Must-Stay Summer Vacation Retreats

At last summer is officially here! Have you hammered down your vacation plans? Or do you prefer to wing it and escape for spur-of-the-moment adventures? Either way, you’ll love this round-up of old stone vacation homes and cottages. If your travels take you to New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Ohio this summer, you’re in luck!

French Huguenot-Style Farmhouse


Location: New Paltz, New York
Age: 1796
Best feature: The historic four-bedroom home is bordered by 6,400 acres of the forests, streams and lakes of the Mohonk Preserve, designated by the Nature Conservancy as one of the “Earth’s Last Great Places.”

Horse Farm in Lancaster County Amish Country


Location: Providence, Pennsylvania
Age: Circa 1850
Best feature:  This expansive farmhouse is situated on a immaculate 50-acre working horse farm.

Vacation Stay in the Shenandoah Valley


Location: Lexington, Virginia
Age: 1780
Best feature: This stately home’s two-foot-thick walls and period furnishings make you feel far away from life’s hustle and bustle.

Stone Schoolhouse Near a Scenic River

stone schoolhouse in Ohio
Location: Delaware, Ohio
Age: Circa 1800s
Best Feature: This cozy cabin is situated in the Olentangy Scenic River corridor and is surrounded by the Seymour Woods Nature Preserve. A picture-perfect romantic getaway!

Old Stagecoach Stop: Your Next Home?

Imagine a time before air and car travel. A time even before rail travel. When the only way to get from point A to a distant point B was to hop aboard a stagecoach, a horse-drawn carriage designed to convey passengers and luggage along one of several well-traveled routes.

historic stagecoach stops

To accommodate weary travelers making more than a day’s journey, inns and taverns popped up along the most frequently traveled routes. Many of the “stops” have survived and today thrive as inns, bed and breakfasts and historic sites open to the public for tour. And, every now and again, you come across a stagecoach stop turned private residence. Which brings us to this batch of old stone homes for sale.

Feast your eyes on some true American beauties, historically significant and awaiting thoughtful caretakers. Can’t you almost hear the faint sound of wagon wheels and the clip-clop of horses’ heels in the distance?

Perkionmenville, Pennsylvania

Inn at Perkiomenville
This circa-1800 stone inn, located in the historic village of Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, has been stripped down to its original plaster and stone and pine floors. Formerly known as Wynn’s Creekside Inn and the Inn at Perkiomenville, this building sits vacant, awaiting an owner who can lovingly convert it to a single-family home or maintain it as an inn or quaint café.

Everett, Pennsylvania

Weaverly House Everett Pennsylvania
A plaque that reads “Weaverly” adorns the exterior of this grand old stone home, which was built in 1843 and served as a stagecoach stop and, later, an inn. A gift shop, coined the Sheepskin Country Store, was also located on the premises. The home, which sits on 10 acres of lush farmland, boasts four bedrooms and a circa-1963 barn.

Hollowville, New York

Hollowville Stagecoach House
This three-story stagecoach house, circa 1780, is nestled on a quiet drive away from the main road, which was originally known as the Columbia Turnpike. Surrounded by woods and meadows, the home has been painstakingly restored and features four bedrooms, its original fireplace, wide-planked floors and more.

The 5 Most Endangered Stone Homes in the United States 2017

One word: Heartbreaking. These historic homes are on the verge of being but memories. Endangered, in peril, at risk …here’s hoping local preservation groups and concerned citizens can step in and save irreplaceable pieces of our Early American history.

1. Mifflin House

Wrightsville, Pennsylvania
Mifflin House Hybla Wrightsville
The stone farmhouse, built in the late 1700s and coined “Hybla,” was a very important stop on the Underground Railroad when owned by prominent Pennsylvanians Jonathan and Susanna Mifflin. Later, while owned by J. Huber, a crucial Civil War battle played out on the site. So why would anyone not consider the home and the land that surrounds it hallowed ground? The most recent owners sold the home and its over 9-acre property to Kinsley Equities, which has been chomping at the bit to tear the home down. Locals believe warehouses will be built in its place. A report issued by the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office states that the home is eligible for historic designation. Hopefully, the report will make demolition efforts more difficult, although the home’s future remains uncertain.

2. McKee House

Lombard, Illinois
McKee House Churchill Woods Forest Preserve
The limestone Colonial-Revival-style home, nestled in the Churchill Woods Forest Preserve, was built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and served as home to DuPage County’s first forest preserve superintendent. The home has stood empty since 2002 and neglect has led to deterioration. In 2006, the DuPage County Forest Preserve District announced plans to raze the structure; local preservation groups have fought valiantly to save a piece of DuPage County — and American — history. For more information, visit the McKee Preservation Group Facebook page.

