Covesville Historic District
From:Covesville Historic District Application:
Nestled in a valley, or cove, created by the Boaz and Heards Mountains to the north and west and the Fan and Brush Mountains to the south and east, the rural village of Covesville is located fourteen miles south of Charlottesville in Albemarle County, just north of the Nelson County line. Covesville is a cohesive residential, agricultural, and commercial community originally settled in the late 18th century. Covesville was officially established in 1828 when the first post office was constructed. Covesville, which has no official boundaries, is a rural community that has historically included the village center and the surrounding countryside, but never included a formal plat or plan. Although not the original impetus for settlement, the Charlottesville to Lynchburg stage coach route, which was established prior to 1822, gave the early village its linear form. The stagecoach road was later incorporated into U.S. Route 29 in the 1920s. Based on subsequent growth in the village, in response to the central role of the railroad and the orchard industry, Covesville expanded beyond its initial linear form. The historic district, which encompasses 2,308 acres, represents the historic and visual core of the village and is bounded primarily by the properties lining the central transportation corridors which are U.S. Route 29 and the parallel Norfolk-Southern railroad tracks. The boundaries of the historic district include the buildings lining the railroad tracks, Route 29, Covesville Lane, and expand westward along Boaz Road to include the adjacent apple orchards and the early settlement areas along Cove Creek. The northern and southern boundaries of the district are drawn where modern growth has expanded along U.S. Route 29.
The community, surrounded primarily by rural farmsteads with agricultural fields and wooded mountainsides, was initially settled by Scots-Irish immigrants who came to Albemarle County from the Shenandoah Valley seeking land to establish a Presbyterian Church, settling in the Rich Cove area along Cove Creek circa 1756. Although none of the early settlement period resources remain intact, ruins of the Maxwell house built circa 1750 remain on the Boaz property. Buildings and farms from the late 18th-and-early 19th century associated with some of the original families and their religious mission remain the core of the historic village. Expanding steadily into the 20th century, Covesville includes buildings that display stylistic and vernacular architectural features reflecting the community’s historic development from circa 1750 to 1954, with a small amount of infill construction added in the latter part of the 20th century. In addition, the original Boaz orchards survive as an intact vernacular landscape that was developed through sustained agricultural use.
Today, Covesville remains a small, rural village located along a major transportation route and is supported by outlying farms and orchards. The historic resources dating between 1750 and 1954, which include domestic, commercial, agricultural, educational, and ecclesiastical buildings, are constructed of log, wood frame, and masonry. These buildings are set both on smaller lots along the roads and on larger more secluded farm tracts. Many of the buildings display the fashionable architectural styles of the period in which they were constructed, while others are vernacular, representing a more rural utilitarian function. The dominant forms and styles in Covesville, also vernacular in interpretation, include the Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, Craftsman/Bungalow, and commercial resources, probably reaching the rural village through the popular dissemination of pattern books. Many of the properties are supported by historic outbuildings, including barns, tenant houses, sheds, springhouses, and smokehouses, among others. Although a number of these resources have some replacement materials or small additions, the overall integrity of the community remains intact. A total of forty-nine primary resources, which include forty-two contributing and eight non-contributing primary resources, are located in the historic district, of which two are historic orchards located on the same property. An additional seventy-one supporting resources are contributing, while thirty-eight others are non-contributing. Overall, a total of ninety-four tax parcels, associated with the forty-nine primary resources, are included within the district boundaries.
Residential, Ecclesiastical, and Educational Architecture
In the late 18th century, southern Albemarle County (part of Goochland County until 1744) was settled as rural agricultural farmland. By 1745, 160,000 acres of land in Albemarle County was divided into 191 patents, averaging approximately 830 acres each. The 18th-century farm complexes, spread over vast acreage, resembled small villages with numerous outbuildings supporting the main dwelling, which was often located on a hill or rise. The associated outbuildings often included kitchens, icehouses, slave quarters, granaries, smokehouses, barns, dairies, and other domestic and agricultural-related dependencies. As the agrarian “village” grew and the economy became more complex, gristmills, taverns, schools, and churches further enhanced the landscape beyond the self-contained plantation. Although the early, 18th-century, domestic architecture of these large, self-sufficient plantation complexes consisted of simple log dwellings, including claim houses, much more substantial architecture reflecting the owner’s growing wealth soon followed.
