Robert Higgins' House
The Higgins House, built c.1790 by Revolutionary War veteran Lt. Robert Higgins, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The House is undergoing restoration (and an addition is being built) to become a small architectural museum and home to the Hardy County Visitors Center. Scheduled for completion in spring 2021, the House will be open to visitors, school and community tours, and for special events such as Hardy County's Heritage Weekend (the last weekend in September annually).
Backstory and Context
Located between Duffy Memorial Methodist Church and Inskeep Hall, the Higgins House is one of the oldest standing structures in Moorefield, WV. A copy of the original 1787 deed currently hangs on the wall of the House. Robert Higgins owned the House for just a few years before selling it in 1793 to George Harness. In 1850, the Harness family donated a portion of land across the street for the construction of Duffy Memorial Methodist Church, an action that portended great change for the Higgins House over the next 225+ years. About that same time, it is believed that a second floor and attic were added to the original log structure and, in the last quarter of the 19th Century, the Higgins House was subsumed into a much larger home.
In 1983, Duffy Memorial Methodist Church purchased the property as a rectory and, later, decided to demolish the building to create space for much needed parking. However, as demolition began, the original log structure was revealed. The community, led by the Hardy County Historical Society, stepped in and the property that was Lt. Higgins' hand-hewn dwelling was saved.
By the early 1990’s, after the larger structure had been razed, the Church and the Town of Moorefield protected the House by weatherizing it. All three stories of the building are intact (corn cob insulation is still visible on the third floor). The interior of the House reveals a map of the many architectural alterations the Higgins House has undergone. These clues have been interpreted by a researcher of historic log structures, Gerald Milnes, and a dendroarchaeologist, Kristen de Graauw. Their reports are the basis of permanent exhibits exploring the history of the Higgins House.
As a community and economic development project, the Town of Moorefield, owners of the Higgins House, have joined in partnership with the Hardy County Convention & Visitors Bureau to open this important historical structure to the public, to share its history and expand the knowledge of how our County evolved.
Milnes, Gerald. Higgins House Assesment, May 22nd 2020. Accessed July 27th 2020. visithardywv.com.
de Graauw, Kristen K.. Tree-Ring Dating of White Oak Samples from the Higgins House in Moorefield, WV, June 8th 2020. Accessed July 27th 2020. visithardywv.com.