Meet Magnolia

“Old houses were scaffolding once and workmen whistling.”
– T.E. Hulme

My desire to own a historic home is a deep, throbbing one born of being travel-spoiled and living too many places with too many fascinating houses (at some point I’ll have to take some photos of some of the local estates that were built before founding of the country!), it messes with your sense of proportion. In Germany we lived in an old house with an orchard in the backyard and a ruined castle up the hill. Our village in England was primarily famous for an Anglo Saxon silver hoard being dug up in someone’s garden. History!

I’m an 18th century house lover myself, but a few miles walk from my parents house is a late 19th century farm house that’s been recently restored. And I want it.

It sits on a couple acres with two huge paddocks/lawns fenced in prettily. It has its own stables (no good to me, I haven’t ridden in years, but it adds beautifully to the charm), and the drive is honest to goodness an old carriage and wagon track. It even has its own herb garden, for heck’s sake. The name of this gem:


Blame Britain but I am a firm believer that every proper house should have a name. My family’s land doesn’t have a house on it yet (Dad has ambitions) but it’s named Stonewell.


See? Absolutely charming. As with all local, old farmhouses, at least one extension was built onto the back, though this view hides it. And it isn’t just the house that gets branded:


In case the horses forget to which house they belong. And, in case you forgot I live in Virginia (home of 18th century, democratic ideals and titles to match), the even older across the country road is called…


Equanimity Farm. You can’t even see that house, it’s set far back from the road and surrounded by privacy protecting trees.  The whole spot is just riddled with character!

And really, that’s what I love about old houses – they have character. Mass produced houses built inches apart from and completely identical one another seem just utterly soul-less. But these old houses, they have stories behind them. You can see that lives have been lived in them, you can see that time has left it’s mark on them (some more than others) and you want to know how they went from families living there, people being born and dying for generations, to being reclaimed by the woods. Older houses don’t just have characters, like Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame they are characters in their own right.


Come. On.

Anyone got $350,000 they can spare me?

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