Gap View Farm

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Gap View Farm
Gap View Farm.jpg
Farmhouse in the 1930s
Gap View Farm is located in West Virginia
Gap View Farm
Nearest city Charles Town, West Virginia
Coordinates 39°20′37.57″N 77°50′55.00″W / 39.3437694°N 77.8486111°W / 39.3437694; -77.8486111Coordinates: 39°20′37.57″N 77°50′55.00″W / 39.3437694°N 77.8486111°W / 39.3437694; -77.8486111
Built 1774
Architect Walter Baker
Architectural style Georgian, Colonial Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 96001574
Added to NRHP January 9, 1997[1]

Gap View Farm, near Charles Town, West Virginia, is a historic farm complex built in 1774. The farm was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 9, 1997.

Origin of name[edit]

The property gets its name from its view of the gap in the Blue Ridge made by the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry.[2]


Walter Baker came to then, Berkeley County, Virginia, in 1770 and began clearing the property.[2] A small limestone house was built by Baker in 1750, on property that was granted to Henry Lloyd by Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.[2] The main house of the farm was built by Baker in 1774.[2] At Baker's death in 1820, the property was sold by Baker's widow, Jacobina, to James L. Ranson.[2] When Ranson fell on hard times, he sold it to Parker Strode in 1868.[2] In 1871, the property was acquired by Charles Aglionby, who owned the adjoining Mount Pleasant estate and a portion of Media Farm.[2] Over time the house was expanded in four phases. In 1937, the farm was again sold to a family by the name of Barlett.[2]

In 1954, the farm was purchased by World War I veteran Frank Buckles and his wife Audrey (who died in 1999).[3] Their daughter Susannah was born there in 1955, and she returned to live there after her mother's death.[3] Buckles would ultimately become the last American survivor of World War I, and lived there until his death on February 27, 2011 at the age of 110.[4]

On January 9, 1997, the farm and property were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2][5]


Susannah Buckles Flanagan, daughter of Frank Buckles,[6] and husband Mike Flanagan run the day-to-day operations of the farm and have made the farm more eco-friendly. In May 2008, volunteers planted over 1,000 trees and shrubs on the farm.[7]

Many local agencies have worked with the Flanagans to plant trees and shrubs, as well as wetland species of trees and shrubs, along the property's stream and wetland areas.[7]

The Flanagans also installed 15,000 feet of fencing as part land retirement program called the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.[8] The fencing separated the farm's conservation areas from the farm's other residents, 130 head of cattle.[8]

In July 2009, it was announced that the farm was in the running for the West Virginia Conservation Farmer of the Year, though it is unclear if the farm won.[8] The farm had won Jefferson County Conservation Farmer of the Year in 2009.[8]

In October 2009, the property was being "challenged" by development, causing the Flanagans to consider the West Virginia Agricultural Land Protection Program to prevent that from happening.[9]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jean Crolius Ehman (June 1996). "National Register of Historic Places Nomination: Gap View Farm" (PDF). National Park Service. 
  3. ^ a b Henry, Beth (2010-02-02). "Last living U.S. World War I vet turns 109". The Journal. 
  4. ^ "Rockefeller Honors World War I Veteran Frank Buckles of Charles Town". Office of Senator Jay Rockefeller. March 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  5. ^ "Gap View Farm". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  6. ^ Susannah Buckles,
  7. ^ a b "West Virginia Success Story". West Virginia NCRS. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  8. ^ a b c d Smoot, Naomi (2009-07-21). "Farm could earn honor". The Journal. 
  9. ^ "Gus's View" (PDF). West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 

External links[edit]