This home dates back to 1807 when it was constructed for tanner Jacob Stealey, making it the oldest home in Clarksburg. Stealey died in 1841, but the home remained in the family's possession until 1881 when John Stealey sold the property to Nathan Goff, a former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. Goff's widow remodeled the home around 1891, adding some of the Victorian details such as the gable roof and detailed exterior millwork. During the early 20th century, the home served as a boarding house and doctor's office before it became the property of Amy Roberts Vance in 1933. When Mrs. Vance died in 1967, her sons donated the historic home to the Harrison County Historical Society with the hope that the property would serve as a headquarters and museum. The society offers tours of the home by appointment, as well as special programs at the house throughout the year.
Backstory and Context
Jacob Stealey, the original owner of this house, purchased land from George Jackson in 1795. At the time the land was known as "Tanyard Mill." Jacob Stealey earned his income through being the community tanner and was successful in his trade. In order to have water running through his tanyard, Stealey bought more land from Jackson in 1807 and he built his house on this extra land. Stealey passed away in 1841; the house and tanyard stayed in the hands of his son until 1881 when Nathan Goff Sr. purchased the property.
Mr. Goff served in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1863 to 1866, and again in 1870.
The Goffs added Victorian accents to the exterior of the house during their ownership of the home. From 1908 to 1932 the Goff's home also doubled as a boarding house and a doctor's office. In 1933 Amy Roberts Vance purchased the home and conducted minor renovations so that the house could once again be used as a permanent residence.
Amy Roberts Vance was a Clarksburg civic leader. At the time of her death in 1967 her sons, the Vance brothers, donated the home to the Harrison County Historical Society with restrictions that it be used as a museum. Today the house is used as headquarters for the Harrison County Historical Society and tours of the home are available by appointment.