236 First Street and Bald Cypress Tree
Virginia State senator and later circuit judge John A. Brannon built this fine home in 1853. During renovations by owners, Robert Piersons, a trapdoor was discovered in the first floor hallway leading to a hidden room under the house. It is believed to have been a Civil War hideaway used to escape capture by Union troops, when they occupied Weston. Brannon's household slaved lived in the 2-story painted brick behind the main house; It is likely the only former slave quarters in central West Virginia.
Backstory and Context
Next to this house is a WV rarity, a bald cypress tree (taxodium distichum) according to ledged Judge John Brannon brought a switch of the tree from Richmond, VA in 1853 and planted it here. It is believed the tree is 167 year old. It is now more than 130 feet tall and the largest in the State of West Virginia. It is listed in the National Journal of big trees of America. The tree has a circumference of 18 feet. This is one of the three surviving centennial trees in WV and is listed on the West Virginia Big Tree register.