WEST JEFFERSON-It withstood the test of time, but it couldn’t outlast the flames.
By the time firefighters arrived at 2215 Calloway Gap Road, the archaic and ornate 19th century era home that had conspicuously graced the small community along the Blue Ridge Parkway had nearly burned to the ground.
There’s nothing firefighters could do, but watch helplessly as the flames licked at the few remaining charred pieces of wood and tin roof.
Ashe County Fire Marshal Bob Davis said firefighters received the call from county communications at 11:38 p.m. Saturday night.
Glendale, Jefferson and West Jefferson fire bases responded in a last gasp attempt to save the relic that had stood its ground for decades.
The house’s origins date back to at least the early 1900s. Originally, it was located a short distance up the road where the Blue Ridge Parkway now sits, according to Louise Marley, who was once married to the home’s last owner, Vernon Marley.
The now destroyed home was known for its charm and the intricate fixtures that adorned it.
Originally, the home had six rooms and several more were eventually added on as the years passed. A spring house followed suit as well as several other unique fixtures, including a Statue of Liberty atop the roof.
“He wasn’t your average 95-year-old,” said Marley of her late former husband. “He was a neat man.”
While Marley likely knows the house like the back of her hand, she still has yet to see what remains of it.
“I’m very sad,” said Marley. “There is a lot of good memories there and I cannot face going up there and seeing it. People are calling and I don’t want to remember it as it is. I want to remember it as it was.”
Davis said the structure was deemed a total loss. Authorities have yet to determine a cause or point of origin in the blaze, but Davis said they do not suspect arson.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.