The oldest known house existing in western Virginia and likely the oldest remaining dwelling on the Eastern Shore’s Chincoteague Island are among the 16 new sites recently added to the Virginia Landmarks Register by the state’s Department of Historic Resources (DHR).
The Bryan McDonald House, in Botetourt County, constructed in 1766, is associated with one of the early families to settle in Botetourt County, where many settlers were of Scottish descent, including the McDonald family. The McDonald House is one of only two 18th-century stone houses recorded in Botetourt County (the other one, Mulberry Bottom, was built circa 1786). The house is also the oldest known extant building in DHR’s 27-county western region that extends from Rockbridge County in the Shenandoah Valley to Lee County, on Virginia’s western tip. The home is owned by the Shively family.
The McDonald House is unique as well for incorporating course sandstone blocks into its front façade instead of limestone, which is used in other portions of the house, and commonly used for stone construction throughout the region. The house also features an 1840 brick addition.
–submitted by Randy Jones, Virginia Landmarks Register