New TV Series searches for Hidden Treasures at Historic Properties

There are few things more exciting (well, at least for a history nerd like myself) than when someone discovers a hidden artifact at a historic house —  in a wall, a basement, an attic, or even underground.  Intriguing discoveries like these provide us with direct, tangible links to people from the past who occupied these spaces before we did.  And yeah — sometimes, they’re quite valuable.  So I’m pretty excited to have learned about a new television series — produced by the same team that created the hit ‘American Pickers‘– that is going to highlight the fascinating stories and hidden secrets behind some fantastic historical buildings.  And perhaps the best part is that you could possibly participate!  The producers are currently looking for historical properties all over the United States to possibly feature for a show.  Do you know of a property you think would be great for the show?  Whether it is a home, civic centre or place of business, I’m told they want to hear from anyone and everyone!  If so, why not give them a call!?  The contact is Lauren Hugh at Our House Media, who suggested you contact her at 416-551-1032 x260 or  Spread the word!

Incredible Home for Auction in Fredericksburg has Cannon Ball from Civil War Lodged in Wall

859865_10200572968231800_1420915184_o copy

Fredericksburg, Virginia is a remarkable place.  I visited there a few years ago, and I was surprised at just how historic, vibrant, and culturally textured it was.  I was in Fredericksburg to attend a preservation event at the University of Mary Washington (which has a fantastic undergraduate program in historic preservation, by the way).  While in town, I visited several of the must-see historic sites, including the Mary Washington House (owned by George Washington’s mother), the 18th century Rising Sun Tavern, the plantation house Chatham Manor, and the Civil War battlefield (below).

IMG_6296 copy

All of the historic sites I visited were fascinating, and I also had a great evening at Capital Ale House, which had great beer and food.  In short, my two days in Fredericksburg were fantastic — even though my visit was during the wintertime!  While there, I remarked several times that I’d love to live in Fredericksburg.  So . . . when I came across this amazing historic house that’s going up for auction soon, I realized that it was pretty much my dream house. Read more…

Remarkable: c. 1790 Log House in Gettysburg Available for $150,000


This amazing property just drips with historical significance!   Now offered for sale at just $150,000, this log cabin that was constructed in 1790 — just 7 years after the American Revolution.   So it has withstood the test of time and witnessed a lot of history — including, of course, the famous Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.  But what makes this property even more remarkable is that Thaddeus Stevens once owned the property.  Who was Thaddeus Stevens, you ask? Read more…

Realtor Uses “Not Haunted” Sign Rider to Market Historic Home in Tennessee


I’ve never seen this trick before, but I got a good laugh out of it, and thought I’d share.  After agent Dorothy Williams Havens, in Clarksville, TN, watched interest wane on her listing of a circa 1876 Italianate home, she decided to grab renewed attention — and maybe alleviate some fears — by placing a rider atop her real estate sign that says, “Not Haunted.”  It even has a cute, friendly little ghost on it, which is the icing on the cake for me. Read more…

Circa 1740 Gem: ‘Joseph Lyman House’ in Coventry, CT is For Sale


I toured this circa 1740 house (2275 Boston Turnpike) many years ago, perhaps in 2008, and I remember at the time feeling as though I had stepped back in time 200 years.  Fires were crackling in the fireplaces, and everywhere I turned, there were beautiful raised paneling walls.  The wide sawn wood floorboards added more to the effect.  It all created a pervasive sense of what life may have looked like — and felt like — during the Revolutionary War era.  Even before I had the opportunity to tour the house (after a client of mine purchased it), I had for years admired the curb appeal of the place — with its classic New England proportions and Saltbox-style profile on one side.  And better yet, there was a little antiques mall within walking distance where I occasionally stopped to buy antiques!  Read more…

A Revolutionary War “Minutemen” Meeting Site, the “Cadwallader Ford House,” is For Sale in Wilmington, MA

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 8.42.48 PM

On the early morning hours of April 19, 1775, as the British army marched toward Lexington and Concord, an alarm rider arrived at the “Cadwallader Ford House” (above) in Wilmington, Massachusetts to awake Ford, the Captain of the local “minutemen” militia.  Ford knew the time had come.

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 8.54.16 AM

As word quickly spread that the Redcoats were marching toward Lexington, 27 patriots gathered at the Ford house, most with no uniform and only their own muskets or fowling pieces as weapons. Read more…

My Top 10 Unique Historic Properties (I’ve Seen) in the Mid-Atlantic!

IMG_8626 copy

Today, Historic House Blog is passing two milestones!  This is our 150th article and we just got our 1,000th  “Like” on Facebook.  In light of this, I am feeling lucky and I guess a bit nostalgic.  I also just returned from Fair Haven, Connecticut, where our team from the University of Delaware’s Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD) documented the last known surviving New York City oyster barge in the United States.  Super cool.  While climbing around that amazing piece of history, I had one of those moments where I thought, ‘Geez, I see so many unique historic places . . . I should share some pictures of them!’   So that’s what this article is about.  And since I also get to see mini horses . . . I’ll share a pic of one of those, too:  Read more…

THREATENED: c.1720 Saltbox in Seekonk, Massachusetts ($125,000) – The “Remember Carpenter House”


A reader let me know about this recent listing in Seekonk, Massachusetts:  A 300-year-old, c. 1720 Saltbox colonial……called the “Remember Carpenter House”…..being marketed as “LAND!!”  [that’s the realtor’s capitalized shout, not mine].  The amount of the land, by the way?  A meager half-acre. Read more…

The “Samuel M. Jackson House” Is For Sale in Apollo, PA

1001 Cropped

This unique Italianate house was built in 1883 by Samuel M. Jackson, who was a Brigadier General during the Civil War.  While Samuel M. Jackson is not to be confused with actor Samuel L. Jackson, he was in fact the grandfather of another well-known actor — the legendary James “Jimmy” Stewart — who is of course known for classics like It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). Read more…

170-Acre Country Estate Known As “Poplar Springs” To Be Auctioned (67 Photos!)

Front crop 70714_11652 copy

I just stumbled across an amazing country house estate that will be auctioned next month!  Located just 50 miles south of Washington DC, and set on more than 170 acres of Virginia’s finest hunt country, this property — now known as “Poplar Springs” — will be sold at public auction on Wednesday, November 6 at 11 am.  If you want to take a look, previews will held on Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 30 from 11 am-1 pm! Read more…