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Front stairs during remodel

Jefferds Library within MacFarland-Hubbard House.
Jefferds Library

Photograph of newly built pergola to rear of MacFarland-Hubbard House.
Patio and pergola at rear of house

The Council's first Christmas in the house


West Virginia Humanities Council


The MacFarland-Hubbard House

A Project of the
West Virginia Humanities Council

Photograph of the front of the MacFarland-Hubbard House.

Andrew Jackson was president when the MacFarland-Hubbard House was built in 1836, and Stonewall Jackson still a Lewis County schoolboy.  Charleston was a county seat town of maybe 1,500 citizens, a bustling village on the Midland Trail.  "West" Virginia was merely a geographic distinction -- and a dream in the hearts of some far-thinking Mountaineers.

The MacFarland-Hubbard House survives from that era as one of the Kanawha Valley's historic treasures.  Its story is the story of family life in a growing city in an emerging state.  The house grew, as every home does, with each family's habitation, its character evolving with successive owners.  MacFarland, Ruby, Crowley, Hubbard -- the house worked for each as a stately showplace and beloved home, and they all left their mark upon it.  Larger events left their mark, as well.   The Civil War cannonball that pierced the roof... the Federal troops who recuperated with the walls... the staircase from a famous old resort now gone -- the MacFarland-Hubbard House is steeped in history.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, but its future was left in doubt with the death of its last occupant, Miss Elizabeth Hubbard.  The West Virginia Humanities Council rallied public support to save this landmark of 19th century history for the 21st century, through the Hubbard House Preservation Campaign.  With the success of this campaign, the house has become a working humanities center, offering programs and services statewide, and a carefully tended historic showcase.

Preservation Plan
In the spring of 1999, the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Humanities Council voted unanimously to purchase the Hubbard House from the First Presbyterian Church.  Planning for the preservation work began immediately with all construction done according to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for historic preservation.

The initial phase of the preservation plan included the stabilization of the structure through work on the foundation, joists, and guttering.  Modern heating, cooling, and ventilation systems have been installed. The electrical wiring has been updated throughout. The historic areas on the first floor of the house have been restored as a public space for exhibits, programs, and meetings. The second floor has been adapted for use as the offices of the Humanities Council. 

The Council restored the 1920s "carriage house" at the rear of the property in late 2003. This vintage garage and apartment has become a site for programming and office space for the Humanities Council. The large downstairs room is the property's largest single space for use as a meeting room or mini-conference center. The second floor has been adapted as additional office space.

The Humanities Council acts with the support of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia and the Kanawha County Historical and Preservation Society, with deed covenants guaranteeing the historic integrity of the property. This means that the MacFarland-Hubbard House will be protected in perpetuity.

Accessibility Statement

All public spaces at the MacFarland-Hubbard House are accessible to individuals with special needs. The West Virginia Humanities Council remains fully committed to accessibility. Our earlier preservation work at the Hubbard House was cited nationally in the Historic Properties chapter of “Design for Accessibility,” a collaborative publication of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and other organizations. The Humanities Council is also recognized for its accessibility in the state publication “Guide to Accessible Recreation in West Virginia.”

The Council provides, upon request, reasonable accommodations necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in services, programs and activities. To request accommodations, please contact the Council ten days in advance (304) 346-8500.

MacFarland Hubbard House Restoration