In man's long history of architectural development the chimney must rank among it earliest features.

Because it was a necessary item in the construction of any building, it was natural that in time some experimentation would take place.

The gigantic external stack characteristic of the Tidewater region of Virginia, eye-pleasing in the extreme and evident in restored Williamsburg, began as a mere utilitarian item.

At Bull Place on Virginia's Eastern Shore, in the Accomac Court House vicinity, is an example of one pioneer builder's spirit when it came to chimneys. Probably in all of Virginia or Maryland there is no other chimney to compare with this one, exceptionally long from front to back and so thin that one wonders how its flue provided sufficient draft to serve its purpose. The Library of Congress photograph by Frances Banjamin Johnston (c. 1930) appears in the superb volume of Dr. H. Chandlee Forman, "The Virginia Eastern Shore and Its British Origins."

Forman dates this structure, also known as the Coard farm house, from 1800 and points out that this strangely narrow stack is topped out with six overlapping courses and a necking band of two more. The structure it serves is plain and undistinguished, but this chimney alone justifies inclusion in any architectural compendium.