Over the years the Johnston family continued to renovate and update the house. The current pressed-metal shingle roof dates from circa 1900, and the house was the first in Pearisburg to install electricity and telephones. Restored in 1998 to its nineteenth-century appearance, the Andrew Johnston house presents an excellent example of a prosperous middle-class dwelling in the rural antebellum South.
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The oldest surviving brick house in Giles County, the Johnston house was built in 1829 by one of Pearisburg's founding fathers, Colonel Andrew Johnston.
Built on sturdy log foundations, the 2 and 1/2 story Georgian-style house is constructed of hand-made Flemish bond brick made on the site. The main entrance is marked by an elegant portico of four Greek revival columns, and the five-bay facade still boasts it original yellow-locust window frames.
The design of the interior is based on a simple colonial plan with a central hall flanked by a room on either side. On the ground floor a dinning room ell wing is attached at the rear. The original wide-plank yellow pine flooring still exists in the parlor and upstairs bedrooms, and the house possesses numerous pieces of Johnston family furniture. Rare and unusual decorative painted borders can be seen in the principal rooms on both floors.
In 1857 Colonel Johnston's son, Dr. Harvey Green Johnston, expanded the house with a wooden addition attached to the rear dinning room wing. This was to serve as the kitchen, replacing the original kitchen that was located in the cellar.
THE GILES COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
MAKING HISTORY MATTER.