The Cromer-Trumbo House is the largest artifact in the Historical Society collection. The historic home was gifted to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society by the estate of Shannon Trumbo. Trumbo’s grandmother Sarah Cromer purchased the home in 1889, and Shannon enjoyed growing up in Dayton. Adjacent to the main facility, it is open for tours on selected days during the summer months or by appointment.
The original farmstead consisted of the house, a log barn, log smokehouse, log springhouse, and other outbuildings on 10 acres. The small log section in the rear was built about 1811. The front brick addition dates to about 1840. The house contains architectural features which show a German influence, particularly the roof substructure.
The House contains the Mary Spitzer Etter (1912-2002) collection of Victorian and early 20th-century household items, toys, and decorative arts. Etter’s father Perry Franklin Spitzer (1860-1954) was born in Rockingham County. The Spitzer family lived in Harrisonburg, where Mr. Spitzer became a well-known businessman. Etter was educated at the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg (now James Madison University) and the College of William & Mary. She taught elementary school for 39 years.
Docents and their special guests welcome you to envision life as a member of the Spitzer family. Donations encouraged.
Due to COVID-19, the Cromer-Trumbo House will be closed in 2020.