Document prepared by Dale MacAllister
Tax records indicate that Peter Driver bought 112 1/2 acres of land from Henry Rode in 1797. Rode was the father-in-law of Joseph
Funk, the founder of Singers Glen. There is no deed recorded on this transfer, but it is known that Joseph Funk also bought 112 1/2
acres of land which comprised the other half of Henry Rode's 225 acres previously sold to Rode by Bowman. The half bought by Peter
Driver makes up the portion of "Glen Farm" as it exists today.
Peter Driver was born November 10, 1766, in Pennsylvania; son of Lewis and Barbara Sprinkle Driver. He married Dorthy Raleigh,
born April 15, 1771, and settled at the strong springs which form the headwaters of Muddy Creek.
Muddy Creek meanders slowly in a southwesterly course, being joined by Snapp's Creek near Fairview church, and continuing through
Mt. Clinton, which in earlier days was known as "Muddy Creek." The creek finally empties into Dry River west of Dayton. Dry River flows
into North River at Bridgewater, and the combined waters meet the South Fork of the Shenandoah near Port Republic.
Peter Driver was a farmer and blacksmith. He was slow to give up his German ways and spoke English only when forced to. He and
his family belonged to the Dunkard (Brethren) church.
Peter and Dorthy Driver had four sons and five daughters. Daughter Mary Driver, born in 1806, married Jonathan Funk, also born 1806,
a son of Samuel and Sarah Carrier Funk. Jonathan and Mary lived on the farm with her parents.
When Dorthy Driver died in 1844 and Peter in 1850, they were buried in a location on the hill overlooking their Muddy Creek farm. Two
of their son Benjamin's children who died as infants were also buried in the same plot.
The farm passed to Jonathan and Mary Funk in 1854. They were parents of two sons and five daughters. Son John S. Funk, born April
18, 1847, married Bettie Isadora Funk, born December 8, 1858, daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth Koiner Funk, who lived on the
adjoining "Stone House" farm. John S. and Isadora were second cousins.
It is not known who built the original house at the spring. Due to its good location, a log cabin was likely located there well before 1800.
By the mid 1800's a fairly substantial weather-boarded log structure was situated over the spring. In the 1850 census, Jonathan Funk
was shown as having 4 horses, 4 cattle, 9 sheep, and 30 swine on the farm. A photograph taken in 1888 shows that the house was a
two story, four room structure of modest size with a small, columned front porch facing east.
Jonathan Funk and his son John S. steadily improved their farming and livestock operation. As early as 1880, the farm had scales with
which to weigh livestock located along the lane which headed southeastward in front of the house. An ice house was also built near
the scales. In 1886, John S. bought the farm from his father for $5100.00.
On April 30, 1887, the Funks tore down their old log barn and began building the present one. A foundation was dug and a stone
foundation wall laid to provide for the bank barn. On May 25, a group of fifty-one men were on hand to raise the framework. Throughtout
that summer, the carpenters led by Joe Spitzer, and finally the tinners and lightning rod crew, worked on finishing the structure.
Construction was completed during November 1887. A wood shed, wagon shed, hog pen, and hen house were also constructed that
same year. A smoke house was added to the group of outbuildings in 1889.
Jonathan and Mary Funk both died in 1888. They were buried at St. John's cemetary a mile away.
On January 1, 1890, John S. Funk talked over plans for a new house with Edward Kennon, a local carpenter who built several other
houses in Singers Glen. By the end of the month, Kennon had a bill of materials for the plans, and Funk had been to Bryan Harmon's
west of Harrisonburg to work up a lumber order.
In april, Kennon started constructing a drying kiln at the Funk farm. By the first of May, horse teams had brought the lumber
The drying kiln was fired on May 5 and finished by May 13, as the cured lumber was removed. Carpenters came on May 7 to begin
The Funk family moved out of the old house and used the smokehouse as their living quarters. The kitchen, an addition to the old
house, was detached and rolled back into the potato patch where it continued to function as their kitchen. This kitchen was later
re-attached to the new house. The Funks apparently felt the kitchen addition was good enough to continue in use.
Teams of horses were brought in to haul away the old logs as the house was dismantled. By the end of May, a stonemason had laid
the foundation, the floor joists had been hewn, and some additional lumber, this time ceder, had been brought from the sawmill.
The first floor framework was standing by the first week of June. The second story framework required another week.
Harry Funk, a plasterer who did some very fine plaster work in local homes and the Baptist church, cemented the springhouse floor
and began plastering the interior walls. John Minnick was the brick mason who built the chimneys, one of which passed through the
attic on a diagonal to preserve a chimney-top symmetry above the roof. Tinners began roof work in mid July. Doors for the house were
made in the barn.
Edwin Funk, a cousin of the John S. Funk family, did a great deal of the carpentry work in the Singers Glen area. He worked on this
house as well as the Swank store in 1890. Large yellow pine timbers were used in both structures. The yellow pine possessed great
strength for its size, but a blight in the 1890's killed off that variety making yellow pine impossible to obtain locally in later years.
John S. Funk fussed at Edwin Funk for putting too much "gingerbread" on the exterior trim of his new house. Yet gingerbread trim was
all the rage in Victorian homes. Even homes without the fancy trim were having large porches and associated trim added to
modernize them at that time.
The family moved into some finished rooms in late July while the upstairs and other rooms were still being completed. Harry Funk
finished plastering during the third week in September 1890.
From 1890 on, John S. Funk steadily built Glen Farm into a thriving livestock operation where sheep, hogs, and cattle were bought,
raised, and sold. Many times John S. and his hired hands drove stock to the depot at Linville where they were loaded for northern
cities, especially Baltimore.
A 1910 publication promoting Rockingham County and its businesses noted that John S. Funk was an importer and breeder of
registered Polled Durham and hornless Shorthorn cattle, purebred Southern sheep, and registered Poland-China hogs on his "Glen
Singers Glen, VA
Glen Farm History