I.C. Fowler Home

The I. C. Fowler house, located at 417 Spencer St. in Bristol, VA, was built by Isaac Chapman Fowler in 1867. It is the oldest standing structure from the original town limits of Goodson, VA and the oldest house in the Virginia Hill Historic District. It was constructed by carpenter and furniture maker George Blackley in the Greek Revival architectural style. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Virginia Landmarks Register as a contributing structure to the Virginia Hill Historic District.

I.C. Fowler was from Tazewell, VA and educated at Emory and Henry College. He served in the Commissary Department of the Confederate States of America. Fowler moved to Goodson, VA soon after the end of the Civil War. He purchased, along with his brother Elbert, the Bristol News and was the editor of that paper. Fowler served as Mayor of Goodson, VA from 1871-1875. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates twice, first serving from 1875-1879 and his second term was from 1881-1883. He was Speaker of the House from 1881-1882. Fowler was appointed as Clerk of the U.S. District Court in Abingdon in 1884 at which time he moved from this house to a house on Main St. in Abingdon, VA. It was in the parlor of this house that I.C. Fowler, W.W. James and several other businessmen formed the committee to establish Sullins College that was eventually built on King St. in Bristol, VA. Fowler died in 1905 and is buried in East Hill Cemetery in Bristol, VA.

Charles Finch and his family became the second occupants of the house when Fowler and his family moved to Abingdon in 1884. Mr. Finch worked for the N&W Railroad and was a member of the Goodson Town Council. It was on his motion that Goodson was renamed Bristol, VA. The home has had many owners over time and was eventually donated to the Bristol Historical Association. BHA sold the house in 2009 to Scott Otis, and after working on the house for several years, Mr. Otis sold the home to a new owner who continues restoration.