3. Phillip Kaes House

Ballwin, Missouri
Phillip Kaes House Castlewood
This home, built between 1850 and 1860, sits atop land that was once part of a Spanish land claim. A two-story wood-framed addition was added to the original three-story stone structure, creating one of the area’s first true “split-level” homes. Lore says that the home served as a stop on the Underground Railroad and that Civil War soldiers were held prisoner in the property’s stone caves. In 1980, the home was acquired by the state park system as part of a land purchase and has remained unattended since. If the park is not willing to part with the land, it might at least consider a resident curatorship program now established in several other states.

4. Troy Hill

Elkridge, Maryland
Troy Hill Elkridge
This circa-1820 stone home was built atop the former “dwelling plantation” of Colonel Thomas Dorsey, one of Howard County’s most prominent 18th century landowners. The State of Maryland purchased the property in December 1958 with plans to raze the home to make way for a highway. Demolition deemed unnecessary, the home sat vacant for years, until Howard County acquired the homstead in 1971 as part of a land purchase. Troy was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, but sadly continued to sit in a state of decline. In 1991, a fire destroyed the interior. The county now has plans to restore the structure as part of a larger park improvement; adaptive reuse is being considered.

5. Kimball Castle

Guilford, New Hampshire

Kimball Castle

Bottom right photo by Jason Baker.


The former estate of railroad magnate Benjamin A. Kimball, the castle was built over the span of two years (1897-1899) and incorporates both English oak and local granite. It sits atop a 24-acre tract of land and boasts spectacular views of both the Lakes Region and the White Mountain. The estate fell into the hands of the Town of Guilford, which turned a 260-acre portion of the estate into a nature preserve. The town invited developers to submit ideas for the property’s development and a resort and restaurant plan was eventually approved by the town. Lack of funding put the project on hold.

Tour an Old Stone Home This Christmas

Step back in time this holiday season! Some of the most historic stone homes in the country are open for tours, teas and more. Check out this line-up to find an event in your community. Is your favorite stone home sponsoring a holiday event? Let us know and we’ll add details to this listing.

Christmas at Fort Hunter

Fort Hunter Mansion, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Christmas tours, old stone homes, old stone houses
Now Through December 23
Guided tours highlight holiday trimmings and Victorian-era customs
Fort Hunter Mansion and Park
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

38th Annual Festival of Trees

Pearl Buck House Festival of Trees old stone homes old stone houses holiday events
Now Through December 31
Holiday interiors designed by Bucks County’s best artists and decorators
Pearl S. Buck House
Perkasie, Pennsylvania

Puritan Past, Holiday Presents

Henry Whitfield House Connecticut holiday event Christmas old stone homes old stone houses
December 10-11
House tour, treats, ornament making and more
Henry Whitfield State Museum
Guilford, Connecticut

Christmas Carol Tea

Steppingstone Farm Museum Havre de Grace Maryland Christmas tea old stone homes old stone houses holiday events
December 10-11
Victorian tea with holiday storytelling
Steppingstone Farm Museum
Havre de Grace, Maryland

Historic East Berlin Christmas House Tour

East Berlin Pennsylvania holiday home tour old stone homes old stone houses
December 11
Six privately owned homes will be open to the public, as well as three Society Buildings, plus music, open hearth cooking demonstrations and refreshments
East Berlin Historical Preservation Society

East Berlin, Pennsylvania

St. Nicholas Days

Old Stone House Ramsey New Jersey St. Nicholas Day old stone homes old stone houses holiday events
December 11
Open house, cooking demonstrations, crafts, tree trimming and more
Old Stone House Museum
Ramsey, New Jersey

Holiday Candlelight Tour

Ramsey House Knoxville Tennessee candlelight tours old stone homes old stone houses holiday events
December 11
Period decorations and candlelight in the 1797 home of Francis Alexander Ramsey and his family
Historic Ramsey House
Knoxville, Tennessee

Holiday Open House

Sayler House Pearl River New Jersey old stone houses old stone homes holiday events dollhouse
December 11 and 18
Holiday decorations, dollhouse holiday show, carols under the tree and cookies
Historic Salyer House
Pearl River, New Jersey

Brandenburgers Holiday Concert

Old Stone House Brooklyn New York historic homes old stone homes holiday concert holiday events Brandenburgers
December 17
Violins, violas, cellos, bass and flute play music by Bach, Corelli, Dvorak, Glickman, Ostyn and Piazzolla
Old Stone House & Washington Park
Brooklyn, New York

Lantern Tours

Ephrata Cloister Lancaster County Pennsylvania Lantern Tours old stone homes old stone houses holiday events
December 27-31
Theatrical tours that present the religious community as it may have appeared in the 1700s
Ephrata Cloister
Ephrata, Pennsylvania

A Soft Spot for As-Is Stone Homes

Something Special in York Springs

Old stone homes for sale, log cabin, York Springs, Pennsylvania, 140 Company Farm Road, historic homes for sale, old homes for sale
What you get: An “as-is” log home and a stone summer kitchen that date back to the early to mid-1800s, 40 acres of some of Adams County, Pennsylvania’s, finest farmland (plus creek frontage) and old stones the present owner has gathered from the property for use in the home’s restoration.

