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Beall-Air facts for kids

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Beall-Air is located in West Virginia
Location in West Virginia
Beall-Air is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Nearest city Halltown, West Virginia
Built 1820
NRHP reference No. 73001914
Added to NRHP August 17, 1973

Beall-Air, also known as the Colonel Lewis William Washington House, is a two-story stuccoed brick house in classical revival style near Halltown, West Virginia. It was the home of Colonel Lewis William Washington, great-great nephew of George Washington and hostage in John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

The original house, now the rear portion of the house, is believed to have been built by Thomas Beall prior to 1800. Beall's daughter Elizabeth married George Corbin Washington in 1807. George Corbin was the grandson of Augustine Washington, half-brother of George Washington. George and Elizabeth's son, Colonel William Lewis Jr., was born in 1812. The present front of the house was added in 1820.

Colonel William Lewis Washington Jr. married in 1897 Barbara Gibb, a Canadian nurse, who was the daughter of James Gibb . Col Washington served in the Confederate service during the American Civil War. He claimed to be a grandnephew of General George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. He died in January 1902, and was buried at Nashville.


The main (1820) portion of the house is a two-story stucco-faced brick structure on a stone foundation. The corners of the three-bay house are thickened by pilasters, with a similar frieze-like thickening extending horizontally above the second floor windows. The front, or south elevation has a small portico with a flat roof and four Ionic columns. The front door has sidelights and an overlight, echoed by the second floor window immediately above the portico. The eat and west ends have stepped gables with central chimneys and the "shadow" of a porch. A small 2½ story structure to the north of the main house connects to the main house with a two-story link. This structure has a gabled roof with dormers and is also stuccoed. Its windows are late 18th century in detail.

The Harpers Ferry Raid

Lewis William inherited several relics of George Washington, including a sword allegedly given by Frederick the Great to Washington and a pair of pistols given by Lafayette. John Cook, who served as John Brown's advance party at Harpers Ferry, befriended Washington and noted the relics, as well as the slave population at Beall-Air. Brown was fascinated with the Washington relics. During Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry a detachment from his force led by Cook seized the sword and pistols along with Washington at Beall-Air, taking along three of Washington's slaves. The hostages were taken to Harpers Ferry by way of the Allstadt House and Ordinary, where more hostages were taken. All survived their captivity, and Washington identified Brown to the Marine rescue party. During the assault on John Brown's Fort, a saber thrust by Marine Lieutenant Green at Brown was allegedly deflected by the belt buckle securing the Washington sword.

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