Around 1772 the front portion of this house, made of dressed limestone, was built on Muhlenberg Street in Woodstock. It was one of the few houses in town that was not a log structure. This fact highlights the wealth and privilege associated with the families that lived there.
As was customary during the period, visitors and officials associated with the courts were often boarded in local homes. This structure was one in Woodstock that accepted these individuals who were in town when court was in session. According to local stories, one of the individuals who stayed in this house during those times was Thomas Marshall, Circuit Court Clerk and father of future Chief Justice John Marshall. While there is no evidence showing that John ever stayed in this home, this association led locals to name this building the “Marshall House.”
In 1823 Greenberry Samuels, Circuit Court Judge and later member of the State Court of Appeals and a local congressman purchased the house. His family added a brick wing to the rear of the house in the 1890s. Not long after this H.B. Chapman, Woodstock Agent for the Southern Railway Company and later owner of Shenandoah Caverns acquired the house.
During the early 21st century the house again changed hands. The Woodstock Museum of Shenandoah County purchased the home from Clara Coffman, who had purchased the site from the Chapman descendants.
The museum moved to the site in 2004. Founded in 1961, this organization is dedicated to preserving the history of Woodstock Virginia and surrounding areas of Shenandoah County. Originally it operated in the former town office, a brick building on Court Street.
Their decision to expand to the Marshall House allowed them to fully display their large collection. Their displays includes the Schmitt’s Drugstore counter, the Morrison Photograph Studio set, Civil War relics, local Frakturs, quilts, ceramics, furniture, farm equipment, the town pump, moonshine still, and much more.
Today the Marshall House and museum are open to the public Thrusday-Saturday, 1:00-4:00PM, May through October or by appointment.