The staple crop of the early Albemarle plantations was tobacco, which was an extension of the Tidewater culture. A need to replace lands exhausted by tobacco motivated the initial land patents located on eastern Albemarle’s rich soils. The institution of slavery, which is intrinsically linked to Virginia’s tobacco production, was therefore transplanted to the Piedmont; a development which dramatically influenced the landscape. While the affluence obtained by the early Tidewater gentry would never fully be realized in Virginia’s Piedmont, the cultivation of tobacco continued to play an important role in the region’s economy until wheat cultivation completed its ascendancy during the mid-19th century. The early settlement patterns in the district were tied to this tobacco culture, with large plantations linked to the James River by an early and fairly sophisticated road system, promoting trade to Richmond and Tidewater. By at least the first quarter of the 19th century, the Charlottesville to Lynchburg stagecoach road was in operation through the valleys of the surrounding landscape, spurring linear development along its entire route.
Initial settlement in the Rich Cove area was tied to a 4,030-acre patent held in 1741 by Charles Lewis. Although part of the large land patents, the Rich Cove area was not initially settled for tobacco production, but rather as a religious haven for Scots-Irish moving eastward from the Shenandoah Valley. One of the first known buildings to be constructed in the area was a small, log Presbyterian meetinghouse, no longer standing, but dating to circa 1769. Large farm tracts surrounding the church were, or had recently been, purchased by settlers with ties to the church, including members of the Hart, Maxwell, and Harris families. In 1751, Lewis deeded 400 acres to Bezaleel Maxwell.1 Ruins of a house appear to date to this period and are now located on the Boaz property (VDHR 002-0775). The Maxwell family, in 1779, acquired another 400 acres from George Douglass, one of the early church founders, making the Maxwell family one of the area’s largest landowners.
The stage coach stop for the area was located just to the south of Covesville near the community of Faber. A map of the stagecoach route in 1822 reveals that the area was beginning to resemble of village. Francis Hart’s dwelling at Cove Lawn Farm (ca. 1782, VDHR 002-5038-0019), Eli Ames’ store, Drumheller’s blacksmith shop, and the Cove Church (VDHR 002-5038-0024), as well as “Edgstend’s” (correctly Hestands’s tanyard) are all depicted on the map.3 Deed records also indicate that the Ames’ dwelling was constructed of stone and was located in the Ames Gap vicinity. 4 Of these early properties, only Cove Lawn Farm and the rebuilt Cove Church (ca. 1809/1880) are extant. While not depicted on the map, it is known that the Maxwell house also existed by the mid-18th century. 5 Today, all that remains of the Maxwell House are the exterior-end chimneys. Based on historic photographs and/or extant architectural features, both the original Cove Lawn dwelling and the Maxwell house are known to have been one-and-a-half story wood-frame vernacular dwellings with hall-parlor plans, stone foundations, exterior-end chimneys, weatherboard cladding, and side-gabled roofs. It appears that circa 1806, Cove Lawn was expanded into a center-hall dwelling, probably remaining one-and-a-half stories in height. Carved Federal-style mantels in the Cove Lawn dwelling remain a feature from this period. Only the chimneys remain of the Maxwell house.
Constructed in 1809, the present Cove Church was originally a one-and-a-half story brick structure with detailing typical of many early-19th-century rural churches, probably displaying classical-style elements. The decorative detailing on the present structure dates to 1880 when the church was partially rebuilt after a tornado demolished part of the building. Prior to being rebuilt, the brick church resembled a more classical colonial church form, as evidenced by physical ghosting in the brickwork.
Although no resources retain their late-18th or early-19th century appearance, later fashionable expansions or updates reflect the substantial growing prosperity and social affluence of the district. In 1837, the existing one-and-a-half story Cove Lawn dwelling was fashionably updated in the Greek Revival style and was expanded to a two-story I-house form. The Greek Revival style adhered strictly to the systems of proportion and ornamentation demonstrated by the Greek Orders. Like the dwellings erected in the previous period, the Greek Revival domestic resources of the antebellum period maintained the central-passage, single-pile plan, but incorporated Greek Revival proportions and applied decorations. Grander domestic examples generally featured a columned portico supporting a triangular pediment, as on a monumental Greek temple, while more vernacular interpretations simply included shallow-pitched gabled roofs, symmetrical fenestration, a heavily molded cornice, a porch with columns, and/or a multi-light transom and sidelights. The stylistic alterations of Cove Lawn included the addition of a one-story portico with Tuscan posts and a roof balustrade. The central entry was updated with sidelights, dado panels, and a transom. An investigation of the interior suggests that the stair was also reworked at this time. Similar vernacular I-house forms dating from the mid-to-late-19th century include the Eva Boaz/Blain House (ca. 1840, VDHR 002-0038-0025), the original portion of the Boaz House (ca. 1855, VDHR 002-0038-0021), and the original portion of the McCormick/Norvell House (ca. 1870, VDHR 002-5038-0030), which was greatly expanded around the 1890s. It is unknown whether these featured Greek Revival style detailing as the buildings were later substantially enlarged.
