Home to Harrisonburg's first mayor Isaac Hardesty, the house bears his name and the name of the physician, Henry Higgins who began construction in 1848. Isaac Hardesty was born in 1795 and became the city's first Mayor by charter on March 16, 1849, incorporating the town of Harrisonburg. Hardesty completed construction of the home by 1853 and lived in the house with his wife, Ann and two children. He was a successful business man, apothecary, merchant, and he served on the Board of Directors of the Valley Turnpike Company. Over the years, the home served host to Union Gen. Nathaniel Banks, as an inn and was home to the Virginia Craftsman, makers of handcrafted furniture from the 1920s to the 1980s.
Hardesty-Higgins House and Visitors Center Today
Visit the place where "History and Hospitality Meet". Construction of the Colonial Revival house began in 1848 by Dr. Henry Higgins, and completed by the City's first mayor, Isaac Hardesty in 1853. Playing a significant roll in Harrisonburg history, the house has hosted Union Gen. Nathaniel Banks, was an inn and a showroom for the Virginia Craftsmen Company. In 2005, the house was renovated and restored to serve the community and acquaint visitors with over 150 years of history. Located within this historic home are Visitor Services, the Valley Turnpike Museum, Rocktown Gift Shoppe, and Mrs. Hardesty's Tea Room, the Harrisonburg Rockingham Civil War Orientation Center, and the executive offices of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance & Harrisonburg Tourism. House tours and self-guided tours are available.