John Brown, abolitionist and leader of the raid on Harpers Ferry, established a tannery and built a log house on this site, c. 1819. The log house was torn down c. 1824 to make room for this house, known as the John Brown House, or Old Tannery Farm, which is listed individually on the National Register.
The dropped shed roofed section on the front facade and the one-story porch wing are additions, and the windows in the first story are replacements. The foundation is rough sandstone, and there is an old stone terrace on the south side.
Letters from John Brown, Jr., eldest of John Brown’s 20 children, report that fugitive slaves were hidden here and taken, if danger threatened, to the place “where the creek meets the marsh.” This would be the site of the slave encampment at the intersection of Darrow and Hines Hill roads.
A large bank barn, quite old, stands on the property, along with other outbuildings.