Montgomery House Started as a Two Story Log Cabin in 1790
From The News Messenger Bicentennial Edition, July 1, 1976, page 12-H
by Nadine Allen
The James E. Montgomery residence at 103 Penn. St., Blacksburg was originally a two story cabin built about 1790. Considered to be one of the oldest houses in Blacksburg, it was moved from across the street and cased with weatherboard from a very early period, probably between 1800 and 1830.
The house was built, typical of many houses in the area, with one large bedroom on the top floor, one huge room on the middle floor and a basement when a fireplace used as a kitchen. Later a wing was added at the back with a dining room, kitchen and two bedrooms.
In 1967 with architectural consultation, the house was restored and modernized by the owners, Dr. and Mrs. James E. Montgomery. He has been a member of the Virginia Tech Home Economics Department for the past nine years.
This unique home has been an example of what imagination and perservance can do to preserve a bit of Blacksburg's heritage.
The original beams of the log cabin were exposed and the original fireplace were surrounded by walls of antique handmade brick. Original wood floors were retained.
Originally a trap door led to the upstairs. This has been replaced with a stairway placed against exposed logs.
Operating on a townhouse concept, the Montgomery's enclosed the side yard with a tall white fence. Within this, they have cultivated a beautiful garden which borders on a brick patio. Although the street is only a few feet away, the area is very private.
The dining room wall was opened to get a view of the garden. The modernized kitchen provided easy servicing to the dining room and the garden room as well as the patio. The bedrooms in the back are planned to have sliding doors to open to the privacy of the terraced stone herb and flower garden.
One of the early owners, Adam Croy, great-grandfather of Miss Georgia Croy, arose each Sunday morning and blew his trumpet out of the upstairs window to summon all the Methodists to the church across the street. A most successful and efficient sexton from 1833 to 1861, he left nothing undone at home or at church that could add to the comfort of the people.
The current owner of this residence is Don Sunshine of the Virginia Tech Architecture Department.
This house has been recorded by the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission, File No. 150-16.