LONG GREEN - 8/10 mile off U.S. 522 north, midway between county roads 724 and 679--This is a fine stone house built on land at the head of Babb's run, granted by Lord Fairfax to William Rannells in the 1750s. In 1766, the land was sold to Joseph Steer Sr., a devout Quaker and an early settler who probably built the earliest part of the house. In 1803, the property was sold to Alexander Robinson and later to Robert Bryarly. Bryarly then sold all of the land except for the family graveyard to John Purcell in 1855. Purcell had answered the call to "go west" in 1849 when he joined a group of 75 people who went to California to seek fortunes in the gold mines. Apparently he was successful there because after four years he returned to Frederick County and purchased "Long Green".|
John Purcell's father had been so widely known for his hospitality that his house was known as the "Wanderer's Home." This family trait was also apparent in his grandson, Clark Purcell, who inherited the tract of land in the late 1800s. Mr. Purcell, who was sheriff of Frederick County and manager-editor of The Winchester Times, died in 1910. His will was "an unique document" since it left his "property to be used for the maintenance and comfort of the poor white women of Frederick County. "I desire for 'Long Green' to be known as the 'Clark Purcell Home'...especially for those women who have given birth to children before marriage." The will was reviewed by the Circuit Court "since the bequest was inadequate to support the proposed home" and therefore the intent of the will was impossible to carry out. In 1956, after years of litigation, Judge Ellior Marshall ruled that the property could be sold and the money invested for the benefit of the Henry and William Evans Children's Home.
On Nov. 20, 1956 the Shenandoah Valley Bank, administrator of the Clark Purcell will, conveyed this part of the property to Glynnell Headley and Boyd G. Headley Jr.