Historic Woodville

Preserving Woodville's Heritage



William Alston Pugh House

William Alston Pugh House


William Alston Pugh House, the best preserved pre-Civil War house in Woodville, was built for William Alston Pugh (1776 - 1836). Begun in 1812, finished in 1815, this two story, five-bay, side-gable frame house showcases the skill of finish carpenters and plasterers in the vernacular Roanoke River Valley interpretation of the Federal style. Much of the material for this house was shipped from England. The focus of the facade is the center bay entrance, a wide door of nine flat panels set within an ornate entablature of Doric posts, fanlight with swag-patterned muntins, and a wide molder surround with keystone and pedimented arch. The interior is an equally intact display of exuberant Federal finish. The most ornate wood and plasterwork is located in the hall and south parlor. The hall features a plaster ceiling medallion and horseshoe arches over the doors into the side rooms. The rest of the house has handsome Federal mantels, six flat panel doors, molded surrounds, and wainscots with plastered walls. Painted yellow, it was known as the "Yellow House". It was known for its beautiful flower gardens surrounding the house. In 1925 the house was wired for electricity and plumbing installed, and a kitchen added. Also a screened porch was added where bridge parties were enjoyed by everyone in the community.

Owners of the house: William Alston Pugh and his wife left the house to their daughter, Laura Pugh ( 1821 -1894) who married Dr. H.F. Williams. They lived there, and and left the house to their daughter, Frances Helen Slade Williams (1863-1936) She married Theophilus Iredell Phelps - they had many guests, with dancing in the old parlor ( 20 x 20') and they left the house to their daughter, Helen Estella Phelps (Stella)(1896-1978) who was the postmistress of Woodville for many years. Stella sold the house to her cousin, Charles Bennett Griffin (1881-1948), who raised his family there with his wife Louise Hill Urquhart.Their son, Charles B. Griffin, Jr. and his wife Gertrude McCollum Griffin raised their three children there, and it is now owned by one of their sons, John McCollum Griffin.