So your daughter/granddaughter/niece/neighbor kid’s birthday is coming up and you’ve already spent two hours pacing the Barbie aisle at the not-so-local big box searching for the one you think she either doesn’t yet have or hasn’t already given a buzz cut. Mind racing and images of pink balloons, smiles, funfetti goodness, and, well, the pulsating sound of a room full of eight year olds screaming is taking up precious headspace, but the perfect gift still eludes you. Enter Sunnybrook Farm in Canton, Ohio.
As if its gorgeous yellow farmhouse, whimsically picturesque barn, and within-walking-distance proximity to Starbucks weren’t enough to sell any buyer on Sunnybrook Farm (Name ringing a bell? Buzzkill alert: the book Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and its three movie adaptations take place in Maine, not Ohio.), this historic property listing throws in a unique freebie: a real live pony. Birthday party problem solved. You’re a hero. And little ____ (insert mile-wide-grin-bearing gift recipient’s name here) is the proud owner of every little girl’s dream pet. A priceless moment for the actually quite reasonable price of $499,000. Do you want to be a hero?
But every property can't feature real live accessory items. For most historic property seekers it's things like orginal hardwood floors and a good vintage that sell the place. Then again, at "The Ailes House" in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, it might be the hardwood walls that do the selling. Not only does the 1860 farmhouse feature antique heart pine underfoot, the timber planks also sheathe the walls (and yet somehow manages to not look anything like most of America's "it's on our DIY list for next year" wood-paneled basement).
Now if you're anything like me, flipping through historic property listings is enough to make you want to give a proper name to the house you're living in now. Well, that or you've already named it *cough* something like *cough* "The Buffalo Room" because your (read: my) apartment number matched the area code of Buffalo, New York (home of the 2011 National Preservation Conference). But now we've gone wildly off track.
Bachelor's Hope in southern Maryland is one of those houses with a name that, well, sounds like it has an interesting back story. Built in 1668 and surrounded by 303 acres, the property boasts a pond (containing catfish, bass, and bluegill - live animals!), three tobacco barns, a horse barn, a corncrib, cultivated farmland, and extensive woodlands. Of note: Bachelor's Hope was owned by Lord Baltimore Cecilius Calvert, the namesake for both the city of Baltimore and Maryland's Calvert County.
Need to see some additional historic properties before making that final decision? See our Historic Properties for Sale website for many more.
David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Yes, he really did name his not-estate-like-at-all apartment The Buffalo Room.
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