Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Virginia


Rose Hill

Rose Hill, Frederick County, Winchester, Virginia (39.151373, -78.220250)

(a) Primary log house Felling Dates: Winter 1791/2, Winter 1792/3, Spring 1793, Winter 1796/7

(b) West addition Felling Date: Winter 1828/9

(c) North addition Felling Date: Undated Pine

(a) Logs (7/8) 1778, 1780, 1791 (C) 1792 (C); Studs (7/7) 1792 (¼C); Joist (1/1) 1796 (C). (b) Joists (4/8), 1747, 1793, 1828 (C). (c) Joists (0/4); Ex-situ timber (0/1) Site Master 1671-1828 RHVx1 (t = 10.45 MD2011; 9.23 HQFx2; 9.22 DC-AREA).

Rose Hill is a large multi-phase historic house belonging to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. It consists of a two-room, two-story primary phase log structure with a large brick addition to the west and a later stone addition to the north. Dendrochronology was commissioned to aid in interpretation of the structure as part of an ongoing restoration project.

Initial results for the dendrochronological analysis show that the logs for the primary phase of the building were felled from the winter of 1791/2 through to the spring of 1793. Stockpiling of timbers over a period of two or three years for the construction of large buildings is relatively common, with the felling dates indicating that the primary phase of the building was constructed in the spring of 1793 or shortly thereafter. One of the floor joists from the first floor, however, provided a felling date of winter 1796/7, which seems to suggest that the internal divisions were inserted several years after the construction of the exterior walls of the building, an unusual detail that might merit further investigation. Samples taken from the west addition provided a precise felling date of the winter of 1828/9, while the samples from the north addition have so far failed to date.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2012 The Tree-Ring Dating of Rose Hill, Winchester, Virginia, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2012/02.




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230