House and Store
#NC-06140-HM - Notecards
Also available in Assortment Pack #AST-770
#PR-06140-HM - Open Edition Print
a merchant from New Jersey and father of nine, had just completed
work on his 20-room combination home and store in 1861 when the
Civil War ravaged Vienna. After the Lydeckers fled, the building
became attractive to both Union and Confederate armies because
of its size and location next to the railroad track. At different
times, both sides used it as a hospital or officers' quarters;
the cellar was transformed into a stable.
home in a sorry state after the war, the Lydeckers scrubbed bloodstains
from a bedroom floor, papered over autographs the soldiers had
inscribed on the walls, and reconverted the makeshift stable into
a commercial coal cellar. As originally planned, the downstairs
became the village's first general store and the upstairs served
as living quarters. The store also sufficed as Vienna's railroad
station, post office and fire department.
husband of the Lydeckers' daughter Caroline, took over operation
of the multipurpose building in the 1870s. In 1894, the Freemans'
son Leon and his wife moved into an eight-room section of the
original house that had been taken off and relocated across the
street. Although Leon Freeman sold the business in 1900, he continued
to be associated with the store until it closed around 1929. The
building was last inhabited in the 1950s. The Town of Vienna bought
the property in 1969. Today it is operated by Historic Vienna,
Inc., the nonprofit corporation that restored the house.
© 1998 Terry White, Drawing © 1998 Bill Harrah