The Patsy Cline Historic House
The Patsy Cline Historic House is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Street Landmarks Register. Located in a working-class neighborhood in the city of Winchester, Virginia, this modest house was the residence of country music legend Patsy Cline, who lived here from 1948-53, longer than at any other house associated with her. Even after her move to Nashville, she considered this South Kent Street house her home.
Originally a two story log home built in the 1800s, the house serves as a proud testament to Patsy’s love of family, her devoted and influential relationship with her mother, and their drive and determination to launch Patsy’s career. Much of the house, furnished with a few unique personal items, its landscaping, and the surrounding neighborhood, appear approximately the same as when Patsy lived there.
Patsy’s mother, Hilda Patterson Hensley, made a home here with her three children, Virginia Patterson (Patsy), Sam, Jr., and Sylvia. The family’s house was a foundation and a springboard for Patsy’s ambitious dreams of becoming a country music star. More than 50 years after Cline’s tragic death in 1963, her country music legacy endures.
Patsy Cline’s teenage and young adulthood home is significant beyond her musical career. It attests to the challenging personal circumstances of Patsy’s girlhood and her unusual tenacity. She was determined to realize her personal dream in a time when most women commonly remained in the home as housewives. As a struggling new talent in the 1950s and early 1960s Patsy learned to succeed through hard work and perseverance, especially in the male-dominated realm of the country music industry.
Patsy’s career was a slow rise from obscurity to fame. Patsy left school at age 16 to help her mother make money to support the family. Her musical career began in Winchester as a singer on Joltin’ Jim McCoy’s broadcast on Sunday mornings on WINC Radio. At Winchester’s Palace Theater (since demolished) Patsy engineered an introduction to famed gospel legend Wally Fowler and his Oak Ridge Quartet. Fowler, impressed by her singing, showed up at the family house promising to launch Patsy’s career. By 1954 Patsy signed her first record contract with 4 Star Records and in 1956 recorded her trademark song, “Walkin’ After Midnight”.