Old Stone Ruins For Sale

Take a peek at these properties: Each plot of land comes with its very own set of old stone ruins. Don’t these images just set the mind reeling? Tell us, what would you do with these rock remains: Set a new home inside, rebuild from the bottom up or just let the stone walls sink slowly and plant lovely roses around them? Let’s talk!

A Bucks County Beauty


The first property, located in Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania, boasts 65 acres of land, with five acres available for new construction and 6.5 acres of open land for farming. A small stream runs along the property and the remains of an early 1800s stone farmhouse and barn can be used as the foundation for a gorgeous garden.

Serenity in the Southwest


We head to Dripping Springs, Texas, to see the next property, which would make an ideal cattle ranch or winery. The lot comes with over 30 acres of land dotted with massive oak trees, a barn and cattle pens and the remains of small circa-1800s stone cottages.

Magic on the Patapsco


The third property, back along the East Coast, is nothing short of spectacular. This lot in the historic town of Oella, Maryland, overlooks the Patapsco River and comes with a circa-1806 millworker’s house, stripped of additions and featuring a cooking fireplace of stone and brick now exposed on the north face of the building. Oh, the possibilities!

The Rock House: Georgia’s Oldest Stone Home

Stone homes don’t immediately come to mind when one thinks of Southern states and early American architecture. That’s why the Rock House, located in Thomson, Georgia, is of such particular interest.

The oldest stone home in Georgia, the Rock House was built by Thomas Ansley, a farmer born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, in 1737. After 1760, Ansley lived in North Carolina and then moved to Wrightsboro, a Quaker village located in Warren County, Georgia, before 1773.

It was here in Wrightsboro, between 1783 and 1785, that Ansley built his stone home, using construction methods brought with him from the Delaware Valley of New Jersey. The weathered granite that was used to form the home’s two-foot-thick walls was quarried near the home site and locally sourced pine and cypress comprised the timbers and shingles respectively. The one-story fortress-like home featured a raised basement with large walk-in fireplace where meals were cooked, a main floor with parlor and bedrooms and a full attic.

The Rock House is owned by the Wrightsboro Quaker Foundation, which restored the house in 1981. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is said to be haunted.

Source, color photography: Chasingcarolina.com

Take an Old Stone Home for a Test Drive

Think you’d love to live in an old stone home? Before you take the plunge, why not book a stay in a vacation rental? There are options – from cozy cottages to mansions — up and down the East Coast. Take your pick this summer and see if the stone home way of life suits your style.

Maine


Name: Stone House on Bayberry Lane
Location: Boothbay Harbor region
Best Feature: Proximity to ocean, 75 feet from cottage

Massachusetts


Name: Old Stone School Cottage
Location: In the heart of the Berkshires
Best Features: Cozy charm and pastoral views

Rhode Island


Name: Gen. Isaac Peace Rodman House
Location: Minutes to Narragansett beaches
Best Features: Beautiful gardens and pastural Italianate style of circa-1855 mansion

New York


Name: The Stone House 1807
Location: New Paltz
Best Features: 12-acre property with biking/hiking trails and organic farm just down the road.

Pennsylvania


Name: The Alexander Currens Farmhouse
Location: Southern end of the Gettysburg Battlefield
Best Features: Proximity to attractions (you’re staying on hallowed ground!) and patio with expansive views

Pennsylvania


Name: Atglen Cottage
Location: Easy drive to local tourist attractions in Lancaster and Chester Counties
Best Feature: Sits on the edge of woodlands with a creek and hiking trails

West Virginia


Name: Oldeststone Farm
Location: Situated on 46 acres of Shenandoah Valley farmland
Best Features: Views and beautiful interior design provided by innkeeper (a former DC designer!)

Colonial-Era Stone Homes of the Mid-Atlantic

What would it be like to live in a home built during America’s colonial period, before the signing of the Declartation? Would the home’s rich past compensate for the mysterious creaks and cracks, the occasional draft and “improvements” that have done more harm than good?

These Mid-Atlantic homes are looking for new owners. You up for the challenge? Take a look and tell us which one you’d pick.