The only other dwelling in Covesville dating to the first half of the 19th century is the Pugh House (ca. 1840, VDHR 002-5038-0010). Located on a steep wooded hillside behind Cove Presbyterian Church, the vernacular wood-frame dwelling at 6068 Cove School Court is set on a solid random rubble foundation, capped by a side-gabled, standing-seam metal roof, and features weatherboard cladding. The facade, which faces toward the railroad tracks, extends three bays with a central entry flanked by 6/6 wood windows. The main block of the dwelling is two bays deep with a circa 1920 rear shed addition. A half-hipped porch with replacement turned posts with scroll-sawn brackets is located on the façade. Detailing includes a large, exterior-end stone chimney, square-edged wood sills, molded wood surrounds, overhanging eaves, turned balusters, and attic-story replacement diamond-light windows. The interior appears to have originally featured a center-hall plan, but subsequent changes have opened the space into two rooms. An enclosed winder stair remains intact.
Although the Greek Revival detailing at Cove Lawn appeared by 1837, no other stylistic references are noted in the first half of the 19th century. However, in the latter half of the 19th century a multitude of architectural influences emerged reflecting the rise in commerce and the growing apple industry throughout Covesville. During this period, rapid industrialization and the growth of the railroads also led to considerable changes in house design and construction. Mass production of doors, windows, roofing, siding, and decorative detailing in
large factories allowed merchandise to be shipped at relatively low costs. Covesville, located along the Southern Railway, most certainly took advantage of this opportunity. However, hostilities throughout the country during this period greatly restricted the progress of the early Victorian trends until after the close of the Civil War (1861-1865). Although no major battles occurred in Albemarle County, the economy declined quickly, resulting in a lack of domestic construction. Thus, no dwellings were recorded as being constructed in Covesville during the Civil War.
Expanding on the Victorian trends that began during the Civil War period, the architecture of the Reconstruction and Growth Period (1866-1917) in Virginia includes more elaborate detailing and more intricate floor plans. Often, a number of elements were taken from various styles and were applied to vernacular house forms, particularly I-houses, as evidenced by a melding of Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, and Italianate detailing. Similarly, the orchard industry was prospering by the late-19th century, increasing the wealth of the local economy.
The Gothic Revival style was the first of the Victorian-era styles to challenge the symmetry and ordered reason of classicism. Brooding and romantic, it was a picturesque mode with vaulted ceilings, battlements, lancet-arched windows, and tracery, all suggesting the mysterious architectural vocabulary of the medieval past. Popular between 1840 and 1880, the Gothic Revival style was often seen in rural communities as it was considered particularly compatible with the open landscape. The vernacular interpretations of the style are identified by steeply-pitched roofs, decorative vergeboard, and the use of Gothic, or lancet, arches. The style was popular for domestic as well as ecclesiastical architecture, both of which are represented in Covesville. Examples include the J.J. Boaz House at 6100 Monocan Trail Road (ca. 1870, VDHR 002-5038-0026) and the stylistically-rebuilt Cove Presbyterian Church.
Possibly begun as a vernacular I-house, the J.J. Boaz dwelling was either constructed as or expanded into a Gothic Revival-style structure circa 1880. Set on a solid, random-rubble foundation, the wood-frame dwelling features asbestos shingle cladding and a multi-gabled standing-seam metal roof. Two projecting gables and a corner gablet dominate the roofline. A one-story porch with turned posts and a gablet stretches across the two-story structure. Five bays in width, the facade is marked with 2/2 windows (and 1/1 replacement windows). A molded cornice with returns, Gothic-arched attic-story vents, leaded diamond-patterned sidelights, and scroll-sawn porch brackets further detail the building. A one-story sunporch projects to the north, while two interior-end chimneys and one central-interior chimney, all of brick, rise from the roof. A rear two-story ell and one-story rear shed addition further expand the house. The property also includes an historic root cellar, shed, and garage.
