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Waldomore began as a family home for Clarksburg resident Waldo P. Goff, but later evolved into a well-known local landmark. The two-story Neo-Classical Revival brick house was constructed in 1839 and expanded ca. 1900. It is an emblematic representative of the Neo-Classical Revival style. The name Waldomore was derived by combining the names of the original owners, Waldo P. Goff, and his wife Harriet Moore. May Goff Lowndes, daughter of Goff and Moore, donated Waldomore to the city of Clarksburg in 1931, on the condition that it be used as a library or museum. The city accepted and Waldomore remains a part of the Clarksburg Public Library today. It primarily holds special collections, such as the Local History & Genealogy Collection, the West Virginia Collection, and the Grey Barker UFO Collection.

  • Plant, Building, Sky, Tree
  • Plant, Building, Tree, Black-and-white
  • Waldomore today.
  • Black and white postcard of the Waldomore (Clarksburg Public Library).
  • WV Historical Marker for Waldomore.
  • Other side of Waldomore marker -- see link for more information about Goff.

Waldomore is a two-story Neo-Classical Revival brick mansion with relatively spacious grounds. Waldo P. Goff had the building constructed in 1839 as a home for himself and his family. The front facade features seven bays of windows and a columned porch. One would be right to notice strong parallels between the White House and Waldomore — though the White House was not the direct inspiration for Waldomore, the two buildings are firmly rooted in the same architectural canon. During the Goffs’ ownership, the home underwent one major renovation. This renovation took place in the early 1900s and created more space for the family through the addition of two wings on the rear of the house, giving the building an H-shape. 

The original structure of Waldomore was built in 1842 by Clarksburg resident, businessman, and leader Waldo P. Goff and his wife Harriet Moore Goff. The home was meant to serve as a family residence for the couple and their nine children. The most famous child of Waldo and Harriet was Nathan Goff, who was born in Waldomore. Nathan Goff served as Secretary of the Navy under President Rutherford B. Hayes. Nathan Goff also served six years in the United States Congress, ran for West Virginia governor twice, was a US Circuit Judge, and served a term in the US Senate. Another important figure in the history of Waldomore is May Goff Lowndes. Lowndes was a daughter of Waldo and Harriet Goff and came to be the last Goff owner of Waldomore.

In 1931, Lowndes bequeathed Waldomore to the city of Clarksburg on the condition that it be used “as a public library and museum and for no other purpose.”1 The Clarksburg Public Library had been moving from building to building for several years, so was thrilled to be gifted a permanent location. The city renovated the home by removing walls on the main floor to make the space larger for a reading room. This was also when the name “Waldomore” was developed. Lowndes decided to use a combination of her father's first name and her mother's maiden name as a way to honor them and their ownership of the home. John W. Davis, a Clarksburg native and the Democratic presidential nominee in 1924, presided over the Waldomore’s dedication ceremony in 1931. Davis wrote a short message commemorating Lowndes’ gift, which was placed on a bronze plaque in the building’s vestibule. 

Waldomore served as the primary site of Clarksburg’s library until 1976. At this time, the city built a larger structure next door to Waldomore to serve as the main city library. Waldomore was maintained for private events and as the home of the West Virginia collection of the library. Two years later, in October of 1978, Waldomore was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A double-sided historical marker — one face discussing Waldomore and the other discussing Nathan Goff — was added in 2016. In 2017, a major renovation updated the building’s electrical system, repaired the roof, replaced the carpet and flooring, and added wireless internet access. These changes were made with the intent to maintain Waldomore’s historic integrity to the fullest possible extent.

Today, Waldomore continues to serve as a public meeting and event space, the home of the West Virginia collection of the Clarksburg Public Library, and the location of the Gray Barker UFO Collection. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the mansion and meet with Waldomore staff to learn more about the history of the structure. Other appointments can be made to access the special collections. Thanks to preservation commitment by the City of Clarksburg, the home’s historical value, and the active function in library operations, Waldomore will remain part of Clarksburg’s history for years to come.

Chambers, S Allen. Waldomore, SAH Archipedia. January 1st 2012. Accessed March 24th 2021.

Collins, Rodney S. Waldomore, National Register of Historic Places. February 14th 1978. Accessed March 24th 2021.

Kaiser, Alison. Historic Waldomore mansion re-opens after makeover, 5WDTV. June 11th 2017. Accessed March 24th 2021.

Pauley, Michael J. Downtown Clarksburg Historic District, National Register of Historic Places. July 19th 1982. Accessed March 24th 2021.

Waldomore, Clarksburg Harrison Public Library. Accessed March 24th 2021.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

“Waldomore, Clarksburg, W. Va.” Ca. 1875-1885. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed March 24th 2021.

“Harrison County Public Library.” 1933. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed March 24th 2021.

Harrison County Historical Society.

"West Virginia's Sesquicentennial Highway Historical Marker Program." Accessed September 23, 2020.

"West Virginia's Sesquicentennial Highway Historical Marker Program." Accessed September 23, 2020.