The Bank House in Waterford, Virginia is a graceful Federal style brick home. From the street, you would never know it was originally the first bank of Loudoun County for a few short years.
Built in approximately 1780 of brick and field stone, The Bank House was the first bank created in Loudoun County. The Bank of Waterford existed from 1815-1824. The Steer family owned it during that time and kept it for almost 80 years.
John W. McKimmey was the next owner of the property from 1894-1926. The Cooley family purchased the home in 1926 and lived there until 1939, when it was acquired by the Chamberlin Family. The Chamberlin family have owned the home for the past 76 years.
The front facade of the home is a Flemish Bond pattern with splayed flat arches over the window openings. Despite this, the home is considered Georgian-Federal Architecture based on the time frame that it was built. Distinct features of this type of architecture include a symmetrical facade with a central entrance and decorative touches. The Bank House has a unique cornice that was featured in a video about Waterford Architecture. The front door exterior casement and pediment are also one of a kind, and were created by Wellman Chamberlin, the father of the current owner. The pediment over the entrance features a hand carved pineapple above a semi-circular window with blown glass anchored by fluted columns.
Inside, you’ll notice rich pine wood floors in the living room and library with random wide width planks. The main level rooms have high ceilings measuring about 12’ high. Most of the second level rooms are 9’ high ceilings.
The formal rooms have 9 over 9 true divided light glass windows. In the living room, there is a wood burning fireplace adorned with a decorative salvaged mantle. The room was originally partitioned and had 2 angled fireplaces, but it is estimated that in early 1900, John McKimmey took out the partition wall and fireplaces.
The library is a stunning display of hand crafted paneling. Both the library and the back staircase were created by Wellman Chamberlin. The Chamberlins were known for their wood working skills, and examples of their work can still be found in other Waterford properties, as well. Wellman Chamberlin’s craft is evident throughout this house in the detailed crown molding in the foyer. The other formal rooms are also adorned with crown molding, chair rails and another paneled wall in the dining room, all also evidence of his extensive skill. The library boasts a large “walk-in” fireplace, currently fitted with a working wood stove. The unfinished room below the library has a similar “walk-in” fireplace.
The side porch is a sanctuary that feels like an outdoor room. It overlooks the entire back yard with ever changing seasonal views of the gardens and protected open space beyond.
The current owners expanded the original side porch with an addition that extends to the lower level to store wood for the wood stove and fireplaces. The porch is just off of the kitchen with access from the library. A finished room just off to the side is used as a bar for the porch.
The kitchen was updated with natural cherry cabinetry that blends nicely with the interior finishes of the home. Soapstone counter tops, stainless appliances and a built in bench with shelves complete this very functional space. The laundry room is tucked just behind the kitchen on the main level with shelving and nooks for storage.
Upstairs, you’ll find a large master bedroom that spans front to back, on the South side of the house. The fireplace flue is lined and is functional . Two more bedrooms are located off the main hall, with the larger guest room having a fireplace, as well. The attic is easily accessible by a door and walk up stairwell.
The third bedroom has an adjoining door to the fourth bedroom or you can access that separately by using the back stair. The back stair landing brings you to the craft room or loft with another full bath and open access to the fourth bedroom. The lower level is unfinished. There are several rooms of cellar space. One room houses the mechanical equipment and a large utility sink.
There are three exterior access doors to the basement as well as an interior stairwell.
The back yard has been landscaped with perennial cottage style flower gardens and a large vegetable garden. The yard has a lovely mix of sun and shade, depending on the time of day.
The Bank House has been highlighted in several publications by the Waterford Foundation and in the 2004 edition of The Loudoun Magazine. There are references to this home in books such as “Recollections of Waterford” and “Waterford Perspectives”, to name just a few.