The two-story, three-bay Cove Presbyterian Church, rebuilt in the Gothic Revival style after a tornado in 1880, features brick construction, lancet-arched windows, and a granite foundation. Capped by a steeply-pitched, standing-seam metal roof, the church facade features a central, double-leaf, wood-paneled entry with a six-light transom and a segmental-arched, double-row brick lintel. The entry is flanked by stucco-clad lancet-arched panels that may have been designed as windows. An elongated lancet-arched window is set above the door, while recessed panels with stepped brickwork follow the gabled roofline. Extending three bays deep, the church is marked by three symmetrically-placed, lancet-arched 9/9 wood windows. The rear elevation also features stepped brickwork panels that follow the cornice line. Other architectural features include overhanging eaves, a wood cornice, two interior-end brick chimneys, square-edged wood sills, and a molded wood cornice with decorative brackets at each corner.
The Italianate style emerged in the 1830s along with the Gothic Revival style and in general proved to be more popular throughout the nation, lasting well into the 1880s. With square towers, asymmetrical plans, broad roofs, and generous verandas, the rambling Italianate houses that began to appear in both the American suburbs and countryside were romanticized interpretations of rural Italian villas. During the mid-1800s, the Italianate style was enthusiastically adapted for urban rowhouse designs, characterized by ornately molded door and window surrounds, bracketed cornices, and decorative cupolas. However, like the Gothic Revival, the style also lent itself well to the rural “picturesque” landscape. Despite its widespread popularity throughout the country, only a single example of the Italianate style appeared in Covesville, the Covesville Depot (VDHR 002-5038-0037), which is no longer extant. 6 Historic photographs of the late-19th century depot reveal that the one-story wood-frame structure exhibited a modified form of the Italianate style, expressed through the use of wide overhanging eaves with large brackets and turned drop pendants.
Among the attractions generating considerable interest at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia were several English buildings designed in the Queen Anne style, which would prove to be widely influential in America from the 1870s until the turn of the 20th century. The facades showed a great variety of forms, featuring projecting oriels, bay windows, varied rooflines, rich textures, and an open, asymmetrical plan. In America, the Queen Anne style was favored for everything from urban rowhouses to sprawling seaside retreats to rural farm dwellings. The style found an exuberant expression in wood and featured patterned shingles, turned spindles, carved brackets, large verandas, turrets, and sleeping porches. The Queen Anne style in Albemarle County, particularly Covesville, while not widespread, is found on several notable dwellings.
Dominated by a double cross-gabled roof forming a modified H-plan, the Johnson house (ca. 1878, VDHR 002-5038-0031) reveals an early influence of the Queen Anne style. Set on a solid rubble foundation, the wood-frame dwelling, clad in weatherboard, features a standing-seam metal roof, a central entry, symmetrical fenestration, and 1/1 wood windows. A one-story porch with bracketed turned posts stretches across the first story of the three-bay-wide facade. The two projecting gables, flanking the center entry, are detailed with a molded cornice with returns, square-butt and saw-tooth wood-shingled gable peaks, and decorative round vents. Two central-interior brick chimneys rise from the roof at the gable crosses.
Similarly, the McCormick/Norvell House (ca. 1870, VDHR 002-5038-0030) represents the rural Queen Anne style. Originally a side-gabled I-house, the dwelling was significantly expanded in the 1880s or 1890s with a large hipped roof addition with an off-center projecting three-sided gable with a closed tympanum. A similar projection is located on the north elevation. Both feature a lunette window and pressed metal decorative shingles in the gable peak. A one-story porch with turned posts and balusters and scroll-sawn brackets extends across the facade, culminating at an attached gazebo. The main block features an off-center, single-leaf entry, 2/2 wood windows, two oval fixed stained-glass windows, an eyebrow dormer, and a decorative stairwell window with an arched cap. A steeply-pitched gable dormer caps the south elevation, while a one-story enclosed porch and a two-story small shed addition extend from the ground floor. The rear elevation features a gabled ell with cornice returns and two one-story shed additions. Three brick chimneys rise from the roofline. An historic garage, shed, and a springhouse are associated with the property.
Following on the heels of America's Centennial celebrations in 1876, the Colonial Revival style emerged strongly in the early 1880s throughout America. The style, which borrowed heavily from early American architecture, was largely an outgrowth of a new nationwide pride in the past. In the early phase, the Colonial Revival style remained the exclusive domain of fashionable architectural firms and was favored for the large residences of wealthy clients. Designs incorporated characteristic features of Colonial buildings, including Palladian windows, gambrel roofs, pedimented porticoes, columns, and classical detailing such as swags and urns, and crisp white trim. This new building type was larger than its historic counterparts, with details also enlarged and plans laid out on a grandiose scale. As the style spread to rural areas, it was more conservative in design and scale, and was often applied to modest residences. Identifying features of the style commonly include accentuated main entry doors, symmetrically balanced facades, single and paired double-hung sash windows, and side-gable or gambrel roofs. Despite its frequent use for domestic buildings, the style also lent itself well to religious and institutional buildings such as churches, schools, and municipal buildings.
