Strasburg Heritage Association

Strasburg, Virginia

Home of Kathleen and Craig Ernst

Renaissance in Wood The Sonnor House 208 West Queen Street 1757

The Sonner House is now under new management! Built in 1757 was originally a toll house on what was then the Old Valley Pike and is the oldest structure in historic Strasburg. Having undergone six additions since its construction, and suffering from significant structural degradation, the Sonner House was bought by Craig and Kathleen Ernst in 2018.

It is hard to imagine a better fate for this beloved landmark Craig is a home restorationist and owner of Renaissance in Wood Custom Woodworking, which is now located in the former garage on the Sonner House property. Craig, with the help of his sons, has removed the east log wall of the living room, reconstructing and stabilizing it so that it no longer threatens to fall out onto Fort St.

Using all of the original materials he could salvage, Craig reproduced and replaced the siding and dry walled the interior, leaving framed rectangles beneath each window which reveal the old logs. This room is adorned with antique carpentry tools and a glass cabinet displaying Kathleen's mother's collection of Hummel figurines. A collection of Craig's spinning tops, which he sells worldwide, rest in the windowsills along with examples of his pinecone "dragon lamps". (Craig's craftsmanship is on public view at the downtown park as he is the creator of LOVE installation there.)

Kathleen has launched Sonner House Air B&B which occupies the eastern rooms of the home and includes the living room, kitchen, and a guest room with bath downstairs and three guest suites upstairs. The west addition to the house is reserved as living quarters for the Ernst's and will be open to the public. Kathleen and Craig have refurbished bathrooms, adding a powder room in a former storage closet on the first floor, and repainting stenciling on walls and floors as well as restoring the large kitchen fireplace. They will continue to maintain and improve it throughout their tenure there. It is gratifying to see the Sonner House turn a new page in its long history under this talented couple, who are ensuring its survival for generations to come.