Mouth of Wilson Virginia, Virginia in late 1800's
Old farmhouses and Victorian homes abound in rural areas of our country. When you drive by these reminders of our history do you wonder about the people who lived in these homes? Do you wonder where they worked if they had jobs outside of farming? Or when they first got indoor plumbing and electricity? Or what happened to the family?
Unlike the lost history of so many historic homes, the history for one special house located in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, is well known. It is referred to by the locals as “the old Fields mansion” and was continuously occupied by members of the Fields family for over 100 years, from 1907 until 2009. Then it was purchased by the current owners, who had known the Fields family their whole life, and who subsequently engaged in a sensitive and complete renovation, but have made a decision to leave the area and sell the property.
Recently the home was listed for sale with Ashe High Country Realty. Information along with many images and video can be found by following this link.
Mouth of Wilson is an odd name for a town?
It is named for an original surveyor of the area, G. Wilson who was part of the Jefferson-Frye survey party. Unfortunately, Mr. Wilson died of a stomach ailment and was buried in the bank of the creek. The survivors of the group noted it on their maps as Wilson Creek. The creek joins the New River at this point, and the town that later developed was called Mouth of Wilson.
Construction of the Home
This lovingly and fully-renovated historic home was built in 2 phases. In 1884 a woolen mill was built in Mouth of Wilson, and at that time the back half of the house was built as the home for the mill’s superintendent. Then, in 1906, the mill’s owner, W. C. Fields, started construction on the front portion of the home and a year later moved his family into the greatly expanded structure. The same contractor who built the 1908 courthouse in Independence, Virginia, also built the front portion of the house.
(J. Cam Fields and Ruth Phipps were married June 1920)
W.C. Fields’ son, J. Cam Fields, expanded the family’s businesses. He was president of Troutdale Bank and opened the Ford dealership (Fields Motor Company) in 1922, and then in the late 1920s built the Fields Dam that brought electricity to the rural mountain community.
Cam Fields also served as President and Chairman of the Board for Grayson National Bank, and J. Cam Fields was a community leader. His public service included sitting on the county school board for a remarkable 47 years.
The family also owned the Fields Garage and the Fields Grocery. In addition to being the owners of most of the businesses in Mouth of Wilson, the Fields home, when completed in 1906, was over 4100 square feet and had enough bedrooms to be considered a mansion.
One of the current owners is an architect, who has also worked on the team that renovated President James Madison’s home in Montpelier, Virginia, so he has a strong sense of history. That thoughtfulness guided the couple’s choices when they began their renovations after purchasing the home from J. Cam Field’s granddaughter (who still lives in the area).
Today, the home features 5 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a new kitchen that looks like it could have been original, and over 1600 square feet of covered porches running along three sides of the house. The rooms are light-filled and spacious, and the seller-architect has drawn up plans for adding bathrooms to each bedroom if someone wanted to turn this gracious home into a Bed & Breakfast. If you wanted to turn this beautiful home into a B&B, there are two options for private owner’s quarters – a den and two bedrooms and bath that are part of the original 1884 house, or convert the 662 square foot, electrified, insulated workshop into an owner’s suite. It already has a bathroom and laundry area. Of course, you can keep it as a workshop, or you could turn it back into a garage, or even another guest suite.
The property also includes apple trees and berry bushes and is within walking distance of Wilson Creek.
For creative or entrepreneurial people, also for sale next door on the adjoining parcel you’ll find a fully renovated post office, and still-to-be renovated former general store.
Having grown up in Grayson County, the architect returned with his bride to live near his parents, but then life happened and his mother moved from the area. With two young children, they have decided it is important to be close to family.
Mouth of Wilson has the potential to become the focal point of the county again. Toward that future, the sellers have done the hard work of renovations for the next owners to build upon. Are you the person with vision to shepherd this community icon into the next generation at the center of Mouth of Wilson?
Please contact Ashe High Country Realty at 800-729-0735, or send an email through the listing presentation page - Historic Fields Mansion.