THE GILES COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
MAKING HISTORY MATTER.
The parlor features the most elaborate woodwork in the house, as well as rare stenciled decoration, an indication of the important function of this - to entertain visitors. The Johnston House is one of very few 19th-century homes in Virginia to boast such painting, which was discovered when wallpaper was removed during restoration in 1998. The room was painted to resemble French wallpaper, with swags at the top and a vine and berry border above the chair rail. The wall under the chair rail was originally painted with a column design in orange and peach; once section has been restored.
Sometime before 1930, the fireplace mantle was removed and the room was remodeled as a bedroom. The present mantle was installed during restoration and at the same time, the narrow oak floorboards were removed to reveal the original pine flooring.
With the exception of Dr. Johnston's desk, the furnishings are gifts or loans from local residents. The rosewood-veneered square grand piano was made in New York, purchased from Nash & Woodhouse in Richmond before the Civil War, and transported by wagon to Pearisburg, where it stood for many years in the Western Hotel. The parlor also features a pedestal table with matching maple armchair and glider, a walnut piecrust table, and a Victorian sofa dating to circa 1900.