.
The diningroom is the first floor of the late 18th century stone
wing. There is a massive stone fireplace at the northwest wall flanked
by cupboards of early 20th century design. The stone is bisected
horizontally by a 12Ix12' oak hand-hewn beam which also is the top of
the fireplace opening where an iron wood-stove has. been placed. It
has a stone hearth. A pair of electric coach lamps are at either end
of the stone wall and flank a Russian border tapestry. At either end
of the diningroom hang 6-light lamp wood egyptian-style chandeliers.
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number 7
Page 3
Media Farm, Jefferson Co.,
On the southwest wall at the south end is a 15-light door with a 4light transom leading to an enclosed breakfast room. Opposite on the
northeast wall is the same door leading to an enclosed porch. Along
both walls are matching windows and doors to accommodate a "pass
throughn and access to porches. The wood surrounds of doors and
windows are of simple flat boards with the exception of the fireplace
wall cupboards which 'have a triple center bead moulding. The baseboards
are rounded edge painted black. Walls and ceiling are white painted
plaster. The northwest wall has at its most southerly end a swinging
door leading to a small 20th century kitchen (see sketch?.
has a door on its southeast wall leading to a previously mentioned tile
floored breakfast room of 20th century sliding windows over veneer
panelling. A sliding glass door on the south wall leads to a patio.
At the landing of the stairway to the second floor is a door going
into a 20th century bathroom. It also has a door on its northwest wall
going out to a second floor porch.
The stairway at the second floor level reveals graining at the edge
of the stair risers, not evident at the first floor, and continues to
the third floor.
The 'bedrooms on the second floor are over the livingrooms and are
also mirror images regarding window placement, fireplaces, wood
surrounds and mantels of simple design. Both have random width pine
flooring. The northeast bedroom has a ceramic washbowl in the corner to
again accommodate guests when Media was a resort in the late192O1s. The
oth3r bedroom had a contemporary bathroom built along the northwest wall.
An office is between the bedrooms at the second floor of the centergable facade. At the center of the second floor hallway ceiling is an
etched glass gas lamp (now electrified) hanging from a stbrdy brass
The third floor was raised to accommodate two more bedrooms above the
second floor ones. A gable-end inside chimney is visible in both rooms
with evidence of stoves for each room. The brick chimneys are flanked
hy 4-light windows that drop into the room. Under the eaves are
storage spaces and a bath in the southwest bedroom. The walls are of
fiberboard, simple door surrounds and simple brass hardware. The
numbers on the grained doors with box locks document the resort era.
The stone wing upper floors are accessible from the concrete block
addition at its northwest elevation. The first floor of this addition
is a contemporary livingroom and kitchen. A door from the livingroom
southeast wall leads to an enclosed porch with a stairway leading to
two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor and two more bedrooms, each
with ceramic washbowls,on the third floor. This addition was again to
accommodate guests when the property was a resort (see sketch?.
OMB Approval No. 102P0018
NPS F W 10-900-a
JUN 7 1993
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Media Farm, Jefferson Co., WV
rooms have pine flooring and most of the doors are tongue and groove
planks with box locks and ceramic doorknobs. Some doors are the same as
those described in the older section. Many alterations have taken place
here with a variety of materials and no special architectural elements.
The porch that gives access to the upper floors has a stone stairway
leading to the partial basement under the previously described diningroom.
Yellow Tenant House
The ca. 1893 5-bay 1-story tenant house has an addition extending the
facade to the east about 1930. It now has a center entrance into a mid20th century livingroom with a fireplace on the west wall. Horizontal
5-panel doors lead to two bedrooms on the north wall and french doors
on the east wall lead to a screened porch. The window and door
surrounds are of simple flat boards. The contemporary bathroom, another
bedroom and a contemporary kitchen are in the older section. A utility
room stretches across the west elevation. The surrounds of the windows
and doors in the older section are single center groove with bulls-eye
corner blocks. Doors are 4-raised panel, longer above shorter ones and
have box locks. An enclosed stairway at the west wall of the kitchen
leads to an attic. The older section of the attic has 3 " tongue and
groove horizontal panelling. The older section was heated by a stove
at the center chimney of the original building. Two x two double-hung
windows are throughout the house. A partial basement is under the older
section. Condition: Good. (#I6 in sketchl). Contributing.
