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On the point between the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River in the Warren County seat of Front Royal, the massive Riverside residence was built in the 1840s by Samuel S. Spengler. Because Spengler and his wife were not congenial, the room arrangement departed from the norm. Their bedrooms were accessible only by separate staircases, with a large central stair for family and guests. The property was sold in 1849 to Maj. J. R. Richards who connected the bedrooms. Riverside was the scene of constant activity during the Civil War. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson occupied Riverside the night of the battle of Front Royal, May 24, 1862. Union Gen. Philip Sheridan stayed at Riverside twice in 1864. A trap door to a sub-basement where the family hid valuables is intact in a first-floor closet. The present hipped roof and dormers were added around 1900, giving the house a Colonial Revival character.  Riverside contributes to the Riverton Historic District in northern Front Royal.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


Bel Air

Warren (County)


Browntown Historic District

Warren (County)


The Civil War in Virginia, 1861-1865, Historic & Archaeological Resources (MPD)

(MPD) Multiple Property Document