Thursday, July 05, 2007

Built Like a Brick S***house, But When?

The Adam Thoroughgood House in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was once thought to be the oldest English brick house in America.

The city used to claim it was, for decades. Just think: Jamestown was founded in 1607; the Adam Thoroughgood House was supposedly built only 29 years later. The city even gave the house an address to match its alleged birth date, 1636 Parish Road.
Experts in the 1980s determined it was probably built about 50 years later, around 1680. Other experts last year dated the house to about 1720.

These expert opinions matter little to 81-year-old W. Paul Treanor.
He has no special background in historical research and only a high school diploma. But he is a 10th-generation descendant of Adam Thoroughgood, and he has spent 15 years pulling together every scrap of paper he can find on his ancestor.
Treanor is the last true believer in the oldest-English-brick-house theory.

He loves to proselytize, but he expects to die before he convinces the experts they are wrong.
Treanor knows he ticks off the experts in Williamsburg. He smiles at the thought. "I frankly don't give a damn," he said. [Link]

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