The June Tolliver House is a National Historic Landmark.
In 1881, Jerome Hill Duff brought his family to Big Stone Gap then known as "Three Forks" in a covered wagon. They lived near the rock quarry in a one-room log cabin with a shed built on for a kitchen. In April of that year, a sawmill was brought in and set up near their home. As soon as the lumber was cut and ready, Duff built a rough eight room house for his family. They moved in, completing construction as they could. When the boom came, more rooms were added to the residence, and it became the town's first hotel. The Central Hotel's first proprietor proudly displayed his name on a sign that extended up to the second floor of his business, J. J. Duff.
Duff then purchased a lot across the street from the hotel and began to build his family a replacement residence. The family was forced to move into the house before it was completed because a fire had destroyed the Central Hotel. Blankets covered door spaces and muslin covered the windows. Workman continued but were held up by illness in the new home. Then, in October 1890, Jerome Duff passed away and the house plan was never completed for a bath and porch at the rear. Later a bath was installed in the back hallway. The kitchen and dining room were in the basement with water connections. The play rooms were in the attic. There were large airy bedrooms and the "Parlor," (first room, right of entrance) was enhanced by an unusual mantel of marbleized metal.
The house was not considered a hotel, but after Mr. Duff's passing, some of his friends from the original Central Hotel came as paying guests, among whom were teachers, preachers, lawyers, as well as other professional people.
During the winter of 1893, Elizabeth Morris, a little girl from the hills whom many people think was the model for June Tolliver, the heroine of "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" lived in the home and attended Stonega Academy's Primary Department.
This home was also open to ministers of all denominations and was quite a dropping-in place for the young people for evenings of music, fames, social life and good fellowship.
Today the house is known as the June Tolliver House & Folk Art Center, in honor of the central character in John Fox's Jr.'s book "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine." The house is located on the street named in Duff's honor, Jerome Street.