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Ferguson House


From the Parkersburg News, Sunday, April 15, 1973

Old Ferguson House Was Built to Last

By Diana Hott of the News Staff

            Matamoras, O.—The Ferguson House still looks down on the Ohio River, and on what used to be the well-known Ferguson Landing, north of Newport on Rt. 7.

            In the 19th century, Ferguson Landing was familiar to all who knew the Ohio River.  Today, the water laps up along the shore where once, amidst the hustle and bustle, there were packets and other boats loading and carrying off cargo.  Today Ferguson’s Landing is there in name only.

            Modern river maps list “Ferguson’s Light” at the place the busy landing was. 

                                                            Ferguson Early Settler

            The first settler on this land was Thomas Ferguson, born in Loudoun County, Virginia.  Of Scottish decent, he came to Washington County in 1801, and settled on the land, giving Ferguson Landing his name.

            He built a fine log cabin and married Grace Holdren, daughter of Joseph and Grace Holdren.  They had 13 children, among whom was James.  He added the Ferguson property, and it is through that he built the present Ferguson house.

                                                            House Remodeled

            Mr. and Mrs. William Wulfert are the present owners of the Ferguson home.  Mrs. Wulfert is the niece of George Ferguson, who died in 1932 and was the last of that name to live in the home.  In approximately 1936, Mr. and Mrs. Wulfert remodeled the old dwelling for more modern living. 

            Mrs. Wulfert still has many of the beautiful family heirlooms that originally graced the house.  Included is a deed for additional land that was given James Ferguson.  Inscribed in fine Spencerian handwriting, it was signed by President Martin Van Buren according tot the Act of Congress April 24, 1820, making “provision for sale of Public Land.”

                                                Solid Construction

            Massive hand-hewn timbers stretch across the basement ceiling to support the weight of the house.  Basement walls are stone, chiseled cut laboriously by hand, tool marks still upon them.  The stones are carefully cut to fit together without mortar.

            Many of the floor boards throughout the house are wider than trees cut today, and they are still held with the pioneer’s square-cut nails.

            Mrs. Wulfert has made room-size braided rugs inkeeping with the family traditions of the home.

            An ancestral grandfather clock stands in one corner of the living room.  Family stories tell that the works were purchased, but the beautifully grained cherry wood of the case was from a tree cut on the original Ferguson land grant.

            The first Ferguson’s solid cord bed is there, as well as his cherry drop leaf table and delicate oil lamp.

            Sharing the Wulfert’s home are Julie and Lila, two large tabby cats who are sisters, 20 years old.