Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

085-0004 Fort Bowman

Fort Bowman
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 11/05/1968

NRHP Listing Date 11/25/1969

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 69000279

Standing on an undisturbed section of the old Valley Turnpike, Fort Bowman, also known as Harmony Hall, illustrates the Pennsylvania-German influence on early Shenandoah Valley architecture. Notable German characteristics are the limestone construction, dressed ceiling joists, and the principal-purlin roof framing. Dendro-dating indicates that the house was built ca. 1771. Except for the addition of the small Greek Revival portico and a kitchen wing, the house survives little changed. The long history of Fort Bowman involves only six families from the construction of the dwelling house to 1968: the Bowmans (1743-1839), the Brinkers, (1839-1853); the Kerns, (1853-1868); the Hinkins and Annie Hinkins Wharton, (1868-1938); the Rhodes (1938-1968) and the O’Connells. (1968-2006). The links between the Bowmans and the Brinkers and the Kerns and the Hinkins were all through their daughters and later owners Emma Rhodes, Mary Long, and Beatrice Heath O’Connell were women as well. The last private owner was Beatrice Heath O’Connell and her son, Irvan, who ultimately insured the permanent protection of historic Fort Bowman by donating the property to the Belle Grove Foundation of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated April 11, 2020