Proudly placed in plain view of travelers through Montgomery County along U.S. Highway 11/460, the historic trace to the west, this large frame house was built ca. 1905 for K. M. Rife, a recent arrival to the area from the coalfields of western Virginia. Rife used his new home as a display of his affluence. Little altered over the past ninety years, the Rife House is one of the county’s few textbook examples of the Queen Anne style. Developed in late-19th-century England, the Queen Anne style was a revival of 17th- and early-18th-century vernacular forms. It was given a distinctly American flavor here with the use of weatherboarded walls and a wraparound front porch. The general appearance was likely based on illustrations published in house catalogues. The materials and decorative details used to construct the Rife House were probably purchased by suppliers in the city of Roanoke, then experiencing a building boom.
The Rife House was listed in the registers under the Prehistoric and Historic Resources of Montgomery County MPD.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark