PARKERSBURG- Parkersburg has another house added to the National Register of Historic Places.
About 20 people gathered at the Dr. W.W. Monroe House, at 1703 Park Ave., Thursday afternoon as members of the Wood County Historic Landmarks Commission unveiled the plaque, dedicating the house to the register.
The dedication was part of the "Reflections of the Past: A History and Heritage Festival" going on throughout the weekend.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
Jim Miracle, right, of the Wood County Historic Landmarks Commission addresses a crowd gathered at the Dr. W.W. Monroe House, at 1703 Park Ave., Thursday afternoon.
Construction of the house, owned by Randy and Charlotte Modesitt, started in 1896 and was finished in 1898. It has been known locally as the Monroe House and the Sadie House. The Modesitts bought the house in 2004 and moved in on Oct. 11 of that year.
''We have had quite a few houses on the register, with around 32 on it at one time,'' said Jim Miracle of the Landmarks Commission. ''We have lost a few over the years. Luckily, we now have another one we can add.''
It took four years from the time Charlotte Modesitt first approached the commission with the idea of getting the home on the register to its dedication Thursday, Miracle said.
Dr. Monroe was known locally as "the painless dentist" as he was the first to bring laughing gas to West Virginia as an anesthesia for dental work, Miracle said.
Monroe lived in the house for about 10 years, dying in 1907. His wife lived there until 1927. He was a councilman and worked on getting City Park built.
The Sadie family lived in the house for years; many people in the community still refer to it as the "Sadie House," Miracle said.
To get the home on the national register, a structure has to be significant in architecture or a significant person had to live there. Documentation must be presented in supporting the history of the structure and its origins.
Information is sent to the state historic preservation office, which reviews it and sents it to the National Park Service and Congress , which has 90 days to approve it for the National Register of Historic Places.
''We got lucky,'' Miracle said. ''This came out in 60 days. They said this was one of the finest houses they had seen.''
The house was put under the architectural category as it is a representation of an early work of architect H. Rus Warne.
Warne was born in Parkersburg in 1872 and started his architectural work here, Miracle said. Warne eventually went to Paris to study, came back and designed bank buildings, buildings for the U.S. Treasury and federal buildings. He designed state buildings in Charleston.
His firm, Silling Associates Inc., is still in operation in Charleston as the oldest continuing architectural firm in West Virginia.
Charlotte Modesitt said it was an exciting day for them.
''I was in fourth grade when I fell in love with this house,'' she said. ''This is really a great honor.
''I feel good about it for Dr. Monroe and what he has done. I wanted it done for whoever lives here next. It is for the next generation, not for us.''
Randy Modesitt said it was a great honor to have the house on the National Register of Historic Places. It was a home people have known about for years and admired.
''It is very unique and it is not something that happens everyday or to every home,'' he said. ''I think it is really an honor for Dr. Monroe.
''It makes us feel connected to the original owner of the house. He built a really beautiful home.''