The Grey Tenant House
This 1-story tenant house, west of the main house, was built in 1917
to house farmerettes who came to the area to work on farms during WW I.
It has grey asbestos siding over german siding and stands on cinder
block and poured concrete. The southeast elevation has a french door
center entrance flanked by 2x2 double-hung windows and goes into a
livingroom that was a porch. Another livingroom, now a diningroom, is
west of this room. The diningroom has a brick corner fireplace with a
concrete mantel at the northwest corner. On the south wall a hall leads
to a small bedroom on the southeast wall and opposite is a contemporary
bath. On the north wall of the diningroom is a small square hall which
has entrances to a den on the west of it and a bedroom at the east.
All bedrooms have on their outside walls at the center 2x2 double-hung
windows. A contemporary kitchen runs nearly the length of the house on
the west side. A small enclosed porch at the north end completes the
elevation. A stairway on the southeast wall of the porch leads to the
basement. It also has a ca. 1950 concrete block garage. Condition:
( # 5 in
Tenant house: Contributing; Garage: Noncontributing
OM8 ApprovalNo. 1 0 2 4 4 1 8
NPS Form? 0-900-a
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
7 1993
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Media Farm, Jefferson Co.,
The Smoke House
Ca.1800. Contributing. Log building with three sides sheathed in
yellow painted random width weatherboard on a stone foundation. It has
weatherboard clapboard gable ends and a shingle roof over random width
boards. It is used s a pump and bath house for the pool. Condition:
Good. ( # Z in sketch$ See photo.
Work Shop
Ca.1930. Non-contributing. Built of concrete block and stucco.
Condition: Good. (#4 in sketch?)
Ca.1915. Contributing. Built of painted random width weatherboard
and has a standing seam tin roof. Condition: Poor. (#6 in sketchj)
Ca.1900. Contributing. Built of random width weathered german
siding, it has a concrete foundation and wall at the rear, and a standing
seam tin roof. Condition: Deteriorating. (#7 in sketch8
Ca.1915 and late 20th century. Contributing. Earlier one built of
board siding and deteriorating. It also has a wooden deteriorating
grain shoot. The later is built of concrete in poor condition.
(#8 in sketch8
Dairy Barn
Ca.1920. Contributing. Built of red tile and weatherboard gableends, with tin roof. Condition: Fair. (#9 in sketch9
Milk House
Ca.1920. Contributing. Built of concrete with standing seam tin
roof. Condition: Fair. (#lo in sketch3
Wagon Shed
Ca.1900. Contributing. Built of painted weatherboard, low gableend and standing seam tin roof. Condition: Fair. (#I1 in sketch9
Corn Crib
Ca. 1900. Contributing. Three bay, painted weatherboard with
standing seam tin roof and snowbirds, stone blocks added at rear
corners and center for support. Condition: Fair. (#I2 in sketch4
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
House Trailer
Ca. 1970. Non-contributing.
Media Farm, Jefferson Co., WV
(#13 in sketchj
Pump House
Ca. 1950. Non contributing. A small square building of yellow
painted german siding and with a shingle roof. Condition: Good.
(#14 in sketch4
Stone Barn Foundation
Ca . 1840. Unevaluated
Nestled in a hillside facing south and
built of limestone corner quoins with random rubble stone walls.
Condition: Fair. ( # I 5 in sketchj)
Media Farm has been in the same family since 1780 and has been subdivided many times among family heirs over the years. It has been well
maintained over the years and the various uses: a tenant dependency for
a large plantation Walnut Grove, a farm, a school and a hotel resort
are still evident. The once large family plantation and gracious living
is felt as one visits the farm and enjoys the osen vistas of rolling
fields and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
For placement and dates of the other dependencies please see sketch.
