Driving by the Stone House on the Manassas Battlefield I noticed the red flag was hoisted! It is not out there all the time and when it is one must take advantage.
That means that the house is open to the public. I am the public, so I went inside.
This house was occupied as a private residence as recently as the 1930's. There were other outbuildings around it, many rented out as local side-of-the-road motel rooms. The Stone House had a big front porch (since removed when restored) and was not very well kept.
The restoration made the inside essentially what it would have looked like during the Civil War.
The fireplace, hearth and floor appear original. The floor has quite a bounce to it. Unable to enter the basement I was interested in having a look at its structure. Too bad - I think it needs an inspection!
An interesting feature on the main level is the bar and grill! In those days the words bar and grill meant something different than they do today.
The location would have been called a "public house." The bar, called the "board," was where the bar keeper, also called "publican," would serve locals and travellers drinks. The most popular would have been warm, kegged beer, but spirits were also served.
The "grill" is the protective surround. Only the bar keeper would have the skeleton keys to the lock for the grill, and to the storage rooms in the basement. No one else would have been trusted with the these keys.
The words "bar and grill" today have an entirely different meaning and it is interesting to see how language changes over time.
The Stone House was located right in the middle of the battlefield for First and Second Manassas, and was used as a hospital after both battles.
Privates Eugene P. Geer and Charles E. Brehm of the 5th New York Infantry were both wounded on 30 August 1862 while fighting in the Second Battle of Manassas to halt General James Longstreet’s counterattack.
These two men found their way to one small upstairs room at the Stone House to recover from their wounds. While there they carved letters into the woodwork. Their carvings are still visible today, and their images seen to the right. The initials “E.P. Ge” and “Brehm Aug 30” will be forever etched and their histories visible in this historical monument.
Charles Brehm recovered from his wounds and survived the war. Eugene Geer died on September 30, 1862 - he was only 17.
One day I hope to be allowed upstairs to photograph the original carvings.