In 1825, Lewis Klein opened this building as a tavern. He had purchased the lot from Quaker William Hough a decade earlier for $80. Like many of its neighbors on Main Street, it was designed for mixed use—a store or other business on the ground floor and a residence above. It therefore had no interior staircase between the first and second floors until a 1950s modernization.
The present large downstairs room was built as two rooms with a central corridor; it has seen many uses over the years. After serving as a tavern, the space became variously an apothecary and hardware store. In the 1880s the building was the home and office of Dr. G. E. Connell, an enterprising physician. He introduced the first telephone to the village in 1884 and charged customers ten cents to call the railroad depot at Clarke’s Gap, three miles distant. In the early 20th century, a side addition was used as a barbershop. In the early 1950s, a new owner painted the house the color “of the setting sun on Waterford brick.” The paint was meant to slow weathering of the soft, locally-made brick; it has been repainted in other shades since. In more recent years, the Pink House has been a popular bed and breakfast destination.
The present garden area has seen a succession of buildings over the past 200 years, including blacksmith and wheelwright shops and a succession of stores well into the 20th century. A town hall and informal auditorium occupied the loft area of a large stable on the site. One of these shops stood where the new stone kitchen now stands. That building served briefly as a residence. During an exceptionally rainy period with water pouring down the hill behind, a tenant joked, “I have the most modern house in Waterford— running water in every room!”
The previous owners, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Anderson protected the Pink House with the gift of an easement to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
The Pink House is open through the courtesy of Isaac Johnson and Jeff Darrah.