Built in 1888, this
historic cedar-shake two story home contains twenty
rooms, two bathrooms (formerly had four bathrooms), four
screened porches and fireplaces in all the rooms
(including the baths). Oriental rugs are scattered
throughout the house.
The home was a summer
retreat for the Fox Family until 1890, when John's
father, John Fox, Sr., retired from teaching in Paris,
Kentucky, to this rustic home in Big Stone Gap.
With Mother and Father Fox came John Fox, Jr.'s sister,
Minnie, and brother, Oliver.
It remained a private
residence for the Fox Family until the death of John's
youngest sister, Elizabeth Fox Moore, in 1970.
Upon her death the heirs agreed to sell the home and
it's contents to Lonesome Pine Arts & Crafts, Inc. with
the understanding that it would remain a museum for all
THE PARLOR -- This
room contains books used by Father Fox at his boys
school, STONY POINT ACADEMY, in Kentucky plus
memorabilia from John Jr.'s travels as a war
correspondent and lecturer. A Victorian velvet
sofa, oriental lamps, sets of step-tables, occasional
chairs used by the family, plus various prints and
THE DINING ROOM --
contains a mahogany sideboard that was brought from
England by the Fox ancestors in the 1600's, a mantel
clock made by Father Fox, a set of Br'er Rabbit plates
on the wall, oil portraits of Mother and Father Fox, a
desk, a working Victrola, and other interesting pieces.
At least two place settings of all the different china
patterns were left by the heirs for everyone to see.
Two comfortable chairs rest by the fireplace.
ENTRANCE HALL -- a
limited edition Landseer Engraving of dogs hangs over
the fireplace in the entrance hall. Three china
cabinets display various china and crystal items.
The hall is also full of vintage photographs of the
early days of Big Stone Gap and of the home's gardens.
The front (east) area of the hall contains a stairway to
the second floor, and the western end of the hall also
has a stairway. In the west hall area is an
unusual family ancestral "Peacock Chart" hand
inscribed by a family member detailing the family's
lineage from sixteen of the Barons of Runnymede that
were the sureties that forced King John to sign the
Magna Carter in 1615. The Fox Family were
considered to be descendents of royalty and were members
of such organizations as AMERICANS OF ROYAL DESCENT,
COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA, etc.
BEDROOMS -- There are
four bedrooms open for visitors to see in the house, two
on each floor. In the largest bedroom on the first
floor is the Rosewood bed in which all of the Fox
children were born, as well as a Rosewood dresser with a
marble top. In the small bedroom is a table with a
hand-carved dog under it, and a blue and white pottery
chamber pot that has an unusual top. Vintage
clothing also hangs in one of the closets. One
upstairs bedroom has a hand-painted bedspread on muslin
that John Jr. sent back to his sister when he was a war
correspondent in the Russo-Japanese War.
STUDY -- The study has
lovely natural tongue and groove walls. One of
John's desks is there with his desk set, several
barrister bookcases housing many of the family's books,
an oil portrait of John Fox, Jr., an F.C. Yohn portrait
of June Tolliver and Jack Hale, characters in John Fox, Jr.'s most famous book, Trail of the Lonesome
GROUNDS AND GARDENS --
The Blue Fox Guild that manages the Museum is in the
process of planning the restoration of the grounds and
gardens of the property. There was a fountain,
fern beds, peony beds, wildflower gardens, as well as
herb gardens and vegetable gardens at one time on the
property. A Carriage House is still on the
property. Stone walks are being restored.
The first tennis court in Big Stone Gap was in the Fox
House yard as the family was sports oriented.