Located at 5342 Lackey Lane (ca. 1915, VDHR 002-5038-0040), the Lackey House is vaguely representative of the Colonial Revival style. The two-story, three-bay, wood-frame building sits on raised concrete piers and features a four-square form with hipped roof. The dwelling has a two-story, wraparound porch with a horizontal-board balustrade. Other details include overhanging eaves, an exterior straight-flight stair, and chimneys rising from the half-hipped dormers. Windows have 6/6 and 2/2 wood sashes. The dormers contain nine-light casement windows.
The more suburban interpretation of the Colonial Revival style is noted on the Cape Cod dwelling at 5964 Covesville Store Road (ca. 1930, DHR # 002-5038-0032). The house is set on a poured concrete foundation, and features vinyl siding, and a side-gabled roof with asphalt shingles. The house is symmetrically fenestrated and is adorned with a dominant shed dormer across the front and rear elevations. A gabled portico with an arched entry, keystone, and Tuscan posts projects centrally from the facade. Details include 6/6 wood windows with square-edged surrounds, concrete steps, and an aluminum-clad cornice. A one-story rear shed porch with screened openings was added.
The Colonial Revival style was also often mixed with other popular styles, as exhibited by the transitional Queen Anne and Colonial Revival Boaz-family dwellings at 5272 Boaz Road (ca. 1855, VDHR 002-5038-0021) and 5519 Covesville Lane (ca. 1850, VDHR 002-5038-0036). The Boaz House at 5272 Boaz Road, originally constructed as an I-house around 1855, was substantially enlarged circa 1910 with a Colonial Revival/Queen Anne-style addition to the façade. The original block, set on a solid brick foundation, features weatherboard siding, and a side-gabled roof with asphalt shingles (originally wood shingles). A gabled ell, exterior-end, shouldered brick chimneys laid in an irregular American bond, 9/6 first-story windows, 6/6 second-story windows, cornerboards, and a boxed wood cornice define the structure. The circa 1910 addition, which projects from the original dwelling, is Colonial Revival in form, but includes some Victorian-era details, including exterior decorative woodwork and multi-light dormer windows. The wood-frame addition, set on a granite foundation, features an off-center recessed paneled door with original decorative hardware and a three-sided bay window with 2/2 wood windows on the first story. A wrap-around porch with wood post supports with splayed caps extends across the façade and includes a modified porte-cochere, once part of the wraparound porch. The second story is symmetrically pierced with three 2/2 wood windows. The hipped roof is capped by a central gabled dormer with a pair of 49-light square windows and features carved woodwork in the gable peak. Overhanging eaves, weatherboard cladding, cornerboards, exposed rafters with rounded tails, square-edged wood surrounds and sills, and a one-light transom further define the addition. A central-interior brick chimney rises from the asphalt-shingle roof, while 2/2 wood windows and similar gabled dormers accent the side elevations. Incorporating an original porch, there is a one-story shed kitchen addition that was added to the rear elevation in 1965. Ruins of two historic houses, an office, a corncrib, an icehouse, and two cemeteries support the Boaz property.
The Boaz House at 5519 Covesville Lane (DHR # 002-5038-0036) is a mid-19th century vernacular I-house, once used as the church parsonage, with a transitional Queen Anne and Colonial Revival-style addition. The two-story, two-bay-wide house features a steep hipped roof addition to the original side-gabled structure. A pedimented cross gable with closed tympanum extends off-center on the facade, recalling the Queen Anne period. A one-story porch wraps around the north and west elevations and has Colonial Revival-inspired Tuscan columns, rock-faced concrete block piers, and turned balusters. The windows have 2/2 wood sash. A one-story ell with shed wing extends off the rear elevation. Other details include closed tympanums on the original block, one with a lunette window, and an original granite foundation. The dwelling originally faced east, but was reversed when the renovation occurred.
Similar to the Colonial Revival style, the Classical Revival style lends itself well to public buildings throughout the country. The Covesville School located at 5583 Covesville School Lane (ca. 1916, VDHR 002-5038-0016) is constructed on a hill just off U.S. Route 29. Capped by a standing-seam metal hipped roof, the one-story school building features a solid parged brick foundation and weatherboard cladding. A central, half-hipped projection extends from the facade of the building and is sheltered by a half-hipped porch with wood posts. Although the posts are replacements, the intact Tuscan pilasters reveal that the porch was originally supported by Tuscan posts. The three-bay porch shelters a central, single-leaf, five-paneled door flanked by single 9/6 windows. Banks of three 9/6 windows also pierce the flanking wings. Two interior-end brick chimneys rise from the rear of the roof. Other detailing includes a boxed wood cornice, a molded fascia, square-edged sills, and square-edged surrounds with a projecting cap molding. The building, which features an intact interior, is currently used as a storage building, while the original cafeteria/kitchen is currently used as a primary residence.
