HISTORIC 1855 COVEY HOUSE
|602 Saxon Road, Fairdale, WV 25839
David Sibray 304-575-7390 , Randy S. "Riverbend" Burdette 304-667-2897
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Covey House Survey Plat
Built in 1855, this hewn timber residence has been renovated as a historical lodging property. A 20-minute drive west of Beckley and a 30-minute drive from the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, it includes nearly an acre and a two-story house with a living room, dining room, and two bedrooms flanking a central hall and stairway. During a 2020 renovation, a modern summer kitchen and a full bath were added adjacent to the house.
- Circa 1855 hewn timber house
- Two flanking cut-stone chimneys
- Renovated in 2020: kitchen, additional bathroom
- Three hearths: in dining and living rooms and master bedroom
- Two-bedroom, two-parlor, summer-kitchen plan
- Half-bath concealed in the main house
- Modern bath with shower adjoining summer kitchen
- 6 minutes to Lake Stephens
- 20-minute drive to the City of Beckley
- 20-minute drive to expressways I-77, I-64, US-19
- 25-minute drive to Clear Fork Trail
- 30-minute drive to Twin Falls Resort State Park
- 30-minute drive to Hatfield-McCoy Off-Road Trails
- 45-minute drive to New River Gorge National Park & Preserve
Google Coordinates: 37.788159, -81.382539
Address: 602 Saxon Road, Fairdale, WV 25839
Elevation: 1,965 feet above sea level +/-
ABOUT THE HOUSE
Now operated as a lodging facility, the two-bedroom timber-built residence has been carefully preserved over the last 150 years and remains one of the outstanding examples of hewn timber construction in southern West Virginia. It appears much as it has since its construction: its rooms and their uses have been little altered, though a kitchen built on a rear porch was recently moved to a new timber-built dependency, and interior bathrooms have been carefully added.
Well insulated by its timber construction, the house is energy efficient. To preserve its historic character, it relies on compact electric and natural gas heating units in the cold months; in the warm months, it is cooled by window units and ceiling fans. The house is served by public water and a septic system. The property was plumbed, re-wired, and re-roofed in the late 2010s.
The summer kitchen and bathroom unit at the rear of the house was built in the 2010s and used hewn timber as the construction material. A rear wing was proposed to be built with authenticity behind the house, connecting the two units, though owners have opted to maintain the structure without further modification.
The property also includes a dry stone-built cold cellar of approximately 230 square feet fronting a flanking lane.
Thomas Henderson raised the present log house in the 1850s and lived there with his family for fifty years — until 1901 when he sold the property to Thomas Smith. Smith sold it within a year to George Thomas Covey, a member of a prominent local family of farmers and merchants. The Coveys settled in the region in the 1830s after the threat of Shawnee attacks was removed. Madeline Covey McGraw was the last Covey descendant to live in the homeplace.
In 1984, the Raleigh County Historical Landmarks Commission designated the farmhouse a county historic landmark at the behest of late historian Margaret Covey.
In 2013, Roger Ryan purchased the home and began to embark on a long preservation period, adding the exterior summer kitchen and removing a non-historical interior kitchen. He invested in modern drainage, metal roofs, electric upgrades, and advanced humidity control.
In 2021, the owners purchased the property as a lodging retreat, notably serving a clientele visiting local and national park areas year-round and Winterplace ski resorts in winter.
The house was built of chestnut timbers, hewn as much as 16 inches tall and thick. Some extend more than 30 feet across the entire width of the house. Corners are interlocked with V-notches, renowned for their stability and durability.
The house was built in an extended hall-and-parlor plan, featuring rooms extending to either side of a central hall, porches on the front and rear, and chimneys with fireplaces on the flanking sides. Unlike many earlier examples of timber, the house was built as a single large unit rather than several smaller connected units.
When built, the Covey House had no interior kitchen. The owner and his family would eat and cook in the same downstairs room at a fireplace during the cold months. However, the cooking would be done outside in a “summer kitchen” during the warm months to keep the main house from growing unbearably hot.
When the main house was renovated ten years ago, a new summer kitchen was built off the rear, where a more modern kitchen was installed. A full bathroom with a shower was also built in the new summer kitchen, while a small half-bath was concealed behind a staircase in the main house. In keeping with the historicity of the house, the summer kitchen was not attached to the main house but was designed to be easily connected.
West Virginia is one of the U.S. states with two ownership titles, SURFACE RIGHTS and MINERAL RIGHTS. A title search for mineral rights ownership has not been conducted. All rights the owner has will convey with the property. A mineral title search could be conducted by a title attorney simultaneously with the surface title search.
BOUNDARY AND SURVEY
The property was surveyed in September 2014, and a plat of survey was prepared. A metes-and-bounds description prepared from that survey is contained in the owner’s deed. The southern and most of the eastern property boundaries run with state roads. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.
Water: Raleigh County Public Service District
Electricity: American Electric Power
Cellphone Coverage: Various Carriers
The property fronts on Saxon Road (CR-13) and Grande Road (CR-13/6).
Raleigh County has some zoning and subdivision regulations. All prospective buyers should consult the county government and health department for zoning, building codes, water wells, and septic system installation regulations.
PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY
The present-day property has been residential since the house was built in 1855, though some agricultural buildings had been built on the present parcel and a cellar remains. The house has operated as a lodging facility for about two years.
DEED AND TAX INFORMATION
Deed Information: Deed Book 5074, Page 2451
Raleigh County, West Virginia
Acreage: 0.92 acre
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Raleigh County (41), West Virginia
Trap Hill District (12)
Tax Map 10, Parcel 20.2; Class 3
2023 Real Estate Taxes: $553.62
The region is home to abundant wildlife, which includes deer, grouse, fox, mink, squirrel, raccoon, turkey, beaver, bobcat, muskrat, and the occasional black bear. Songbirds and waterfowl are common, as are larger birds of prey, including owls and hawks. Hunting is a favorite pastime in the region.
Fairdale is located in the Raleigh County School District and is ideally situated for public school students who attend Fairdale Elementary School (1.9 miles), Trap Hill Middle School (4 miles), and Liberty High School (4.2 miles). The county’s vocational-technical schools are a half-hour drive away at Beckley.
Several private schools are located in and near Beckley, a drive of 20 minutes east of Fairdale: Greater Beckley Christian School (K-12), Mabscott Christian Academy (K-12), Saint Francis DeSales Catholic School (K-8), Victory Baptist Academy (K-12).
Several institutions of higher education are located in and near Beckley: West Virginia University (Beckley), Appalachian Bible College (Bradley), Concord University (Beaver), Bluefield State College (Beaver), and Southern West Virginia Community College (Beckley).
ABOUT THE REGION
The Beckley area has long been a chief destination for travel and leisure living. Blessed with mild summers, mild winters, and plenty of recreational attractions, it’s exceptionally popular with lovers of the outdoors. Hiking, biking, and paddling are world-renowned activities in the national park and surrounding area. It’s also a popular destination for all-terrain vehicle tourism: ATV trails and other designated off-road vehicle trails are less than a half-hour drive away.
The City of Beckley (population 17,000) is located at the center of the region and at the junction of I-77 and I-64, which afford exceptional access to surrounding cities, notably Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Richmond. The property is at Fairdale, a rural community of about 700 residents located 15 miles west of Beckley. The population of Raleigh County, in which both Fairdale and Beckley are located, is approximately 73,700.
A 2,300-acre woodland park surrounding a pristine 272-acre lake, Lake Stephens may best be known for its swimming beach and as a favored retreat for camping. Fed by clear mountain streams, the park is a six-mile drive from the property. Overnight accommodations include a 27-site tent campground, a 100-site RV campground, and a cabin area with seven private units that sleep four to six. A sandy swimming beach and a water park with a splash pad are open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends. A marina offers fuel, bait, refreshments, 130 rental docks, and five overnight docks. Kayak and paddleboard storage and rental are also available. Hiking trails and a disc golf course are also popular park attractions.
Clear Fork Trail
The 15-mile Clear Fork Trail is a rail trail that travels the valley of the Clear Fork of the Coal River, wandering through old mining camps and waterfalls along the way. The first section of the trail is expected to open in spring 2024; a second section will open in 2026. The trail is open to hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and its nearest trailhead is a 15-mile drive from the property.
New River Gorge National Park & Preserve
The nation’s newest national park, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve attracts more than three million visitors to the region annually. The park’s best-known attraction, the New River Gorge Bridge, is a drive of approximately 45 minutes at Fayetteville. Hiking, biking, angling, hunting, kayaking, and camping are popular throughout the park. However, it may best be known as a destination for rock climbing and whitewater rafting. The park is among the nation’s top destinations for both.
Winterplace Ski Resort
Winterplace Ski Resort attracts more than a million skiers, snowboarders, and snowtubers annually to southern West Virginia and is a drive of less than an hour from the property. Open December through February, the resort attracts lodgers to the property in what might otherwise be an off-season.
Burning Rock Off-Road Park
More than 100 miles of private trail wander this 10,000-acre off-road vehicle park located less than 25 minutes south of the property near Sophia, West Virginia. The trails attract a clientele of ATV, UTV, and dirtbike enthusiasts from across the U.S. Burning Rock guests also travel the hundreds of miles of unofficial off-road trails that lead through the mountains of southern West Virginia.
Bluestone Lake (one hour); Bluestone State Park (one hour); Camp Creek State Park & Forest (one hour); Glade Springs Resort (45 minutes); Grandview National Park (45 minutes); Little Beaver State Park (40 minutes); Pipestem Resort State Park: (one hour); Summit Bechtel Reserve (35 minutes; Twin Falls Resort State Park: (35 minutes).
From I-77 at Beckley, West Virginia (25 minutes), follow WV-3 west 10.6 miles to its junction with WV-99 at Glen Daniel. Follow WV-99 west 1.7 miles to a right turn onto Saxon Road in Fairdale. Follow the latter a mile to the property.
- State of West Virginia
- West Virginia Explorer
- West Virginia Government
- West Virginia State Parks
- West Virginia Tourism
- Wonderful West Virginia Magazine
- WV Department of Natural Resources
- Virginia – Commonwealth of Virginia
- Virginia is for Lovers
- Virginia Museum of History & Culture
- Virginia Museum of Natural History
- Virginia National Park Service
- Virginia Recreation
- Virginia State Parks