County Purchases Williams Dawe House, Oldest Building in Brentsville

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Provided by Prince William County

Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s Office of Historic Preservation recently purchased the Williams-Dawe House, the oldest structure in Brentsville Built in 1822, the House was once owned by Jane Williams, widow of John Williams, who had served as the county clerk from 1795 until his death in 1813. Jane filled in as county clerk until her brother Phillip Deveraux Dawe became clerk the next year. Jane was the first female county clerk of court in Prince William County. The property, at 12320 Bristow Road, sits on 5.61 acres and is located across the street from the Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently approved $450,000 in funding to stabilize and restore the House, which will entail chimney and roof repair, mold remediation, tree removal and other required interventions. Prince William County Historic Preservation staff will work with a design firm to develop a restoration plan to preserve the historic integrity of the House.
The acquisition will preserve another portion of the former Town of Brentsville, the fourth seat of Prince William County, and will expand the Courthouse Historic Centre, a county-owned tourism site with 40,000 visitors per year.
“This year the Office of Historic Preservation is commemorating Brentsville’s bicentennial (1822-2022). The purchase of the Williams-Dawe House is a significant achievement that we can celebrate as part of that commemoration,” said Rob Orrison, Division Manager.
As part of the larger Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, staff intends to offer programming at the site for historic preservation and special event purposes upon completion of restoration.
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