Friends of the Hollow News
October 1998

Highway Marker Approved

On September 16, 1998 the Virginia Board of Historic Resources approved our request for an official Virginia Historical Highway Marker for The Hollow. Installation of the marker will occur during this winter or next spring.

This marker provides the highest level of official recognition for The Hollow that is available without landowner consent. Although The Hollow is undoubtedly eligible for Virginia and National Historic Landmark status, the landowners currently will not consent to the application as is required by Virginia law.

The highway marker for the Hollow will be installed on State Route 688 (Leeds Manor Road) just north of Markham. The marker will read as follows:

THE HOLLOW                                                                  FF12
In 1765, John Marshall, then nine, moved with his family from his birthplace 30 miles southeast to a small, newly constructed frame house 1/4 mile east known as The Hollow. The house built by his father, Thomas Marshall, was his home until 1773, when the family moved to Oak Hill, five miles east. After the American Revolution began, Thomas Marshall and his sons, John Marshall, James Markham Marshall, and Thomas Marshall, Jr. fought in numerous Revolutionary War battles including Great Bridge and Yorktown. John Marshall later served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1801-1835).

A dedication of the marker will be held in the Spring along with a re-dedication of the Oak Hill marker, which was destroyed by an automobile and will be completely rewritten to tie it in with the new Hollow marker to the west.

The Friends of the Hollow will be required to pay the $1,100 cost of the marker. Special contributions toward the cost of the marker are welcome.

Local VDHR Office Supports The Hollow

We have received a letter of support from the local Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) Architectural Historian, David Edwards.

The Hollow is located in the area managed by the Winchester Regional Office of VDHR. In early 1998, we sought to enlist the support of that office in our efforts to acquire and restore The Hollow for future generations. In March 1998, we received a letter from Mr. Edwards of that office stating that "the early date of 1763 appears irrefutable. Congratulations on solving the mystery!" Mr. Edwards also stated that he is ready to assist in getting the property listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places when that becomes feasible.

Dell Upton Response

After some time, we received a response to our letter to the vernacular architect, Dell Upton.

We wrote to Dr. Upton, now at the University of California-Berkley, in September 1996 requesting that he comment on how Dr. Heikkenenís 1995 dendrochronology (tree ring) dating of The Hollow would affect his 1982 analysis of the age of The Hollow. We had enclosed a copy of his original report, a copy of a 1982 commentary on his report written by local historian, Triplett Russell, and a copy of the dendrochronology report.

By way of background, Dell Uptonís 1982 report stated that "there is nothing about the original section that precludes its being the house the Marshalls occupied" though he found no reason to believe, independently, that "it dated earlier than ca. 1790."

Dell Uptonís response, dated June 6, 1998, stated that he has "always been suspicious of [Dr. Heikkenenís] work" though he admitted that he is "in a distinct minority in this regard." He stated that it has been so long since his brief visit to The Hollow that he could remember only what was recalled to him by the report and that "at this distance, I am reluctant to second-guess myself." He recommended several local architectural historians whose judgment he would accept without question.

Ultimately, Dr. Uptonís recent letter did not provide any renunciation of his earlier findings. Of course, none is necessary since Dr. Upton did not conclude in his 1982 report that The Hollow could not have been constructed in 1764; only that he did not find any reason to believe independently that it dated earlier that 1790.

If necessary, we could engage additional professional opinions about the construction period of The Hollow. However, given the existing support of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in response to the scientific evidence already assembled, such an expenditure would probably not be the best use of organization funds at this time.

Fauquier Citizen Article

A favorable article about The Hollow and the Friends of the Hollow was published in the February 19, 1998 edition of The Fauquier Citizen. The article, written by staff writer Alison Rice, outlined the current situation and helped to increase awareness of the historical importance of The Hollow and the efforts of the Friends to acquire and preserve the structure.

Piedmont Environmental Council Fair

The Friends had a booth at the Piedmont Environmental Council Annual Fair at Airlie Plantation on July 5, 1998. Many local residents stopped by to discuss The Hollow and the efforts of the Friends of the Hollow to acquire the property.

Oak Hill Purchased

Thomas Marshallís home, Oak Hill, in Delaplane, Virginia, into which he and his family moved after leaving The Hollow in 1773, has finally been sold. The new owner, Charles R. Chamberlain purchased the house and 100 of the 320 acres that have been on the market since 1993 when the previous owner, Morris Marks died. Mr. Chamberlain intends to restore the house and use it as a weekend home.

Annual Meeting

The 1998 annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Hollow, Inc. will be held on Sunday, November 22, 1998 at 3:00 pm at the Old Stone Church ("Markham Methodist Church") in Markham, Virginia.

The Friends of the Hollow, Inc. is a Virginia non-stock, non-profit charitable corporation formed in 1981 with the express purpose of preservation and restoration of the boyhood home of Chief Justice John Marshall known as The Hollow. Basic membership dues are $10.00 per year and sustaining membership is $25.00 per year. Additional donations are welcome. Dues and contributions are fully tax deductible. Please make checks payable to Friends of the Hollow, Inc. and mail to Friends of the Hollow, 4283 N. 38th Street, Arlington, VA 22207.

Friends of the Hollow News is published by the Friends of the Hollow, Inc., 4283 N. 38th St., Arlington, VA 22207. Editor: T.M. deButts