"You think about it all along because you know you can't get it back," Godlove says about his house.
On Sunday night the historic log house, at
"When I got out of my truck, I heard something and I looked down this way and it was nothing but fire in the air," he adds.
Local historians are calling the destroyed home a major loss of American history. Some of the stones and logs of wood were laid in 1810 and stood until recently. During the Civil War, the home belonged to Confederate Lieutenant John H. Wotring. He served in the 33rd Virginia Infantry as a part of the Mountain Rangers.
"He was in the Stonewall Brigade and survived the war," says Rebecca Ebert, an archivist and the Handley Regional Library. "In later years, he served as a treasurer for
Local architectural historians wrote a book about the historic houses in
Godlove says he kept good care of the unoccupied home, but says he'd seen more vandalism over the years. "I had a lot of break-ins, a lot of break-ins," he says, but he didn't expect it would come to this. "It's a funny feeling to see something like that. I've never been to a fire or seen one just all at once," he adds.
Meanwhile, Godlove is wondering how to pick up pieces that stood intact for so long.
Arson charges are pending against five local juveniles.