Edgewood Cottage, c. 1890
Historic home and gathering place for artists comes full circle.
The first home and studio of artist Elliott Daingerfield (1859-1932), has been revitalized by the Blowing Rock Historical Society to preserve his legacy. Today the home, located on Main Street opposite St. Mary of the Hills Church, offers a brief glimpse of Daingerfield in the home he designed and built.
Born in Harper’s Ferry, VA (as it was known at the time), Elliott Daingerfield was trained as an artist in New York. He studied with George Inness of the Hudson River School movement, and developed his technique of capturing light with his painting. He came to Blowing Rock with his first wife, Roberta and built Edgewood Cottage in 1889-90. His wife died two years later and in his grief, he plunged into his work; giving lectures and studio classes. He taught classes at Philadelphia School of Design and summer classes at his Blowing Rock home from 1895-1915.
In 1895, Daingerfield remarried and in 1900, he completed his second home in Blowing Rock, called Windwood. His third and final home, Westglow, was completed in 1917 and is a testament to his success as a painter. This home is where he lived when he painted Madonna of the Hills and donated it to his church, St. Mary of the Hills. For the rest of his life, he returned to Blowing Rock every summer and claimed to find a spiritual connection to the landscape here. He died in 1932 at the age of 73.
Before restoration of Edgewood Cottage could take place, a study of its condition was made and it was determined that a floor beam would need to be replaced. This meant that the building had to be dismantled and rebuilt. The original building was of boxboard design with a post at each corner. Outer boards were nailed to header and footer boards. Though the old materials were used as much as possible and the same footprint was constructed, the rebuilt structure is classified as a reproduction of a historic house. Wall construction was improved for stability and to accommodate modern improvements such as insulation, plumbing, lighting, heating, and fire protection that help to preserve it while providing a comfortable space for activities and events.
The home’s most interesting architectural feature is the four room fireplace rebuilt from the original bricks. The original sketch by Daingerfield of the floor plan design of the cottage is on display, as well as his paint box and palette, and a number of his paintings. The cottage is furnished with pieces from the period.
The restoration was completed in 2008 and the building is now used for small meetings and events. Three years ago, the Artist in Residence program began, where the house is open to feature various artists and their work. In keeping with the cottage’s early beginnings when Daingerfield offered his expertise to others, local artists exhibit and demonstrate their work for the public for eight weeks each summer. Exhibits change weekly and the cottage is open every day except Wednesdays throughout the event.
Edgewood Cottage is also open to the public Saturdays 1-4pm May through December. Admittance is free of charge.