Year Built: 1705


Known as Holland Hall, this circa-1705 stone home, located in Saugerties, New York, boasts stunning views of the Catskills. The home features three bedrooms and three old hearths that could easily be put back to use.
Most outstanding feature: Original open hearths
Colonial happenings of the year: Virginia became the first colony to establish a comprehensive slave code. The code asserted that slaves were real estate. Benjamin Franklin was born the following year.

Year Built: 1730


This Ellicott City, Maryland, farmhouse, circa 1730, has been passed down through Maryland’s Carroll family (Charles Carroll was a signer of the Declaration of Independence). The home includes exposed stone interior walls and cottage gardens awaiting a green thumb’s touch.
Most outstanding feature: The rustic barn with stone foundation
Colonial happenings of the year: Baltimore was founded in the Maryland colony. The Great Awakening, an evangelical religious movement, swepted through America.

Year Built: 1740


Built in 1740, this Georgian-style millhouse, located in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, is nestled along a babbling stream. An extensive renovation in 2003 melded the best of old and new.
Most outstanding feature: Proximity to stream
Colonial happenings of the year: The King George’s War erupted overseas. Famine in Ireland sent many settlers to the Shenandoah Valley area.

Year Built: 1750


This Bloomsbury, New Jersey, stone home, constructed in 1750, comes with an attached rancher that you can live in while restoration work is under way.
Most outstanding feature: Lush 1.5-acre lot
Colonial happenings of the year: The population of the American colonies reached one million. The flatboat and the Conestoga wagon improved transportation.

Year Built: 1770


Lagrange Farm, a circa-1770 stone estate located in Stephens City, Virginia, has successfully stood the test of time. With a timber bank barn and over seven acres of land, this property is the perfect place to establish a business – or family retreat.
Most outstanding feature: Acres of pasture
Colonial happenings of the year: The population of the American colonies reached just over 2.2 million people. The Boston Massacre occurred.

Historic Stone Taverns in the Keystone State

Old stone taverns certainly tug at the heartstrings, don’t they? See one and your mind tends to wander off to a place long ago and far away. Can’t you just imagine the scene? A warm fire blazes in the open hearth as locals — from landholders to lowly farmers — huddle around candle-topped tables, discussing politics of the day as tankards of ale slowly take their toll. There’s something nostalgic too, about the notion of the weary traveler, stopping off at a wayside inn after a long journey to find conversation and perhaps a warm supper and a place to lay his or her head.

Early American tavern scene, Colonial tavern, old stone homes, old stone taverns

Figures in a Tavern or Coffee House by William Hogarth

There are many early American taverns still standing (and operating!) in this country. And on occasion,  an tavern-turned-home comes up for sale, the owner hoping to find a thoughtful someone willing to take on the caretaking responsibility for a few more decades.

If you’re currently shopping for an old stone home with a special spirit of hospitality, you’ll want to take a look at these five magnificent properties, located along old toll roads and once-busy thoroughfares in Pennsylvania.

Historic stone tavern, Cumberland Hall, Moore's Tavern, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, old stone homes, Early American tavern

Moore’s Tavern, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Cumberland Hall, an estate nestled on 2+ acres, was once known as Moore’s Tavern. The Carlisle, Pennsylvania, limestone home was built by James Moore in 1788 and operated as a tavern from 1795 to 1885. The home boasts 17 rooms, eight working wood-burning fireplaces, a rebuilt barn and a vintage brick tollhouse.

Gechter Tavern, old stone tavern, Early American tavern, Reading, Pennsylvania, old stone homes

Gechter Tavern, Reading, Pennsylvania

Originally known as the Gechter Tavern on the Oley Toll Road and steeped in Civil War history, this circa-1750 home, located near Reading, Pennsylvania, boasts four bedrooms, its original springhouse with walk-in fireplace, a bank barn and a wagon shed.

Historic stone tavern, LeVan Tavern, Kemp Hotel, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, old stone homes

LeVan Tavern, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

In 1740, Daniel LeVan, an immigrant from the Netherlands, built a stone home along a highway that connected the Pennsylvania towns of Reading and Easton. As traffic grew, so too did the size of his home until finally, in 1765, Daniel opened The LeVan Tavern, which would go on to host both John Adams and George Washington. After decades of serving as a hotel/bar/restaurant and, finally, as a yoga studio, the property is up for sale. Although the building is zoned commercial, second-floor living quarters are available for a brave soul willing to bring this historic tavern back to life.