After the turn of the 20th century, longstanding traditional domestic forms began to be interpreted for economy and convenience. The resulting bungalow, an English form derived from small Indian-inspired dwellings, often mimicked the fashionable Queen Anne style, although applied to a one-and-a-half-story cottage. Overwhelmingly known as a style rather than a form, the bungalow, also became inspired by the Craftsman style and featured a low-pitched roof, irregular open plan, and a wrap-around porch. The Bungalow/Craftsman is typically one of the most popular styles and building forms noted throughout Virginia, as the form tends to lend itself well to more suburban environments. Stylistic elements include battered wood posts on brick piers, full-width, gable-front porches, exposed rafter tails, eave brackets, and multi-light windows. The proliferation was enhanced by the mass availability of kit-houses, often purchased though mail-order catalogs. Although not widespread in the rural district of Covesville, the overwhelmingly popular bungalow form is represented at 5954 Covesville Store Road (ca. 1925, VDHR 002-5038-0034). Set on a parged foundation, the wood-frame bungalow stands one-and-a-half stories in height and three bays in width. Capped by a side-gabled roof with a large gabled dormer, the dwelling features a shed porch with wood posts. Clad in weatherboard, the dwelling features a central entry flanked by 1/1 replacement windows. Details include exposed rafter tails, interior-end brick chimneys, square-edged wood surrounds, and cornerboards.
Other early-20th-century domestic architecture of note in Albemarle County, and particularly Covesville, is represented by the influx of workers’ housing. These primarily wood-frame, one- or two-story structures are largely vernacular in form and usually span two or three bays across the primary façade. Porches are also an element common to many of the examples. These dwellings were constructed to house local workers that were needed to support large farms or business ventures that developed with an increased prosperity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In Covesville, workers dwellings were constructed for orchard laborers as well as railroad workers. Examples of this vernacular building type include the Moseby House at 5425 Ames Gap Lane (ca. 1900, VDHR 002-5038-0002), which was constructed in four phases. The wood-frame dwelling, which began as a one-over-one, two-story dwelling sits on a concrete-block foundation (originally stone piers) and features textured aluminum cladding, a side-gabled, asphalt-shingle roof with overhanging eaves, and an exterior-end brick chimney. The main block also features replacement 1/1 windows, an aluminum soffit, and vinyl louvered shutters. A one-story wing with a half-hipped porch, supported by wood posts, extends two bays to the northwest and features similar detailing. A one-story shed addition extends northwest one bay further. Two one-story additions extend from the rear elevation. A horizontal-board porch balustrade further details the dwelling.
Located at 5847 Piedmont Apple Lane (ca. 1940, VDHR 002-5038-0048) a concrete block dwelling was constructed for workers at the nearby Wayland apple grader factory. Set on a solid, concrete-block foundation, the two-story dwelling features a flat roof with parapet and a central one-story enclosed portico with flat roof. Built into the hill, the dwelling also features a two-story rear projection, a molded concrete cornice, 2/2 wood windows, and square-edged concrete sills. An off-center entry (with missing door), a basement three-light window, a two-bay deep main block, and a rear single-leaf door further define the building. An off-center stair with a solid, stepped balustrade accesses the main entrance.
Located at Cove Lawn Farm (VDHR 002-5038-0019), the migrant worker lodge is another example of worker’s housing that was constructed in Covesville to meet the housing needs of apple orchard industry workers. Constructed for the Garcia family, the migrant worker dwelling appears to have been an original storage building (ca. 1920) for the apple industry that was later expanded into housing. The main block apartment features a side-gabled, standing-seam metal roof with exposed rafters, a shed awning porch with metal supports, and first-story, sliding, vertical-board doors. Architectural evidence suggests that in the 1950s the building was renovated into migrant worker housing and the second floor was converted to an apartment. Added in the 1950s, a six-bay, concrete-block wing featured motel-like entries, which are now infilled with paneled roll-up doors. Square-edged surrounds define the openings. The shed porch extends across the entire building. A concrete addition was added to the wing and it features a metal roll-up door and one single-leaf door. A newspaper article from 1970 describes the barracks-style camp structure as having several families to a room, with a community bathroom, beds, a few chairs, a sink, a stove, and no heat. 7 A second 1950s migrant house (002-0058-0049) was constructed on the original Boaz property near the orchards. The one-story concrete block motel-style building features a side-gabled roof and a single-leaf door and 8/8 wood window for each of the nine units on each side of the building. A central corridor extends through the center core of the building. Although not specifically constructed for worker’s housing, other dwellings in Covesville were historically used to house the numerous workers. The McCormick/Norvell house and the Lackey Store both functioned as hotels, which housed railroad workers as well as other travelers.
