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David Goff House: A Storied Past with a Promising Future
May 12, 2012 - Jodi Burnsworth
Colonel David Goff, a prominent Beverly lawyer, purchased the home in 1830. He completed most of the present structure (except the wrap-around porch) before the Civil War. In 1853 he was elected the first Superintendent of Schools of Randolph County. A colonel in the Virginia militia, he was an active supporter of the Confederacy, and was instrumental in organizing the Confederate build-up in Beverly during the earliest days of the war. On the day of the Battle of Rich Mountain, Colonel Goff together with his family and others set out upon their journey to the south. He feared that his life would be in danger if he remained, since his southern sympathies were well known.
The vacated house was used as an official U.S. Army hospital during the war. When peace was declared, Colonel Goff returned to Beverly, only to find that his property had been much abused and damaged. The Federals had carved graffiti on the walls including the names and units of at least twenty-five soldiers, and that of a nurse, Mary Poughkeepsie of McKeesport, Pennsylvania. One eight-foot-long sign penciled on the wall appropriately reads “Beverly Union Hospital.” Other drawings recently uncovered and restored include an eagle and shield, flag, cannon, armed and unarmed soldiers, and a galloping horse.
The house is a large five-bay Federal style "I" house a back L which probably was the earlier construction. It has a low roof, and inside chimneys on both ends and the rear. Windows are 6/6 with a central tripartite window on front second floor. The entrance door has decorative sidelights and divided transom, and the cornice has decorative scroll brackets. A broad porch with paneled columns wraps around the front and both sides of the house. Most of the other 20th century add-ons except the porch have been removed in recent restoration work, leaving the house closer to its 19th century appearance. The original carriage house and tack room still stand behind it.
Today, the Goff House is home to the Historic Beverly Antique Mall. Visitors can stop by Monday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday Noon to 5 p.m. It is also one of the 44 historic sites on the Historic Beverly Walking Tour.
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The David Goff House as it originally looked. Photo courtesy of Historic Beverly Preservation.