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Sketch 1
Media Farm
Jefferson Co., WV
OMB Approval No. 1024-0318
NPS Form 10-900-a
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
7 i993
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Media Farm, Jefferson Co., WV
Media Farm was acquired in 1780, then a property of over 1,000 acres,
by Charles Yates, from England, and his descendents have continued the
ownership to the present. The farm's period of significance begins with
the purchase, 1780 to 1940, when Julia Davis published her book about
the Spanish Civil War, The Sun Climbs Slow. It is eligible for National
Register designation under criterion A because of its school run by the
family for their children and those from nearby farms; the 200 year
history of its settlement and development; and when the farm was the
first golf course resort in Jefferson County. It meets criterion B
because of the past owner, Julia Davis, a well-known authoress, and her
father, Ambassador John W. Davis, who was a tutor at the school and a
candidate for president of the United States in 1924. It also meets
criterion C because of its architecture which represents 200 years of
styles as the owners made alterations to meet the changing uses of the
farm. Another significant period for Media Farm is a small house built
in 1917 for farmerettes, a program to help farmers during WW I.
Jefferson County today is bounded by the Potomac and Shenandoah
Rivers, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Clark County, Virginia. It is an
area that began development in the early 1700's when it was largely
forest and limestone outcropping. Settlers from Europe acquired grants
from England and began developing the land for farming and extraction of
iron ore, copper and limestone. It saw many skirmishes with Indians
during the French and Indian War of 1755. The county is proud of its
role in the Revolutionary War because of the famous "Bee Line1'march
when its volunteers were the first to arrive in Boston after marching
600 miles in 24 days to participate under Washington's command.
Under criterion A for Media Farm there are three areas of significance.
Its history of settlement begins in 1780 when Charles Yates from
England bought the 1,000 acre property from Thomas Rutherford and
cleared the land. At the time the only structure was a 2-story single
pen log house built for the overseer of Walnut Grove nearby. The rich
forest of oak was used to build dependencies and additions to the main
house. Media Farm and other farms in the area became prosperous with
its cleared fertile land. Jefferson County today is an agricultural
county begun by its early land owners such as Charles Yates. The Media
acreage was reduced as sub-divisions took place among the Charles Yates
heirs, so today the farm is about 150 acres.
During the Civil War the county became a battleground covering much
of its farmland as troops moved back and forth battling to occupy the
rich farmland. The Yates at Media, so named for its location in the
midst of other farms, suffered as did others when soldiers stole livestock, food and even spent days at the farm. Some shooting of firearms
took place on the porch of the farmhouse.
OM8 Appoval No. f02&W18
NPS Fonn 10-%a
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
7 1993
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Media Farm, Jefferson Co., WV
Media was a school in 1863 for the Yates family and again in 1869 when
Reverend William T. Leavell, who married Anne Yates who inherited the
property from her father John Yates, moved there to establish a country
school for his children and others in the neighborhood. About 1890,
Major Edward H. McDonald and his wife, Julia Yates Leavell, who inherited
the property from her mother Anne Yates Leavell moved to Media and hired
John W. Davis of Clarksburg to be a tutor to his children.
Also under criterion A, the farm became a resort when Marshall McDonald
believed the rolling hills and mountainous scenery would attract urbanites.
In 1928 he built the first golf course in Jefferson County which
stretched across the front of the property. This venture didn't succeed
due to the Great Depression.
Criterion B is supported by the authoress, Julia McDonald Davis, who
spent the summers of her childhood with her maternal grandparents, the
McDonalds, at Media Farm. Her writings reflect much of her life with her
many cousins on the farm.
She began writing as a child and she continued to write poems,
childrens books, historical novels, mysteries and plays until her death
in January, 1993. She was one of two of the first women journalists
hired by the Associated Press in 1 9 2 6 . Her book The Swords of the
Vikinqs was one of five nominated for the Newberry Awards in 1928, an
award for children's literature. Her play "The ~ n v i l "written for the
Civil War Centennial in Charles Town was produced off Broadway in 1 9 6 2 .
