Real Estate

Historic Properties for Sale: Room with a (Battlefield) View

Posted on: February 11th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every week.  It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent. This week, we’re looking at homes with connections to the Civil War.

Elmhurst, c. 1871, in Fredericksburg, VA.

Elmhurst, c. 1871, in Fredericksburg, VA.

A few weeks back, while sharing a handful of listings about lovely Victorians for sale, I mentioned that I had a bit of a geeky streak for things having to do with the Civil War, and given our recent big win at Wilderness, it seems inevitable that I'd find myself trolling around our Historic Properties for Sale site for homes with a connection to the Civil War. I found a few lovely ones not too far from my perch here in Washington, DC.

The first I'll mention today technically doesn't qualify, as it dates from about five years after the war ended, but it's located in a town - Fredericksburg, VA - that is impossibly adorable and as rich in Civil War history as just about any place you can find. (Really. The town had a battle of its own, and is within a stone's throw of several others.) The home, called Elmhurst, has a whopping 49 windows, 10 foot ceilings, and "exquisite" woodwork. And dear to my Yankee heart, it also happens to have been  built by a New Yorker, Washington Elms.

Also in Virginia -  just north of Leesburg, in the town of Waterford - sits the Mary Dutton Steer House, which dates to 1815 and shows through its varied rooflines its growth from a two-room cottage to a four-bedroom home. It also sports hand-hewn beams, decorative mouldings - and a bullet impression left behind from a Civil War Battle at a nearby church.

Falling Spring, c.1830, in Shepherdstown, WV.

Falling Spring, c.1830, in Shepherdstown, WV.

Heading a bit further north, and a smidge to the west, lands us in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and a home with connections to both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.  The Morgan family, who owned the land upon which Falling Spring is built fielded soldiers in both wars, and both Union and Confederate soldiers are said to have camped in the area during the latter conflict. And as if the lovely columned house at the right were not enough, it comes with the original outbuildings: a smoke house, a carriage house,  and more. Honestly, if I were at a point in my life where owning this were even remotely possible, it just might be my dream house.

So there you have it... three more amazing offerings from the always-enticing listings on the Historic Properties for Sale website. And if it just so happens that hitting open houses is on your to-do list for the rapidly-approaching weekend (some might say it arrived here about an hour ago) do take a moment to look for listings in your area. Happy house-hunting!

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org. She's now quite likely to spend the weekend reading "Gone with the Wind."

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Historic Properties for Sale: Let's Eat!

Posted on: January 27th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern

 

We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every Wednesday. (Yes, I'm late this week. Our offices closed early yesterday as a winter storm bore down on Washington, DC.) It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent. This week, we're looking at commercial properties.

The Bon Ton soda fountain.

The Bon Ton soda fountain.

I'm not old enough to have experienced sock hops, poodle skirts, and dates at the neighborhood soda fountain, but I did grow up watching lots and lots of Happy Days re-runs, so I feel like I got a pretty nice peek into the 50s. (Please don't tell me how wrong I am - I like my illusions.) One of our listings this week - located in Lewistown, Montana - sounds (and looks!) like just the sort of place where Richie, Potsie, and Ralph Malph would be at home:

"The Bon Ton is outfitted with a solid marble soda fountain (ca. 1930) and a lighted art deco back bar.  It has a panel on each side of the mirror with 3-dimensional pictures of a mermaid-type woman.  The business is decorated in black, white and red 1950's style, with an extensive collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia."

As the Fonz would say: "Aaaaaayyyy!"

The 1790 Homestead Restaurant.

The 1790 Homestead Restaurant.

Another listing this week had me as soon as I saw the picture at right. And no, it's not the fact that it says LOBSTERS in huge letters (well, maybe it is a little) it's the quaint New England-y ness of the restaurant, called the Homestead. Its history makes that connection all the more clear: one of the original owner's sons purchased New Hampshire's most iconic piece of real estate - Mount Washington - and the family of legendary Red Sox  slugger Babe Ruth used the place for a time, even leaving behind an autographed photo that was found between the walls years later. (And there are lobsters. Yum.)

These – and many, many other listings – are available now through our Historic Properties for Sale website. Check it out!

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for Preservation Nation.org. She should know better than to write about restaurants - for sale or otherwise - when she's hungry, because she's now craving both a milkshake and a lobster roll.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Historic Properties for Sale: Bed and Breakfasts

Posted on: January 19th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern

 

We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every Wednesday. It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent. This week we're looking at houses that can double as Bed and Breakfasts.

The Norvell-Otey House in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The Norvell-Otey House in Lynchburg, Virginia.

When I was just out of college, I spent several years putting a pretty serious effort into becoming a regular at an Irish bar near where I went to school.  I spent several nights a week there with my friends, and occasionally we'd talk about buying a bar of our own some day. It was a grandiose - if ill-defined - plan, which I suppose grew from the idea that owning a bar would be as fun as spending time in one. And then, I got a job  at that very same bar as a waitress, and fairly quickly realized maybe it wasn't the life for me, after all. I was far, far more skilled at being a patron than I was with being on the other side of the tray.

