House and Grounds

House and Grounds

The Jarnagin family enjoying Glenmore circa 1890. Glenmore was built between 1868 and 1869. Many houses of the Victorian period have French influences. Glenmore shows it in the curving, mansard-type roofs and dormer windows on the third floor. An interesting legend surrounds Glenmore’s windows. Some believe the number counted on the outside does not equal the number counted from inside the house.

The house is T-shaped and has 27 rooms. The walls are three bricks thick. The house was built of bricks made by slaves right on the property — prior to Emancipation, of course — in anticipation of building the house.

Depending on how you count, the house could be five stories high. The tower is a single room, approximately 14 feet square and 16 feet high, extending 30 feet above the main roof. The front and back parts of Glenmore are actually two houses connected by a hallway. The back section of the house, seen in the left side of this photo, is called “Doll Town.” House viewed from north side of yard

The main house contains fifteen rooms: downstairs rooms have 15½-foot ceilings, and the upstairs rooms’ ceilings are 16 feet high. “Doll Town,” a smaller replica of the main part of the house, contains twelve smaller rooms. This is where residents usually spent winters because the rest of the house was too hard to heat.

One of the most beautiful points in the house is the graceful, winding staircase, with its broad steps and landings. A Jarnagin descendant remembered that children were never allowed to slide down the front banisters, so they slid down the back steps. A similar staircase connects three stories of “Doll Town.”

Dining, Parlor, Staircase

Solid walnut and cherry woodwork was hand-made from trees found on the property. Wood above the library windows was brought from Baltimore, Maryland. Every floor has wide pine-board floors, even the ball room on the second floor. The house has imported Dutch tiles around the fireplaces.
Most of the wallpaper is original. Many of the furnishings belonged to the families that lived there or to their relatives. This photo of the library shows samples of the woodwork and furnishings.

Library

Some rooms in the back “Doll Town” section were previously used for caretaker’s quarters. They were recently opened for public tours. Glenmore’s gift shop is located in this section.

The property includes a two-story brick smokehouse that was built about the same time as the house. Other out-buildings have been removed as a result of deterioration.

The only major change since the house was built was the addition of the porch by the Jarnagins after they bought the property. APTA was happy to receive the house from the Jarnagin family, but it was a challenge because the house needed a lot of work. Now, more than thirty years later, there is still a lot of restoration to be completed. Volunteers do most of the work, but a lot of money must be raised to pay for materials. Click here to read a message from Helen Gray, President of Glenmore Chapter, APTA.

Prior to his death, local historian Thomas Roach wrote a history of Glenmore Mansion. He often remarked that, should a ghost be noticed at Glenmore after his passing, it just might be him.

Some people believe there is a friendly spirit waiting to welcome visitors to Glenmore.