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RICHMOND — One place being celebrated during the “Year of the Virginia Historic Home” is the house built in 1911 by J. Sidna Allen in Fancy Gap.
Gov. Bob McDonnell declared 2013 the year of the historic home because Virginia’s Executive Mansion will turn two centuries old, according to information posted to a website for that purpose, historicalhomes.virginia.gov.
“Virginia’s Governor and First Lady celebrate this Year of the Historic Home by encouraging Virginians and her visitors to visit the many historic homes throughout our beautiful Commonwealth,” the website says. “Take a look around — you will find that many houses are hidden jewels right around the corner from your homes and places of work.”
The interactive website contains a description of the Allen house and what makes it historic, between the entries for an apothecary shop in Northern Virginia and President James Madison’s Montpelier.
“Sidna Allen had dreamed of owning the finest home in Carroll County for many years and this house was his personal creation and realization of that dream,” the listing says. “But that dream was shattered in 1912 during the infamous Carroll County Courthouse shootout.”
Allen, soon after completing the home, went to prison after five died from the shootout, seven were injured and his brother and nephew were executed.
Bonnie Wood and Stanley Widener, who own the home after it came down through their family, continue efforts to create a foundation and preserve the home.
Historian Shelby Inscore-Puckett is working with the committee.
The governor has just granted the Allen home a significant amount of publicity, she notes.
“This is exciting news and it appears it would be a great benefit in the work we’re doing in trying to preserve the house,” she told The Gazette.
Volunteers continue putting into place the legal elements of creating the foundation, Inscore-Puckett says, such as working towards receiving a non-profit status.
They hope that will be in place by spring and restoration efforts can follow.
J. Sidna Allen Home
130 Skyview Dr., Fancy Gap, VA 24328
Directors: Bonnie Wood and Stanley Widener
Type: 1866-1916 (Reconstruction — Gilded Age)
The J. Sidna Allen Home is one of the most historical landmarks in Carroll County, Virginia. Built in 1911, the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Virginia Historic Landmark.
The home is a remarkably rich example of Queen Anne architectural style situated on a commanding position in the hills of Fancy Gap, Virginia.
Sidna Allen had dreamed of owning the finest home in Carroll County for many years and this house was his personal creation and realization of that dream. But that dream was shattered in 1912 during the infamous Carroll County Courthouse shootout.
Sidna Allen was a member of the so-called “Allen Clan” that was involved in the Hillsville courthouse massacre in which 5 people were killed including county officials and judge Thornton Massie. At the time Sidna Allen’s brother, Floyd, was on trial for allegedly helping his two nephews escape from police custody After the first shot (whose stories have never been accurately determined), a barrage of fire and general melee ensued.
Sidna Allen, who always maintained his innocence, was sentenced to live imprisonment, along with several others, and two members of the Allen family were executed.
Soon after the shooting, Sidna Allen’s home, finished only one year before the shootout, was confiscated by the state.
From the website historicalhomes.virginia.gov