Heritage Weekend Tile 1984

Moomau House

Heritage Weekend Tile 1984

This picture perfect house exemplifies a loving restoration achieved through tenacious research and professional craftsmanship. Local dentist and confederate gentleman Levi Hockman started construction of Moomau House/Nine Gables shortly after marrying Sallie R. Lakin in December 1880. Sallie's brother, T.A. Lakin, built the house to Hockman's design.

Construction of the house commenced only after draining off a natural pond on the property. Even to this day, a submersible pump must move water from the basement.

Carpenter Gothic best describes the architectural style. The original color scheme, discovered while stripping the paint, was moss green with oxblood red trim. Colors were reversed several years later with the siding being red and the trim green.

The house, along with the nation, fell on hard times during the Depression. A flue fire caused damage to the first and second floors. Subsequent shoddy workmanship kept the house, vacant at times, in minimal repair. The owners removed the gingerbread trim to save on maintenance. Damaged heart pine flooring was covered with red oak.

The current owners purchased the house in 1985 and commenced the process of restoring it to its original appearance. Most of the gingerbread was cut by hand and restored using and old photograph as a guide. The exterior paint was stripped and, to enhance the details, a new paint scheme of 12 earthen colors was chosen. Restoration included a new metal roof and replacement windows all around, except for the cathedral units.

Layers of paint came off the interior woodwork, which was either stained or repainted to allow the detail to show through. Similarly, many layers of wallpaper and paint were removed from walled and ceilings before they were recoated.

With the house in its original condition could Sallie's ghost found a home? Lamps turn on mysteriously, thermostats reset to 56 degrees, clocks change, coffee machine cups appear stacked in pyramids.

Located at 304 Winchester Ave in Moorefield