County adds to list of jewels

Posted: June 11, 2014

The Winchester Star

The National Park Service — the agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior that administers the register — added the Millbank House to the register on May 21.

WINCHESTER — Frederick County now has 27 sites on the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Park Service — the agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior that administers the register — added Millbank House to the list on May 21.

The two-story brick house is located about five miles east of Winchester off Berryville Pike (Va. 7), near the Clarke County line. It was acquired by the Frederick County-based Fort Collier Civil War Center from the Frederick-Winchester Service Authority in late 2013.

Millbank, built in 1850 by miller Isaac Wood and his son, Daniel T. Wood, is one of the largest Greek Revival houses in the county. It served as a Union hospital during and after the Civil War’s Third Battle of Winchester on Sept. 19, 1864.

The house was added to the Virginia Landmarks Register on March 20.

It’s unlikely that Millbank will ever be permanently open for public tours due to stipulations in the deed of sale to the Civil War Center that restrict visitation because the Service Authority’s Opequon Water Reclamation Facility is adjacent to the property.

But it could be open for limited tours by appointment once it is restored, according to information previously provided by John Stevens, chairman of the Civil War Center.

The house’s application for inclusion on the National Register states that Millbank “maintains integrity of location, materials, workmanship and association.”

The house is near the Spout Spring Ford, where Berryville Pike crosses Opequon Creek “and through which Union forces advanced in the initial stages of the [Third Battle of Winchester],” the application continues.

“Though the house has deteriorated through years of abandonment and is missing portions of its original fabric, integrity of materials is still conveyed in the absence of any modern alterations or additions,” the application states. “Integrity of workmanship is expressed through such elegant features as the carefully crafted Italianate bracketed cornice, the curving interior main staircase, heart-pine floorboards and bull’s-eye corner blocks on interior window and door surrounds.

“While housing developments and the highly trafficked Berryville Pike have considerably altered the landscape of the Third Battle of Winchester site, the large size of the house and what remains of the farmland evoke an association with the Civil War history of the property, as the many rooms of the mansion and expansive fields around it would have provided ample space for the care of wounded soldiers.”

— Contact Matt Armstrong