| WHITE HOUSE FARM HISTORY (1768-1807)
Upon John McCormick's death in 1768, the farm was
bequeathed to his youngest son, Andrew. As noted in
the will, there were additional structures on the farm
which probably housed guests or family members.
Also, at an early date, the farmhouse was expanded by
adding two large rooms to the west of the original home.
During the Revolutionary War, Andrew and his wife
Nancy provided food, lodging, and horses to
Washington's troops, for which they were compensated
by the Continental Congress.(3) They raised several sons
(Moses, Magnus, Andrew II, Richard Byrn, and
George) and two daughters (Mary Ann and Elizabeth).(4)
Andrew also served in the 7th Maryland Regiment from
April 1778 to May 1779.(5)
After the war, Andrew operated an inn on the farm, as
evidenced by his having paid for a license to run an
Ordinary on 18 February, 1792. For such an endeavor,
the site benefited from its being on the main route connecting
Frederick, MD to WInchester, VA.
On September 9, 1807, Andrew sold the farm to John
Locke, but preserved 1/4 acre in the southwest corner
in perpetuity for the McCormick Family graveyard. Locke's
brother George continued to manage the ordinary, which had
become known as White House Tavern. Why would Andrew
sell the family farm and move with his family to Tennessee?
Ann Shoemaker has investigated the historical records
and believes that he did so to raise money to pay debts.
He was five years behind on the rent payments for 141
acres.(6) Also, since land had become very expensive in
Virginia, the property taxes had risen proportionately.
For whatever reason, he and members of the McCormick
and Byrn families moved to Tennesee.
(3) "Public Claims of Virginia" located in the Virginia Archives
(4) Andrew McCormick's will, January 20, 1820
(5) Muster roll in Maryland State Archives
(6) Virginia Rent Rolls, 1780
| In 1845 the farm was owned by Joseph and Eleanor Locke Morrow and the 1863
sketch of thehouse in the James E. Taylor Sketchbook (reproduced below with
permission of the Western Reserve Historical Society) depicts its relationship to
the "Morrow Spring" across the road, the springhouse, and a blacksmith shop
during the War of Northern Aggression.
|Colonel Harry Gilmor, in his book "Four Years in the Saddle," describes a skirmish in front of the
farmhouse in which he shot and killed Union Captain George Somers in full view of the inhabitants
of the house, as depicted in the sketch below from Taylor's Sketchbook, reproduced below with
permission of the publisher, Western Reserve Historical Society. This skirmish is one of 25 such
events which occurred in Jefferson County during the Civil War and which were commemorated
by the Sons of Confederate Veterans with a series of concrete markers, such as the old one shown
at White House Farm (shown below) next to the "old stone stable" mentioned by Gilmor.
For a complete description and photograph of each of the markers, please click here to visit the
web page maintained by the Jefferson County Historical Society.
| Major Harry Gilmor
Company G. 7th Virginia Cavalry
|Marker 13 commemorating the skirmish at White House Farm