She wrote articles for the Smithsonian Magazine and wrote "The
Shenandoah" (1944) at the request of Stephen Vincent Benet for the Rivers
of America Series. Her book ---Cloud on the Land (1950) was a novel
about western settlement and slavery, though thinly disguised, was about
Media and the McDonald family. In 1963, she was honored as the West
Virginia Daughter of the Year. Governor Gaston Caperton again honored
her by naming her a Distinguished West Virginian on July 31, 1992 for
outstanding achievement and meritorious service. Her renowned career
as a writer began at age 1 1 when she received a silver medal for a
story published in St. Nicholas Magazine. Her other love was children
and though she couldn't have any of her own, she raised a brood of
adopted and step-children. The story of two of these children who were
refugees from the Spanish Civil War is told in her book The Sun Climbs
Slow (1940).
. - .
Unlted States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Media Farm, J e f f e r s o n County, W.V.
Section number
Also under c r i t e r i o n F, J u l i a ' s f a t h e r , John W. Davis, who l a t e r
distinguished himself a s a lawyer, p o l i t i c i a n , and statesman, met her
mother, J u l i a b!cDonald, when he came t o Ivledia from Clarksburg, West
Virginia, a s a teacher f o r t h e McDonald children and others. H i s
p o l i t i c a l c a r e e r began i n W e s t Virginia when he was elected t o the
West Virginia House of Delegates, then received national a t t e n t i o n
when he became a U.S. congressman and l a t e r s o l i c i t o r general under
President Woodrow Wilson. Between Decenber 1918 and Eflarch 1921, Davis
w a s t h e arbassador t o t h e Court of St. James's (Great B r i t a i n ) H i s
daughter spent a year i n 1919-1920 with him, her stepmother, W l l , and
N e l l ' s young niece, Katy Watson. I n 1920, i n s p i t e of being out of t h e
country, Davis was a strong contender f o r t h e p r e s i d e n t i a l nomination
on t h e Democratic ticket. Four years l a t e r , he w a s t h e candidate.
After losing t h e e l e c t i o n t o Calvin Coolidge, Davis continued u n t i l
his death i n 1955 as head of a prestigious Wall Street law firm. H i s
last and most important case was before t h e Supreme Court i n 1954 when
he defended South Carolina i n Brown v. Board of Education. In 1991
Wlrt Lancaster played t h e p a r t of Davis i n a major t e l e v i s i o n movie
based on t h e Supreme Court case. Davis received numerous honors and
awards, including t h e prestigious Knight C o m d e r of t h e Bath, t h e
highest rank possible f o r a foreigner, from ween Elizabeth I1 i n
1953 .*
John W. Davis's ties t o Media remined strong after h i s f i r s t wife
died i n 1900 s h o r t l y a f t e r J u l i a ' s b i r t h . He v i s i t e d t h e farm
miles from t h e t r a i n s t a t i o n , and
frequently, often walking t h e 2 l/&
he always allowed J u l i a t o spend her s m r s t h e r e with her beloved
grandparents. When Mrs. KcDonald died i n 1920, Davis wrote i n h i s
anbassadorial diary: "The most s a i n t l y worn I have known is no
*Dolores A. Fleming, h i s t o r i c a l e d i t o r of The M a s s a d o r i a l D i a w of
John W. Davis, t o be published i n 1993 by West Virginia University
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Media Farm, Jefferson County, W.V.
Julia Davis and her father, John W. Davis, were accomplished in their
respective fields in the years before 1940, the closing of the period of
significance. However, it should be noted that their accomplishments
and contributions to history coqtinued until they died.
The architecture at Media Farm meets the significance under
criterion C. It tells a story from rural log and stone to refined
Gothic Revival. The materials for the house were mainly from the land,
including the limestone for the stone wing. Media's large oak forest
supplied the beams and framing for the main house. The house started
out as a 2-story single pen log structure for the overseer for Walnut
Grove, another farm across the road. A single story limestone wing was
added in the rear in 1790. As the family grew, another 2-story single
pen and center hall were added and a wood second story to the stone wing.
