Historic Fruit Hill Series
A Collection Of Work In Cherry and Walnut From The Woods Of An Historic Farm
About Fruit Hill
The land surrounding historic Fruit Hill, roughly one and a half miles northwest of Shepherdstown, traces back to the 1750 patent obtained by Thomas Swearingen from Lord Fairfax. In 1766, Swearingen’s son sold a large tract of the land to Henry Cuckas and his wife Catherine (note that the spelling of the purchaser’s last name seems not to ever been spelled twice the same way in pertinent documents, and appears as well as Cuckos, Cuckas and Cookes). In a passage from Dr. Millard K. Bushong’s 1972 work, Historic Jefferson County, two “interesting” buildings are described at the property, the oldest being the two-story stone house “probably built before the Revolutionary War” with the then-common feature of a stream running underneath it (to ensure water supply in the event of attack) and the brick Greek Revival main house, built by the son of Archibald Robinson in 1830. Robinson the elder had acquired the stone house and 179 acres from an intervening owner, the Burkitt family, in 1822. The direct descendants of Archibald Robinson still live at Fruit Hill, which is also known as the Robinson-Andrews-Hoxton House, and was the birthplace and boyhood home of noted historian Matthew Page Andrews. Fruit Hill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
One Fine Day At Fruit Hill
I recently spent several hours harvesting turning stock and fire wood with Rob Hoxton, direct descendant of Archibald Robinson and the CEO and Director of Business Development at HFI Wealth Management in Shepherdstown. Rob and I wrestled a large Cherry Tree to the ground and, despite my lack of experience using a 37 ton wood splitter, eventually got a good rhythm going as the wood pile grew larger. We also toured the acreage of Fruit Hill Farm, and I have to admit being envious of the childhood he spent exploring and working at this special place of serenity and historic significance. Rob's Dad, Archibald R. Hoxton III, has hinted at some fascinating stories to be told of this place, so as I harvest turning stock the Hoxton and Taylor Families have so generously made available, I look forward to being regaled with tales - some of which you won't find in the history books - of life at Historic Fruit Hill.