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

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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”

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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

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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!)

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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…

Ca. 1894 ‘English Cottage’ For Sale in San Dimas, CA – $599,900

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When I hear “English cottage,” I don’t tend to think of California.  Yet this house seems to blend English cottage with Arts and Crafts architecture to create a quaint home that fits perfectly into a west coast landscape full of Craftsman bungalows.  Located in San Dimas, California, and called ”one of the prettiest [houses] on San Dimas Avenue” by the Realtor, 500 N. San Dimas Avenue seems to blend seamlessly into its natural surroundings.  This is the result of its low-pitched, “jerkin head” roof (I swear I’m not making that name up — Google it!) on both the house and garage, as well as its stone walls, wide awnings and eaves, and lush trees and shrubbery.  Since the house is almost 120 years old, it’s pretty historic by California standards, and so it’s perhaps not surprising that the house enjoys designation as a result of the Mills Act, resulting is property tax savings.  The house is currently being offered for sale at $599,900.  Note:  There is an Open House is this Sunday, August 11th from 1:00-4:00pm!   Read more…

Rare 1790 Dutch Gambrel Colonial to be Demolished by…Historical Society Guy?

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This one is a bit of a head-scratcher for me.  In Milford, Connecticut, the first-ever VP of the Milford Historical Society is about to knock down his historic c.1789 house, called the “Thomas Sanford House” or the “Sanford-Bristol House.”  And the Sanford-Bristol House isn’t a run-of-the-mill building, either — it’s a Dutch Gambrel double-house, with a cool flared roof, 5 dormers, and a neat Saltbox-style ell. Read more…

What Do You Call It? . . . “Carpenters Marks”

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Last fall, while documenting the attic of an 18th century house in Delaware, I got really excited when I spotted some carpenter’s marks carved on a set of 18th century rafters.   It had been awhile since I had seen any.  After discussing their purpose with my colleagues, I got to wondering just how common-knowledge these “marriage marks” are for other old house lovers.  So I figured, why not write about them, since I think they are cool?   Read more…

Hubka’s “Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn” Examines New England’s Historic Connected Farms

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In Thomas Hubka’s Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn, he studies the phenomenon of the connected farm landscape of northern New England in the 19th century. Published in 1984, Hubka’s work was on the forefront of defining and expanding the field of vernacular studies. In Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn, Hubka examines the typology, evolution, and distribution of the connected farm site. The book is organized into three main sections: first, he introduces and defines the building typology; next is an in-depth discussion of the patterns associated with this vernacular type of dwelling (including the buildings, the landscape, and the permanence of the structures); and lastly, Hubka addresses the builder’s influence in the creation of these buildings, and also seeks to understand why people built these connected farm buildings. Read more…

Georgian Estate in Wicomico, VA — “West End” — To Be Auctioned

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I’ll add this one to my growing wish-list.  ”West End” is a beautifully restored and fully furnished historic estate c.1790, and includes a main residence, guest house and multiple accessory buildings on approximately 32 acres of lush landscape and formal gardens.  According to NYC-based Concierge Auctions, the property will sell at a live auction on April 24th. Originally offered for $3.2 million, this southern estate, located at 677 Crosshills Road, will sell to the highest bidder at or above a $1.8 million reserve in cooperation with Michael Stevens of Coldwell Banker Traditions and Gary Gestson of the Historic Home Team at Long & Foster Real Estate. Read more…

UPDATE: Amazing Italianate in Wellington, Ohio (Best Old House Town- 2010) Offered for Just $94,900

It’s no surprise that “This Old House” chose Wellington, Ohio as one of its “Best Old House Towns” in 2010.  Wellington is a “quaint and quiet northern Ohio town” with a small population of people (4,700), but a large population of beautiful historic houses.  The town features an impressive spectrum of Victorian era houses — including Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, and Folk Victorian, as well as Shingle Style, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman bungalows.  In fact, the architecture of Wellington’s collection of old houses is “so diverse that many colleges conduct field trips here for their architecture majors.”  

Right now, you can own one of the unique old houses that contributes to Wellington’s unique historical fabric (check out the owner’s blog about Wellington and the house here).  This circa 1888 Italianate home, which is located at 600 North Main Street, is within walking distance of historic downtown Wellington and was part of the town’s historic home tour in 2012.  The yellow Italianate house features a symmetrical facade, with a center sidewalk that leads to an impressive one-story porch with fancy scroll work and brackets, all of which project from an almost turret-like tower that projects well above the roof line. Under the porch, steps rise to arched, double-entrance doors.  The house has obviously been renovated to offer the best of both worlds — historic ambiance and texture, with modern style and convenience.  The photos reveal not only a sharp historic exterior, but also an even more impressive interior, where every room looks to have been smartly renovated and visually appealing.  And at the new price of just $94,900 (!), it seems like a tremendous value. (More listing information below.) Read more…