|From WV History On View|
The Crazy House, more politely known as the Curio House, can be found at 844 E. Ridge Road, overlooking the Potomac River. It was built between 1914 and 1915 by Eugene Shugart and his wife, Maggie. Shugart, born in nearby Charles Town in 1867, bought the land around 1910 and as his family and political career (he was elected for 7 terms as mayor of Harpers Ferry beginning in 1902) continued to change, constructed his unique domicile.
There's nothing super weird about the basic architecture of the home; its a classic Craftsman design of the period, although it was known as being the first 'modern' home built in that area of Harpers Ferry. Construction materials came were recycled from the old Federal Armory, made famous in 1859 by John Brown---which is an interesting little tidbit, but not what makes the house so one-of-a-kind. That honor goes to how the eccentric collector, Eugene Shugart, chose to decorate his abode.
|From Goldenseal (Summer 2009)|
Shugart liked to collect Civil War relics. He also had a soft spot for collecting fire-damaged pieces. In fact, in 1904, he contacted the mayor of Baltimore, asking for a 'souvenir' rescued from that city's recent major fire tragedy. He displayed these items by literally embedding them into the walls of the home, over doorways and windows, and even lining pillars and columns with them.It's not uncommon to see baby doll faces, pieces of China, seashells, you name it. In the free spaces, he tacked up various odd quotes, many dealing with worry. Shugart was especially worried about worry and even went as far as to bury "The Remains of Old Worry" in a coffin impression in the sidewalk in front of the home.
|Photo from Unpopped Collar|
May the weirdness live on. Stay spooky, ya'll!