Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains
Life is old there
Older than the trees
Younger than the mountains
Growin' like a breeze.
You'll be interested to know that today's real estate round-up of West Virginia homes was inspired by the above classic John Denver song. That I was listening to on repeat. On the ultra-patriotic "Sing America!" CD from 1999 that was produced to benefit the Save Americas Treasures endowment here at the National Trust. Hey, it's 4th of July weekend - allow me some proud red, white, and blue Americana.
First in line is a house with - as is common with historic properties - an amazing name: Olive Boy Farm. Located on 16 rolling hilltop acres outside of Charles Town, this brick Italianate home pretty much has it all: stream and mountain views, tree-lined drive, gardens, pool, pool house, tennis courts, three-stall barn, 11 fireplaces, high ceilings, original wood floors, two kitchens, finished lower level, and amazing double porches.
Just around the corner in Martinsburg is a house that has been called one of the finest period Georgian homes in the United States. Built around 1750, Aspen Hill is a grand limestone home - currently being used as a bed and breakfast - that sits on 5 acres and is only four short blocks to the closest Marc commuter train.
Last is the Halfway House in Ansted, West Virginia.
The "Halfway House," also widely known as the Tyree Tavern, is an early 19th-century timber vernacular residence-the original portion of which is a circa-1764 pioneer blockhouse-standing on the path of an early travel route to the West. It became a stage coach stop when in 1827 a toll road, the James River and Kanawha Turnpike, offered its first weekly stage line service between Lewisburg and Charleston. As a tavern and hostelry the Halfway House witnessed the comings and goings of many of the West's greatest politicians, travelers, and adventurers who sought the shortest East-West route across the great barrier formed by the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and John Breckenridge were known to have registered at the Halfway House.
Kinda makes me want to just hop in an old red Chevy and drive out there now...
Country roads, take me Home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads.
David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He'd jump in that chevy now if it weren't for the fact that he (proudly) only has a bike. Looks like he'll just be West Virginia dreamin' for now...