Tours offered at Enoch Wright House | Local News
Those who might be interested in stepping back in time can do so with a simple trip to Veneto.
At 815 Venetia Road is the Enoch Wright House, which he built in 1815-16.
The history of the house goes back a little further.
Two brothers, James and Joshua Wright, each acquired a 400-acre Virginia land grant and settled with their families in Peters Township around 1772. James eventually sold his half to Joshua and moved to Kentucky.
When Joshua was captured and eventually killed by Indians in 1781, his land was divided between his three children, including his only son Enoch, who was 5 years old at the time of his father’s death.
Eventually, Enoch became quite prosperous and was able to build the house with handmade bricks on site. He lived on one side with his wife Rachel and possibly his mother. On the other lived Enoch and Rachel’s only child, Reverend Joseph Wright and his family.
Joseph’s son, Joshua, eventually inherited the house and lived there until 1861 when the house became rental property.
Joshua’s sister Charity lived nearby with her husband, Dr David Anderson. Among the artifacts in the house are Anderson’s Civil War uniform and medical kit. Charity was the last surviving grandchild of Enoch Wright, who died in 1925 aged 84.
In 1976, Hannah and Kathryn Marvin of Venetia, who had inherited the house from Charity’s daughter, donated it and one and a half acres to the historical society.
Len Marraccini, a life member of the historical society and guide at Enoch Wright House, has been running tours for “a number of years”. He has been part of the historical society since the 1970s.
“I’ve always been interested in local history,” he said. “There’s so much history locally. It’s just mind-boggling. I really wanted to get involved.”
The tour schedule for this year is: June 26, July 10, July 24, August 14 and August 28 from 2 to 4 p.m., and July 13, August 10 and September 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Tours are free, but donations are welcome.
In the past, viewings were by appointment only, but in the past two years open viewings have been scheduled.
“A number of people said they had walked past the Wright house and wondered what the inside was like,” Marraccini said. “Now with the tours, they’re just amazed by the history and the number of local artifacts we have there. We really try to preserve the local history.”
There are 12 rooms in the Enoch Wright house, each equipped with a fireplace.
“Enoch Wright found a coal outcrop about 150 yards behind the house,” Marraccini said. “That’s what they used to heat the house in the winter.”
Attractive exhibits can be seen throughout as many halls are outfitted with artifacts dating back to the 19th century. A treasured artifact is a beaver felt top hat that once belonged to Enoch Wright.
“It’s one of the few artifacts we have that we can definitely trace back to Enoch Wright, the builder of this house,” Marraccini said.
Another is Wright’s original hand axe.
The rooms to visit include two kitchens, one of which has a restored fireplace in an early 19th century decor.
“I could only imagine if this piece could tell the stories it could tell,” Marraccini said.
Above each kitchen is a secret room, which fuels the legend that the house may have been part of the Underground Railroad.
There is a colonial room with mannequins sporting 18th century clothing and antique items from that period.
There is also a Native American room, which has a mannequin wearing this type of attire, as well as a number of locally found artifacts and ancient tools recovered during an archaeological dig from a local cemetery.
A coal mining hall contains retired coal miner William “Bits” Jenkins’ entire collection of artifacts, which were donated by his family. Jenkins built the dioramas that can be seen in the room.
There are also two living rooms, a dining room, a vintage clothing room, a library and two bedrooms, one of which is furnished with original pieces from the Wright family.
The library is accessible by appointment only.
At the rear of the property is a 1780 log cabin, originally built in Claysville.
“The owner was going to destroy it,” Marraccini explained. “The historical society convinced him to give it to the historical society. He said he would do it on the condition that they dismember the house log by log, transport it to Veneto and put it back together. been done. That’s how the Wrights lived when they first came here.”
There are fundraisers planned at home/
A Tea Party Brunch is scheduled for July 9 at 11 a.m. (doors open at 10:30 a.m.). The cost is $25 per person. Places are limited to 30 people by reservation only. Call 412-992-0738 for reservations.
The society’s main fundraiser is the annual soup and walk which takes place each holiday season.
“Members prepared heart soups, artisan breads and desserts,” Marraccini said. “After people have finished eating, they can quietly visit the house, and the house in December is decorated with an 1800s period.”
The guides also dress in period attire for the event.
The historical society currently has 58 regular members and 21 life members. He is always interested in recruiting new members. Interested parties can complete an application form and send it with a check to PCHS, Attn: Membership Chair, PO Box 208 Venetia Pa., 15367. Applications are available at peterscreekhistoricalsociety.org or by calling a member.