The Vernacular Colonial era Timson House is believed to be among the oldest surviving buildings in Williamsburg, VA. Documentation suggests that at least part of it was built for Captain William Timson between 1714 and 1717.
Unlike later houses in the city that show clear influences of the 18th-century Georgian style, this simple house is considered “vernacular” – a modest type of building specific to a region and period, which relies on local materials and knowledge without the supervision of an architect.
It reminds us that a historic house does not have to be architecturally distinguished to be historically significant. Vernacular buildings document an important part of history – often representing the homes occupied by the majority of residents in a community.
The historic preservation movement has made significant progress in recognizing the need to save homes of all types to honor and remember the history of all our citizens, not just the mansions of the rich. Every region of the country has simple buildings that reflect the building traditions of its historic residents and the materials available in the area. This house is a wonderful example.
“Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners” was written to help people save historic houses in their communities – preserving significant character-defining features while making them livable for 21st-century lives.
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our online shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
Select preservation titles by other authors are also available in our shop!
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