I was reminded of this long-dormant plan today when I saw a tavern listed as one of the features of a home for sale on our Historic Properties for Sale website:

The restored brick floored winter kitchen (30’x18”) is referred to as the "Tavern Room" since it was formerly used as a bar in colonial times. This room features 2 brick ovens and a period restored cooking hearth. The owner uses the Tavern for entertaining family, friends and guests sharing fresh brick oven bread and hearth cooked meals.

I'm not gonna lie; it sounds right up my alley - particularly because I am as fond of fresh-baked bread as I am a good tavern.

This listing, known as the Norvell-Otey House, is in Lynchburg, Virginia and is one of three homes on the site that double as Bed and Breakfasts.

Collina Plantation in Port Gibson, Mississippi.

Collina Plantation in Port Gibson, Mississippi.

If owning a bar sounded fun to my 22-year-old self, I think owning a B&B sounds similarly appealing to my pushing-40 self, in what I suspect is the same entirely unrealistic way. I like visiting Bed and Breakfasts, so therefore I'd like to have one of my own, right?

I mean, how great would it be to own a house like the Paxton House Bed & Breakfast and share it with guests? (It's got a carriage house! And a garden cottage!)  Or the Collina Plantation in Mississippi, which looks so unbelievably quaint in this photo. I can just picture myself in a rocker on that porch, mint julep in hand.

Oh, wait... there I am in guest mentality again. Clearly, ownership of one of these beauties is not the right option for me, but if some of you out there in blogland want to buy them and guarantee me a reservation, well, I wouldn't object!

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org. She's happy to have found a career pushing pixels, since waitressing was way too exhausting.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

 

We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every Wednesday. It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent. This week we're looking at a lovely selection of Victorians.

Charles Town, West Virginia

Charles Town, West Virginia

I grew up with house envy. Don't get me wrong, the house I grew up in was perfectly nice, but I lived on the newer south side of town, where the houses all dated from the 1930s and 40s, rather than on the west side, where the Victorian houses were.  Of course, I didn't know at the time that they were Victorians - I just knew they had towers, and bright paint colors, and huge wrap-around porches, and they looked to me like castles. I wanted one, specifically one with a turret, because I knew a tower bedroom was clearly what I meant to have, being a a girl with princess ambitions - decades before Disney made it a marketing concept.

As I grew up and realized the my name meaning "princess" was as close as I was ever going to get to the royal life, I developed an appreciation for the house - and neighborhood - I grew up in. This week's new listings, however, reminded me how much I used to covet the Victorians on Riverside Drive.

Take this gem in Henderson, Kentucky - shown above -  for example. Tower? Check. Massive front porch? Check. Added bonus? It was featured in the movie A League of their Own.  (Fun fact: "There's no crying in baseball!" may be the movie line I quote more than any other.)

Henderson, Kentucky

Henderson, Kentucky

The Perkins House also sports a turret and a spiffy porch, but this Charles Town, West Virginia, house has a claim to fame that's more historic than cinematic - it's on the property where abolitionist hero  John Brown was executed. (Being much geekier about Civil War history than I am about baseball, I find this to be even cooler than the house above.)

Of course, these are just a couple of the options that appear when you search "Victorian" on the Historic Real Estate. Others include a house in Lewes, Delaware that's just minutes from the beach, the Greenhills Farm in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and a charming greystone on Chicago's Gold Coast.

Oh, now... there is is again. My old friend house envy.

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org. Every week when she writes this post she wonders anew why it is that she lives in a 600-square-foot apartment.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Historic Properties for Sale: Small on Mortgage, Big on History

Posted on: January 5th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern

 

Circa 1863 home for sale in New Market, MD.

Circa 1863 home for sale in New Market, MD.

We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every Wednesday. It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent. Today, we're looking at  a few listings that won't (necessarily) break the bank.

I've lived in Washington, DC long enough to know that I am, well, let's say jaded when it comes to real estate prices.  The tiny clapboard-fronted row houses on my street routinely sell for well upwards of a half-million dollars, and I've seen one bedroom condos in my neighborhood list for just a shade under $300K. I'm not the best person to ask when it comes to what a reasonable price for a house is, since even during the downturn, I haven't seen a reasonable price in years. (Oh, yes... I do rent. How did you guess?)

Blueberry Manor in Fayetteville, PA.

Blueberry Manor in Fayetteville, PA.

These listings, however, caught my eye because they really seem like a steal. A 3,000 square foot plantation house on 20 acres in South Carolina for $250K? Or how about a seven-bedroom mansion named after the blueberries that grow on its property (giving a new meaning to "bed and breakfast") for less than $300,000? And this antebellum plantation in Missouri is only $285K? For real? And I can hardly believe this Main Street corner property in Maryland's "antiques capital" is just $199,900. Honestly, these are deals so compelling that they're making me think about telecommuting options... I mean, New Market, Maryland isn't that far, right?

These - and many, many other listings - are available now through our Historic Properties for Sale website. Check it out!

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.