Shepherd Hall was built in 1798 by Moses Shepherd as a home for himself and his wife, Lydia Shepherd (née Boggs). The house has played host to numerous famous guests during their lifetimes, such as the Marquis de Lafayette, James Polk, and Andrew Jackson. However, much of the house's fame comes from the long life of Lydia Shepherd, who lived to see both the American Revolution and the Civil War. After changing hands following her death, it came into the care of the Osiris Shrine Temple in 1926, where it has remained since. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
Backstory and Context
Despite the fame of their guests, the house acquired most of its renown from the long life of Lydia Boggs Shepherd Cruger. Born in 1766, Lydia lived long enough to see both the American Revolution and the Civil War. When her first husband died of cholera in 1832, she remarried to Daniel Cruger one year later, though he died of apoplexy in 1843. Though she later became a recluse, Lydia would entertain the occasional guest that wished to pick her brain about something she had experienced in her long life. She remained in the house for the rest of her life, passing away in 1867 at the age of 101.
As Lydia died without issue, the land around the house was sold off in lots and would eventually become Elm Grove. The mansion itself was sold to the Loring family in 1870 and would stay in the family until 1926. The Osiris Shrine Temple would purchase the house from the estate of Lucy Loring Milton, where it has been since. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
Shepherd Hall estate, as it stands today, occupies five acres of land. Until 1926, only a few changes were made to the land and structure. The central building is 2 1/2 stories, with a stone exterior. A small cottage stands to the left of the main building and was constructed by the Loring family. However, the Osiris Temple has made the most changes to the house itself, extending the back of the building to accommodate large rooms for banquets and meetings. At 215 years old, Shepherd Hall stands as the oldest house in Wheeling, West Virginia.
"Monument Place opening its door for open house." The Times Leader(Wheeling), February 06, 2017.
National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. National Park Service. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/fada11f7-c9e4-41dc-81ad-3018976b9c34?branding=NRHP.
Shepherd Hall. WV Public Broadcasting. February 26, 2016. http://wvpublic.org/term/shepherd-hall.