Built in 1856, the historic Warren-Sipe House was first owned by Edward T. Harrison Warren, a direct descendant of Thomas Harrison, founding father of Harrisonburg. Warren, a prominent local lawyer, went on to serve in the Civil War with the 10th Virginia, ultimately dying at the Battle of the Wilderness in May of 1864.
Through the years, the house has served several prominent functions, perhaps most famously, as a Civil War Hospital for local Shenandoah Valley boys following the Battle of Gettysburg. It was during this time that Stonewall Jackson’s “Boy Major”, Joseph Latimer, died here of gangrene. Like many historic homes, the story of Joseph Latimer’s death is often linked with a ghost sighting in the upstairs hallway, always of a young soldier, clad in Confederate grey...
George Sipe took ownership of the house in the 1890s, and added a number of the house’s present day features. Perhaps most prominent are the gorgeous parquet floors and engraved cherry mantle places in our main level galleries.
During the 20th Century, the house transitioned from a private residence to a municipal building, serving a number of functions for the City of Harrisonburg. The city even used the house to hold court during the early 1990s when the city courthouse was being renovated. A holding cell still remains visible in the Museum as a testament to this use.
Soon, the Museum will be developing a permanent Warren-Sipe House exhibit and a corresponding self-guided tour of the building’s architectural elements. Until the exhibit is unveiled, a house history brochure is available and provides additional historical information about the house and its owners.