Heritage Weekend Tile 1994
The McMechen House
The three story Greek Revival house was built in 1853 by Samuel Alexander McMechen. Mr. McMechen was a dry goods merchant, politician, church member (Deacon of the Moorefield Presbyterian Church) and support of the early railroad in Hardy County.
Legend says that Mr. McMechen told the builder he did not care what the house looked like as long as it was bigger than the Maslin house, a resident to the south. The house was originally “U” shaped with nine rooms. The house was added to and eventually ended with twenty five rooms on three floors. The house also has an English basement with five large rooms and brick floors and walls.
Samuel Alexander McMechen married Mary Elizabeth Welton and they had five daughters: Elizabeth (Betty), Caroline (Carrie), Katherine (Kate), Emma and Janie. They also had a son John who died young. The house remained in the McMechen Family until Miss Carrie McMechen passed away in 1944. The house then was inherited by Eunice Dasher McCoy who converted the home into apartments. Many local families lived there at one time or another during that history of the house.
One of the most interesting features of house is a political slogan from the 1856 Presidential Election discovered in an early renovation. It is painted on the wall in one of the rooms on the third floor. This had once been an outside wall of the home and was covered during one of the additions by Mr. McMechen. This room is believed to be “The Grange Hall” above the McMechen store referenced in local history books. The slogan is believed to reference states’ rights, a prominent political issue before the War Between the States. The historic home is on the Civil Wars Trails and is a key component to the National Historic Register of downtown Moorefield. Mr. McMechen was a Confederate sympathizer and entertained Confederate officers at his home when they controlled Moorefield. When Union forces occupied Moorefield, the McMechen Family fled to their cabin at Howards Lick (now Lost River State Park). The family was away when Union General John C. Fremont made his headquarters at the home in May 1962. It was occupied by both Union and Confederate soldiers during the War. Confederate General John McCausland was staying here when Union General William W. Averell attacked his troops camped at Goings Ford and Old Fields on August 7, 1864.
Located on Main Street in Moorefield