Salvation for the General Store?

old stone building for sale, River Building, Long Valley, New Jersey, blacksmith shop, Mill road, endangered buildings
This old stone building in the center of Long Valley, New Jersey, goes by many names: the River Building, the Lyman Kice General Store and, simply, the blacksmith shop. It’s an important piece of Washington Township history, as it served as a blacksmith and wagon repair shop, a general store and, later, the center of socialization in the community. The building sits along the south branch of the Raritan River, awaiting a kind-hearted caretaker.

Gentleman’s Farm Facing Hard Times

Old stone homes for sale, Coatesville, Pennsylvania, 1410 Manor Rd., endangered properties, old stone barns
The stone home was built in 1796 and features five bedrooms and six (!!) fireplaces. The property comes with 24 acres of land, a bank barn, a stone springhouse and a small stream. Lots of history and potential here, if the owner is willing to dig in and do good for this time-forgotten property.

Keep it (Under) 100: Old Stone Homes for a Steal

They’re out there, you may just need to do a little scouring (and be willing to live in a smaller community or a bit off the beaten path). Take a look at these gems at $100,000 or less. Each stone home has its pros and cons. Which one would you choose?

Pennsylvania Farmhouse with Potential

Old stone farmhouse, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, old stone homes for sale, old stone houses for sale, historic properties
Primitive. That’s the best way to describe this Fayette County jewel. Utilities are available but not connected and the home is stripped down to its bare essence. Although the property is listed as circa-1870, there is some speculation that it was constructed earlier and the farmstead of settler John Hamilton Bryson.
Price: $89,900

Quaint Canal Worker’s Cottage


The village of Medina sprung up during the construction of the Erie Canal in the early 1800s. Canal workers built homes of sandstone and brick, and hotels were constructed to house barge passengers making an overnight stop. A remnant of its former bustling days, this quaint cottage, circa 1820, is nestled within a stone’s throw of the community’s main street historic district. The childhood home of well-known resident Arthur Newell, this home surely has its own stories to tell.
Price: $39,900

A True Texas Rose


One of the oldest homes in Comanche County, this circa-1874 beauty was built by W.C. Switzer, a local blacksmith, and served as his residence and boarding home for students who attended the local community college. The back patio alone is worth the budget-friendly price tag.
Price: $84,000

Stone Ruins, Shells and More

Say, you purchase a plot of land, and sitting atop that slice of earth is a stone foundation, a random wall or the shell of an old stone home. What would you do with it? Take a look at these for-sale properties and tell us what you think. Which one do you like the best? Which has the most potential? Which one makes you long to see photos of the property from former days?

Charles Springer Tavern Stone Barn Remains


On a plot of land that fronts Lancaster Pike in Wilmington, Delaware, you’ll find these beautiful circa-1852 stone barn ruins. They were once part of the larger circa-1780 Springer Tavern property that sits just across the lane from the barn. The barn was built by farmer Moses Journey, who purchased the tavern property in 1848.

Marshall Family Land Holdings


Own a piece of Bucks County history! This Erwinna, Pennsylvania, plot of land, originally owned by some of the township’s earliest residents, boasts amazing views across the Delaware Canal and River to New Jersey. The almost five-acre property includes its original farmhouse, which is in dire need of restoration, plus a barn, a corn crib and the remains of the property’s original bank barn.

Old Farmstead with Stone Shell


Gentleman farmer? Winemaker? Horse breeder? Now’s your chance to own 28 rolling pasture-like acres of prime farmland in lush York County, Pennsylvania. This Dover property comes with a barn with an old stone wall forebay, an open-span shed, a courtyard-style area and a circa-1900 stone farmhouse surrounded by a stone-capped wall. The home is in shell condition, awaiting the personal touches of a loving owner.

A Patch of Mountain Paradise


Private mountain views in all directions? Sold! This 97-acre plot of land in Madison, Virginia, is surrounded by 500 acres of Rapidan Wildlife Management Area land and provides space for a new house or cabin and includes the remains of the property’s original stone homestead, which could be incorporated into a new build. Beautiful!

Stone Home Living in the Old Line State

My, oh, my, the stone homes for sale right now in Maryland! These beauties are on the higher end of the scale, but talk about dreamy! Take a look. Which one would you grab if money were no object?

Something Special in Spark


This three-story beauty is located very close to the Pennsylvania border. Dating back to 1800, the home has been completely remodeled and sits on almost two acres, along with a barn and workshop.