About the same time, 1800, a log smokehouse and a barn on a stone
foundation were built. The main house now is of Gothic Revival style
with board and batten siding and was repeated again when a garage was
attached to the house in the 1950's. Today the house, in spite of its
additions of a wing, porches, dormers, and a garage, gives the
appearance of a classic example of Victorian Gothic Revival with its
symmetry and scalloped barge boards and inside chimney at its gable-end
at the southeast elevation. This is the way farm houses in Jefferson
County grew into manor houses during the prosperous 19th century in
Jefferson County.
Another significant feature of Media is the small cottage built in
1917 to house "farmerettesn during WW I. The farmerette program was
established to help farmers whose family members had gone to war. The
women were brought from urban areas to work on the farms.
The farm today, though reduced to 150 acres from the original 1,000,
is shared by the many heirs of John Yates. Much of the surrounding
farm land is part of the original purchase and also owned by Yatesl
descendents. Media looks today much as it did in the 19th century and
is still a family farm. It is being preserved as a family heirloom
where vacations, reunions and parties capture the spirit of a strong
family heritage.
"Julia Davis WV Wordcrafter" by Wm. Theriault, Goldenseal, Vol. 18,
No. 3.
OMS Approvd No. 10244018
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Setvice
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Media Farm, Jefferson Co., WV
Jefferson County Land Records Office, Court House, Charles Town, West
Berkeley County Historical Society, John St., Martinsburg, WV.
of Berkeley County Land Records Office.
Jefferson County Historical Society Magazines.
Volume LIII, December 1987. "Making It on 75 Acres": from 1883-1891.
Letters by Mrs. John M. Daniel.
Volume LIV, December 1988. "Making It on 75 AcresM (Part Two): from
1892-1900. Letters by Mrs. John M. Daniel.
Volume LIII, December 1987. "Charles Aglionby of Mt. Pleasant and
the years 1861-1865" by Francis Aglionby.
Bushong, Millard K. "History of Jefferson County."
Inc. Boyce, Virginia 1972.
Davis, ~ u l i a ,"Legacy of Love."
York City, 1961.
Carr Publishing Co.,
Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., New
erri ill, A.E. (completed and edited), "Memorials of a Family in England
and ~irginia,1771-1851, published by Hazell, Watson and Viney Ltd.,
London and Alesbury, England, 1887. Reprinted Beidel Printing House
Inc., Shippensburg, PA. 1992.
Theriault, Bill, "Julia Davis
Vol. 18, No. 3, Fall 1992.
W.V. Wordcrafter,." Goldenseal Magazine,
Interview: Julia Davis Adams, Charles Town, WV, former owner of Media
by Jean Crolius, May 27, 1992.
NPS Form 10-900-a
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Media Farm, Jefferson co.,
Verbal Boundary
The boundary for Media begins near the southeast corner of the
grey tenant house in a straight line until it is parallel with
the rear of the yellow tenant house; then runs in a straight
line northeast until it is parallel with the rear of the northwest corner of the old barn foundation; then in a straight line
northwest until it is parallel within a few feet beyond the
southwest corner of the grey tenant house; then in a straight
line southwest to the beginning. See Media Farm Boundary Map
and white line.
Boundary Justification
The boundary is drawn so that it includes the significant
buildings of Media Farm. The buildings are clustered thus the
boundary includes the resources that have historically been part
of Media Farm and maintain historic integrity.
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
Continuation Sheet
Section number
Other Property Owners:
Julia Ann Urquhart
3049 Fawn Lane
Jackson, Michigan 49201
John Davis O I B r i e n
Media Farm
Box 140, Rt. 3
Charles Town, West Virginia 25414
Carla 0. Kennedy
5933 Estola
Jackson, .Michigan 49201
Media Farm, Jefferson Co., WV
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