Virgil Lewis was a native to the area and spent a great deal of his life in Mason County serving in different capacities ranging from mayor to school teacher. Largely self-educated, Lewis briefly worked as a lawyer before beginning to work as an educator. Lewis is best known for his writings on West Virginia history, but his passion lied in the history of his county. Some of his works include History of West Virginia, The Life and Times of Ann Bailey, and History and Government of West Virginia.
Lewis recognized the importance to collect, preserve, and organize historical material and in 1905 became the state's first historian and archivist. Thanks to Lewis's work, many documents from West Virginia's early years were salvaged. Moving the capital from Wheeling to Charleston created a risk for historical preservation, but Lewis's work helped to keep a record of the state's origins. Lewis would serve as the state's first State Historian and Archivist from 1905 until his death in 1912. His work set the precedent for others that would come after him.
The property was given to the County Commission of Mason in 1974, in at which time it was turned over to the Mason City Historical Society. The group worked to preserve the original furniture of the home and used the building as a headquarters and memorial. In 1978 the home was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Historical Society is no longer operating and the property was abandoned after they disbanded. After suffering years of decay, the home was razed and demolished in 2014. On the site of the home, the Virgil Lewis Reading Park was constructed by volunteers and dedicated in 2015.