Several commercially-oriented structures remain intact within the district. These buildings were located along the county’s primary north-south transportation artery as early as the first quarter of the 19th century when the Charlottesville to Lynchburg stagecoach route was established. Later commercial structures include the general stores that served the small apple orchard industry-based community. Originally run by the Boaz family, who owned and operated the adjacent orchards, the Boaz/Johnson Store at 5930 Covesville Store Road (VDHR 002-5038-0043) was constructed just prior to the turn of the 20th century. The two-story, three-bay-wide building features a front-gabled roof with standing-seam metal. The double-leaf, multi-light main entrance is flanked by commercial three-sided bay windows. A two-story porch four bays wide and eight bays deep, wraps around the building on the east and north elevations. The porch features Tuscan posts on battered concrete piers on the first floor and Tuscan posts and square balusters on the second story. An exterior stair on the north elevation, sheltered by the porch, leads to a second-story gallery and apartments above. Enlarged in the late 1920s, the original rectangular-footprinted store now features a two-story and a one-story shed addition on the south elevation and a large one-story rear shed addition. The two-story south addition appears to have been originally fitted with a porch deck or stair. At present, only the single-leaf door with three-light sidelights and six-light transom remains. A second-story door on the rear also features a removed porch or landing. Detailing on the store includes a molded wood cornice, overhanging eaves, two interior-end brick chimneys, 6/6, four-light, and 2/2 wood windows, weatherboard cladding, cornerboards, and off-center fenestration. The building continues to operate as the Covesville Store.
The two-story, wood-frame building at 5974 Covesville Store Road (ca. 1900, VDHR 002-5038-0033), originally the Kennedy Store and now an apartment/residence, is dominated by a two-story full-width porch. The porch features Tuscan posts on the first story and square posts and balusters on the second story. An exterior, partially-enclosed stair leads to the second story. A slightly off-center, single-leaf paneled door is flanked by large four-light display windows. A second paneled door also accesses the main floor. The second floor features a single-leaf door and 6/6 wood windows. Presenting a rectangular footprint, the store building also features weatherboard cladding, a hipped roof, overhanging eaves, cornerboards, Tuscan pilasters, square-edged surrounds with a projecting lip, and an inboard showing that the rear portion of the building was added.
The Lackey Store/Hotel at 5362 Lackey Lane (ca.1890, DHR # 002-5038-0038) stands two stories in height and six bays in width. Appearing as a center-gabled vernacular structure, the building is actually capped by a multitude of roof types, suggesting numerous periods of construction. It appears that the store/post office was originally a front-gabled, three-bay commercial block that was later expanded two bays to the south and two bays to the north. The original three-bay section features central two-leaf doors with transom flanked by large commercial four-light windows. At present, a two-story porch extends across the entire facade, featuring wood post supports. Square balusters are noted on the second story. An exterior stair accesses the second level. Wood-sash 2/2 and 6/6 windows and three single-leaf wood doors also pierce the weatherboard-clad facade. Other details include square-edged wood surrounds, operable paneled shutters, square-edged wood sills, a concrete-block porch deck, a molded wood cornice, and a decorative round-peak vent. Built into a hill, the original portion features a rectangular footprint, while later additions have greatly increased the overall size. Three central-interior brick chimneys rise from the roofline.
Located at 5430 B Covesville Lane, the Toombs Store (ca. 1940, 002-5038-0041) is constructed of concrete block. The one-story store features a side-gabled roof with asphalt shingles, a central, gabled portico, and a one-story slightly recessed shed wing. The central entry is flanked by metal multi-light casement windows with square-edged concrete sills. The shed wing, also constructed of concrete block, features a single-leaf door and metal casement windows. An exterior-end, concrete-block chimney rises from the north elevation.