Johnson-Hatfield Tavern, old stone tavern, historic tavern, Brier Hill, Pennsylvania, old stone homes

Johnson-Hatfield Tavern, Brier Hill, Pennsylvania

A stop for 19th-century travelers along the National Road in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, The Johnson-Hatfield Tavern was built in 1817 by Randolph Dearth for Robert Johnson. The building served as a tavern through 1855 and thereafter as a private residence. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home sits on 3.75 acres and features a historic stone springhouse.

John Hunter Tavern, John Hunter Inn, old stone inn, Oley, Pennsylvania, old stone homes

John Hunter Inn, Oley, Pennsylvania

Built in 1768 by Johannes Jaeger (John Hunter), this Georgian-style sandstone home located in Oley Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, doubled as a wayside inn during the colonial period. The home features 12 rooms and four fireplaces, plus an 18th century log cabin (not original to the site), a wagon shed and an English-style barn.

To learn more about the importance of the tavern or inn in the lives of Early Americans, take some time to read this informative post on the Gothic Curiosity Cabinet blog.

Pave Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot

That’s exactly what a company called Hillwood Enterprises LP would like to do in Lower Swatara Township in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The company is attempting to rezone 500 acres of what is now some of the most picturesque farmland in the area and replace it with a mega warehouse, in and out of which hundreds of trucks would travel per day.

And right in the center of this parcel of land? You guessed it: An old stone home, now slowly fading away. Sadly, this home was once a stunning mansion, built by one of the earliest settlers of Dauphin County.

Residents who surround the property have banded together in an effort to sway local commissioners and stop rezoning. To learn more about the stone mansion and what an industrial warehouse might do to the environment and the community, please visit the Save Lower Swatara Agriculture blog. If you live in the area and wish to protect vanishing Pennsylvania farmland, please show your support by joining the Save Lower Swatara Agriculture group on Facebook and signing the petition to stop the rezoning. And, last but not least, if you have super-deep pockets (all the Jay Zs and Bill Gates of the world), consider buying the land and preserving it for future generations.

Old Stone Homes in the News

Three properties popped up in the news this week: one in desperate need of repair and two others of historic significance. Let’s take a look.

A Stone Home in Danger
Lapole Tenant House, Farmlands estate, Cantonville, Maryland
The Lapole House (Lurman House) in Catonsville, Maryland, may not look like much at first glance. The boarded-up stone cottage is located on the grounds of Catonsville High School but was once part of a much larger estate. The story starts with Edward Dorsey, who gave the name “Farmlands” to the area in the late 1700s. He passed the large tract of land to his son, Hammond, who built a mansion on the site in the 1790s. In 1820 the house with six hundred acres was sold to Henry Sommerville, who renamed it “Bloomsbury Farm”. In 1848, Gustav W. Lurman, Sr. purchased the estate and restored its original name. The Farmlands estate passed down through the Lurman family until 1948 when Miss Frances D. Lurman sold the last 65 acres to the Board of Education. The main house and most outbuildings were demolished in 1952 to make way for the high school. The tenant or gardener’s cottage, once the home of estate caretakers Charles and Ida Mae Lapole, is all that remains today. Local resident Jim Jones is raising awareness in hopes that the cottage can be saved from the ravages of time, weather and vandalism.

A Stone Home That Needs an Owner
Stone mansion, Fieldston Historic District, Bronx, New York, old stone home
It’s a mansion in fine condition. The only thing lacking is an owner. And for $3.7 million the home could be yours! Located in Fieldston, a privately owned neighborhood in the Riverdale section of the northwestern part of the Bronx, this 100-year-old home of solid fieldstone construction features eight spacious bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, a formal dining room and a renovated eat-in kitchen. The Craftsman-style home, designed by architect William B. Claflin and built for Columbia University professor George B. Pegram, sits at the top of a 1/2-acre sloping, terraced lot and exists within the Fieldston Historic District.

