The Carden House in Summersville, WV, was located adjacent to the Gauley Bridge Turnpike, as well as James Carden's store and the Zela post office. James Carden became postmaster of Zela, and the house, store, post office, and the one-room school house (also located on Carden property) served as a hub for the community.
According to the National Register of Historic Places: the Carden house possesses distinctive characteristics of houses built during this time period in Nicholas County and other parts of West Virginia. In 1985 - 1986, an overall county survey found that this compound plan configuration with the tongue and groove siding in the porch areas was characteristic of several houses in Nicholas County built during the late nineteenth century.
The two-story porches with decorative scroll jigsaw work in the balustrades were also common during this period, as were the exterior stone chimneys. The wooden 2/2 double-hung wood windows with wide muntins and sash hardware found in the Carden House were also characteristic of houses built during the late nineteenth century in Nicholas County. The exterior facade on the front elevation, within the porch areas, is horizontal tongue and groove board with a bead on the bottom edge of each board. This design element of clapboard siding on secondary facades and smooth or other tongue and groove board siding on the primary facade has been observed in many of the residences in Nicholas County from this time period.