Natural Beauty in Knoxville


This historic home, coined Stoney Brook Farm, was built by Dr. Zachariah Claggett is 1821. The home is surrounded by lush Pleasant Valley farmland and Maryland’s burgeoning wine country. The 57-acre estate includes a converted smoke house, a spring house, an artist workshop/outbuildings, a huge bank barn with stables and work rooms, a heated commercial greenhouse and a small glass greenhouse.

Stone Dream Home Near the City


The backyard and patio alone are worth the investment! The original portion of this old stone home was constructed in 1808. Located just outside of Baltimore, this expansive homestead sits on almost five acres of property.

Sweetheart Stone Cottages in Pennsylvania

Thank God for Pennsylvania, the land of old stone homes. We have German, Swedish and Scots-Irish settlers to thank for bringing with them distinctive architectural styles, plus masonry skills that would guarantee the longevity and durability of these early dwellings.

Today, we focus on the smaller homes, the cottages that most often dot the countryside. Charming? Absolutely. Affordable? More often than not. Dreamy? Without question.

Take a peek at these four steal-your-heart homes, waiting for someone willing to take a chance.

The Real Deal in Robesonia


A fly fisherman’s dream come true. This two-story cape, circa 1820, is nestled right across the street from trout-stocked Furnace Creek. The home has been completely remodeled, while maintaining the cottage’s most charming original details (exposed stone walls!). Outbuildings are just one of several amenities that make this property a keeper.

Fleetwood Cottage Far from the Madding Crowd


Pennsylvania or the Irish countryside? Honestly, it’s hard to tell when one first spies photos of this 868-square-foot stone cottage, circa 1850. Situated on three acres, the home comes with many outbuildings, including the original summer kitchen with open walk-in hearth and barn structure. It wouldn’t take much effort or elbow grease to put your unique stamp on this historic home.

Care Needed for Coopersburg Cottage


Located in the beautiful Lehigh Valley, close to Allentown, this circa-1890 stone cottage is in dire need of some love and attention. Two pluses: the big stone fireplace and the home’s location on a quiet country road that cuts through picturesque Pennsylvania farmland.

Rural Home with a River View


There’s a lot to say about this old stone cottage in Wrightsville. Can we start with that stellar view of the Susquehanna River? Breathtaking. Not to mention the completely renovated interiors. Originally a schoolhouse, this circa-1892 structure would prove an ideal starter home for a small, growing family.

The Pieter Bronck House: New York State’s Oldest Stone Home

The oldest surviving house in the upper Hudson Valley also happens to be (from the research we’ve done) the oldest stone dwelling in the state of New York. The story of this sweetheart of a stone cottage begins with Pieter Bronck, a sailor from Holland, who emigrated with his wife, Hilletje Jans, to the colony of New Netherlands in 1653. They originally settled at Fort Orange (now Albany, New York) on the banks of the Hudson River, and made their living as tavern keepers and brewers.

Bronck. Hmmm. Sounds a lot like Bronx, right? Peiter happened to be a close relative of Jonas Bronck for whom the borough is named.


The life of a tavern keeper was not without its trials, and Pieter experienced his fair share of financial troubles. Hoping for a fresh start, the couple set their sights on the Catskills region of the colony and a life of farming (and perhaps fur trading). So in 1662, Pieter headed downriver to purchase 250 acres of land from Wappinger Indians in exchange for 150 guilders-worth of beaver pelts. He chose his tract of land, which native peoples called “Koixhackung” (now the town of Coxsackie), for its proximity to a major trade path.

The home built on the site a year later reflected rural Northern European home building practices of the time. The one-room 20′ x 20′ structure (we’re talking only 400 square feet!) featured 12-inch-thick fieldstone walls and massive 14- by 8-inch beams that supported a small storage garret and roof above. Wide-planked 18-inch floorboards and a hand-dug cellar were more defining features. The home was expanded in 1685 with a hallway, main room and loft, and in 1738, Pieter’s grandson, Leendert and his wife, Anna de Wandelear, built a brick home that was then connected to the stone cottage by what was called a “hyphen hallway.”

Farming as a profession proved a wise choice for this family, as through the years, they expanded the property with outbuildings. The estate passed through eight generations of the Bronck family until 1939, when the last family owner, with no heirs, gifted the farming estate to the Greene County Historical Society, which has maintained the home and land as a museum ever since.

Wondering how the original stone home has survived nearly four centuries? Credit must go to caring members of the Bronck family and their ability to keep this home within the family. Its location also played a part – off the beaten path, away from the harsh elements of the coast, etc. And lastly, its solid stone construction. Those New Yorkers know a thing or two about building homes that last ;-).

Resources:
“Bronck House Celebrates 350 Years” by Ann Gibbons
“Bronck Family” by Greene County Historical Society
“Pieter Bronck” by Jonas Bronck Center