A Stone Home That Wants to Tell Its Story
River Street neighborhood, old stone home, sandstone, Boise, Idaho, Erma Andre Madry Hayman
The 900-square-foot home at 617 Ash Street in Boise, Idaho, was once surrounded by timber-framed homes in a bustling neighborhood coined River Street. Built in 1907 of sandstone, the house became home to Erma Andre Madry Hayman and her husband Lawrence in 1943. Erma raised a large family in the small home and lived to the ripe old age of 102. After her death in 2009, grandson Richard Madry sold the house and property to the Capital City Development Corporation. Hopes are to protect the home via a National Trust for Historic Preservation designation and learn more about the vibrant multicultural working class community via an archeological dig at the homesite, led by the University of Idaho field school.

The Federal-Style Stone Home

After the American Revolution, we strayed somewhat from the Georgian home style. It’s hard to blame Early Americans, fresh off the battlefield and not so keen on building homes taken from the pages of English pattern books.

Fort Hunter Mansion, Front Entrance, Federal style stone mansion, old stone home, Harrisburg, PA, colonial homeThus emerged the “Adam” style, made famous by Scottish architects Robert and James Adam, brothers who designed large country estates in England, circa 1750- 1800. Once word spread to our side of the pond, the name was surreptitiously changed to “Federal” and a truly American architectural form was born.

The Federal style borrows the Georgian adherence to Roman classical design; the center hall, symmetrical design elements and side-gabled roof all remain. The styles diverge by way of formal features: Think delicate, sophisticated ornamentation, a front door fanlight window, three-part or Palladian windows with curved arches and curving or polygonal window projections.

Fort Hunter Mansion, located along the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, provides a fine example of Federal style. Built with stone quarried locally, the home boasts refined details that would have showcased its owners’s wealth and position in society.

For Sale: Old Stone Homes of the Southwest

Attention, stone home lovers. Got a soft spot for all things Southwest and the legend and lore of frontiersmen and women? You can indeed find historic stone homes in the states that form the Southwest. We did a bit of digging and found a few beauties that you may wish to call home.

This stone home, circa 1882, is located in the Parkwood subdivision of San Antonio, Texas. The Texas Hill Country-style home is known to locals as the Francisco/Maximo Cadena House and comes with almost 20 acres of property. The home needs TLC, for sure, but we hope the new owner puts money into a restoration rather than building something new.

Cimarron, New Mexico, known for its colorful wild-west history, is now a peaceful community where historic buildings and the modern world co-exist. This circa-1908 home, the original home of W S Ranch (employer of Buffalo Bill!), was built with rocks brought in from The Palisades. The Victorian-style home boasts five bedrooms, sits on 1.4 acres and may host a ghost or two (just sayin’).

Nestled in the foothills of Farmington, Utah, this historic structure, known as Richards Grist Mill, was built in 1857 for early Mormon pioneers. The single family dwelling comes with seven acres, plus a studio and caretaker’s quarters.

From Stone Cottage to Georgian Style in Colonial America

You know those two-story, take-your-breath-away stone homes you sometimes find closer to city centers and clearly built by skilled tradesmen? Congrats! You’ve just happened upon a Georgian-style home. Why significant? Early American stone homes called upon regional folk styles and were often built by owners themselves. By the 18th century, we had established ourselves in this country and had amassed enough wealth to build more formal, refined structures.

The Georgian style in America made its way here from England, where classical forms of the earlier Italian Renaissance period were popular. Hallmarks of this home style included:

The Georgian style (1700-1780) gave way to the Federal style after the American Revolution. Cliveden (Benjamin Chew House, shown above), located in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a fine example of Georgian style. The mansion was in part designed by its owner Benjamin Chew, a successful Philadelphia lawyer, and built by Mennonite master carpenter Jacob Knor, mason John Hesser and stonecutter Casper Geyer. The home takes inspiration from Kew Palace as well as patterns in James Gibbs’s Book of Architecture. An ashlar front of gray Wissahickon schist (the predominant bedrock underlying Philadelphia) and gable ends and back of rubble construction are outstanding features.

Could you see yourself as the master of a grand Georgian estate? Take our stone home personality quiz to find the home style that’s right for you.

References:
Cliveden: The Building of a Philadelphia Countryseat, 1763-1767
Common Building Types: Houses, schools, courthouses