Central to Covesville’s success as an internationally-recognized modern apple producer is the apple packing complex located at 5861 Piedmont Apple Lane (ca.1940, 002-5038-0045). The core of the historic industrial center consists of two cold-storage warehouses. The original cold storage facility is constructed of concrete block with a flat roof with parapet. Built into the hill, the seven-by-seven bay building stands two stories in height and features a partially exposed basement. Exterior projecting buttresses mark the distinct bays. A projecting band also encircles the building at the ceiling levels. The only fenestration on the facade is block-infilled windows on the upper story and large infilled openings on the basement level that feature modern doors and windows. The rear of the building features an enclosed loading dock with three delivery doors and four small windows. An elevator shaft rises from the roofline. The two-story office building, attached to the original cold-storage building, features concrete-block construction, a flat roof, 2/2 horizontal wood windows, rowlock brick sills, and modern, vinyl-louvered, fixed shutters. Devoid of any stylistic detailing, the industrial building features a single-leaf door on the ground level and a single-leaf door on the second story, accessed via a modern wood porch. The circa 1960 concrete cold-storage building features a rectangular footprint, flat roof, and is twenty-by-sixteen bays. Each bay is delineated by an exterior concrete buttress and lacks any fenestration. A one-story concrete-block wing features metal 4/4 windows and a single-leaf wood door. The structure holds industrial equipment. Non-historic structures have further expanded the site including an open apple-crate warehouse, packing sheds, and apple washers.
Representative of the early plantation villages, the Boaz House stands as the most intact example of the farm complex in Covesville. Not constructed until 1855, the main dwelling was preceded by the Maxwell house, a circa 1750 hall-parlor dwelling that now stands as ruins. As the property was expanded in 1855 with the original Boaz I-house, a series of supporting outbuildings soon followed. These include an ice house, dwelling ruins, a doctor’s office, a corncrib, remnants of a smokehouse, and two cemeteries. Surrounded by the original Boaz orchards, the property once featured common wood-frame packing sheds that were scattered throughout the orchards. Another packing shed/barn was located near the intersection of U.S. Route 29 and Boaz Road. Although no longer standing, historic photographs reveal that the structure featured a raised pier foundation with a warehouse on the main floor and a sheltered, open-air packing floor on the ground. 8 Also associated with the apple industry, Covesville featured an early 20th century large wood-frame apple cider/vinegar warehouse (VDHR 002-0982) next to the Boaz/Johnson store. Now demolished, the site was incorporated into a parking lot.
Cove Lawn farm, another large farm complex also includes a variety of supporting outbuildings. An original tenant house/kitchen, hay barn, dairy barn, smokehouse, and migrant worker’s dwelling support the farm, which once included some of Covesville’s apple orchards.
The existing Covesville orchards are located along Boaz Road and extend northwest into Boaz Mountain, with an intact access road system. Characteristically, the orchards are planted along hillsides, utilizing less fertile land and allowing the early blooms to be sheltered from frost. Although not currently harvested, the historic Boaz orchards remain intact with fruit-bearing trees and little undergrowth. With the active apple-packing plant and vast orchard lands, Covesville's landscape remains tied to its historic roots as a thriving apple industry driven village.
Some mining operations have been associated with the district. These include three small iron mines and a granite quarry, which are all located on the Munday property (VDHR 002-5038-0015). These resources, located on the mountainside, are part of a large vein of mineral and stone deposits located in southern Albemarle County. The inactive iron mines measuring approximately ten feet wide and up to twenty feet, feature wide, sloping trenches. The iron mines, once owned by Thomas Jefferson, are currently held in easement by the Reading Iron Company. The granite quarries are carved from above-ground outcroppings. The remaining evidence of the operation, which supplied material for local foundations, includes split-face rocks with drill markings.
Small family cemeteries associated with the Boaz, Munday, and Smith families are located in the district, while the Cove Church cemetery features a larger, more community-oriented burial site. Each of the cemeteries features late-19th century metal fences, large trees, and ornamental markers. The most artistic headstones are located in the Boaz family cemetery, which is still in use enjoying commanding views of the surrounding mountains.
Since 1954 little development has occurred within the boundaries of the Covesville Historic District, resulting in a total of only seven non-historic primary resources. Of these, two represent the suburban expression of the modern Colonial Revival style including Cove Hill Farm (VDHR 002-5038-0022) and the house at 6114 Monocan Trail Lane (002-5038-0029). In general, the small amount of infill development either is clustered on setback cul-de-sacs or has occurred as a family division on a larger farm tract, as evidenced by Cove Hill Farm. An exception is the Covesville Post Office which was moved to a modern manufactured building next door to its location at the Johnson Store. In general, the massing, material, and scale of the modern buildings is consistent with that of their historic neighbors, creating a cohesive rural community reflective of the building trends from circa 1750 to the present and do not detract from the historic integrity of the rural district, which is dominated by the surrounding mountainous landscape.