15547 Second Street
Open on Friday: 10am to 5pm (Garden Only) & Sunday: 10am to 5pm
The Ephraim Schooley House is also known as the Parker Bennett House is a Federal period home. The land was acquired in 1820 by weaver John Morrow who began building the left side, shorter portion of the house ca. 1820 using Flemish Bond brick construction. You can see that the center window of the left side of the home would have been the front door. The house was initially a weaving establishment for not only Morrow, but also later Thomas Donaldson who weaved carpet and dyed both carpet and cloth here. During the economic depression of 1819 – 1822, Morrow lost the property. It was bought at auction by Richard Henderson in 1824, who then sold it to Jesse Gover in 1830. William Mayne took over the weaving establishment in 1828 where he accepted jobs for all kinds of weaving. Ephraim Schooley, the Quaker for whom the home is named, bought the property from Gover in 1834. The taller structure on the right side of the home was likely constructed in 1851 using Common Bond brick construction and was a separate residence.
Saddler Asa Brown (1794 – 1872) lived in the home in the 1850’s and 1860’s. The Civil War split his large family down the middle. Asa, a veteran of the War of 1812, was a loyal Unionist, as was his son and two daughters. Sons Charlie and “Ab” were supporters of the confederacy, as was wife Aurena and a third daughter. All managed to survive the war, though Charlie took a Yankee bullet at the First Battle of Bull Run.
The house was used as two separate dwellings that were both sold to H.C. Bennett in 1876. From 1919 to 1959, the property was owned by the H.B. Parker family. Harvey, a blacksmith, came home from WWI and feuded with his brother Fred who had run the smithy in his absence. The two never spoke again. When Mr. and Mrs. John Lewis bought the property in 1959, they restored the home and named it “The Parker-Bennett House”. The two-level addition was added in the 1970’s and an easement was granted to the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Further additions were done in the 1980’s. Although you would never know it by looking at it from the street, this is one of the largest lots in Waterford. There are four acres in the back. The house was built with “Waterford bricks,” which were fired right here on the property.
The Ephraim Schooley property is open through the courtesy of its current owners, the Manch family.