The Enigmatic Charm of the Octagon House in Marion, Virginia
Embark on a comprehensive virtual exploration of the two-story Octagon House in Marion, Virginia. This immersive tour invites you to delve into the interior of this abandoned structure, allowing ample time to thoroughly observe and appreciate every detail. As you navigate through the space, ensure to look around in all directions, taking in the unique 360-degree perspective offered by this distinctive historical building.
Images by: Encyclopedia Virginia
Images by: Encyclopedia Virginia
About the Octagon House
Introduction: Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Marion, Virginia, the Octagon House, also known as the Abijah Thomas House, stands as a remarkable testament to unique architectural trends and the rich tapestry of American history. This blog post delves into the captivating story of the Octagon House, exploring its origins, architectural uniqueness, and the historical significance that makes it an irreplaceable part of Virginia’s heritage.
The Architectural Marvel of the Octagon House: Constructed in 1856, the Octagon House was designed and built by Abijah Thomas, a figure notable in the annals of Smyth County history. Its octagonal structure, a style that gained popularity in the 1850s in America, offers more than just an unusual shape; it is a testament to the innovative spirit of the era. Comprising seventeen rooms, ten closets, and a storage room, the house showcases an array of intricate interior designs, including rare painted ashlar on plaster walls, graining, marbleizing, and stenciling. These elements highlight the craftsmanship and artistic vision of the period, with each room telling a story through its unique design.
The Historical Context of the Octagon House: The Octagon House is more than just an architectural marvel; it is steeped in the history of pre-Civil War America. Built for Abijah Thomas, a prominent figure in the county, the house was part of a 400-acre property, a symbol of Thomas’ prosperity and influence. Thomas’ legacy extended beyond his home. By 1860, he had amassed over 10,000 acres in the area, establishing the Holston Woolen Mills, a sawmill, grist mill, and tannery. He even opened an iron furnace southeast of Marion that produced pig iron for the Confederacy. However, his story is also intertwined with the darker aspects of American history, as enslaved African Americans and hired workers toiled on his properties.
The Octagon House: A Symbol of Virginia’s Endangered Heritage: Despite its historical and architectural significance, the Octagon House faced years of neglect, leading to its designation as one of Virginia’s most endangered places in 2015. This recognition was a crucial step in raising awareness about the house’s condition and the urgent need for its preservation. In response, the Octagon House Foundation, Inc., was established in 2014, rallying a community of restoration supporters. This group has embarked on the arduous task of restoring the house to its former glory, a testament to the community’s dedication to preserving its cultural heritage.
The Mystique of the Abandoned House: For many years, the Octagon House sat abandoned, its halls echoing with the whispers of its storied past. Tales of ghostly sightings, specifically in the home’s storage room, have added a layer of mystique to the house. Local lore speaks of the apparitions of abused slaves, the sounds of shackles, and blood dripping down walls. However, historians like Mark Sturgill suggest that the more mundane reality of spilled food from canned jars might explain these eerie phenomena.
Conclusion: The Octagon House in Marion, Virginia, is a striking example of historical architecture, reflecting the complex tapestry of American history. From its unique octagonal design to its ties with the pre-Civil War era, the house stands as a symbol of both architectural ingenuity and the multifaceted history of the United States. Its ongoing restoration efforts not only aim to preserve its physical structure but also to keep alive the stories and histories that it embodies.
If you liked this blog, you might consider checking out the Two Guns Ghost Town in Arizona, the Rhyolite School House in Nevada, or the Whistler Train Wreck in British Columbia. You can also view more locations in Virginia with our top abandoned locations in Virginia page.
Do you have 360-degree panoramic images captured in an abandoned location? Send your images to Abandonedin360@gmail.com. If you choose to go out and do some urban exploring in your town, here are some safety tips before you head out on your Urbex adventure.
Unlock the secrets of exploration by diving into precise GPS data available exclusively for an array of hidden gems and hundreds of other captivating sites, all within our members’ section. By investing in a Gold Membership, you’re not just gaining access; you’re securing a key to a vast, global archive of abandoned, untouched, and mysterious locations waiting to be discovered. Embark on your adventure with confidence, knowing every corner of the world can be within your reach. Don’t just observe—explore, discover, and claim the extraordinary journey that lies ahead with our treasure trove of world secrets. Subscribe now and transform the way you see the world! If you want to start shooting 360-degree panoramic images, you might want to look onto one-click 360-degree action cameras.
Click on a state below and explore the top abandoned places for urban exploring in that state.