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

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 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

Dreamy Old Mills For Sale

You can almost hear the wheel slowly cranking, as it lifts water to power the millstones inside. Mill workers hustle about, stacking burlap bags filled with milled seed and shooing away stray cats that have made the stone building their new home.

Stone mills. Why do they fill us with such feelings of nostalgia? One can’t help but stand in awe when within earshot of a working grist mill. Better yet? When you pass a grand stone mill that has been preserved and/or adapted by some patient soul.

If you think the notion of living in an old stone mill sounds simply dreamy, then you’ll love this round-up of mill properties-turned-homes currently on the market. And if you have a few extra minutes, cruise through Jim Miller’s site, Millphotos.com, to see images of mills (stone and timber-framed), broken down by state.

The Edisonville Mill, Strasburg, Pennsylvania


Since 1768, a mill of some sort has stood on the site that now houses the Edisonville Mill/Herr Mill, built around 1822. The building, fed by the Pequea Creek, has served as a flour, corn meal, grist and saw mill, a distillery, a museum and apartments throughout its history. Now vacant and boasting 30-inch-thick walls, 9-foot ceilings, keystone lintels and more, the building seeks a caring soul to call it home.

The Stein Mill, Kutztown, Pennsylvania


With the oldest portion built in 1816, this stone miller’s farmhouse has been lovingly maintained. It sits on 33 acres that is shared by a nearly four-story circa-1857 sandstone mill, which was built by Adam Stein. Fed by Mill Creek, it operated as a merchant mill until 1899, and most recently housed an antiques gallery. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Hulshizer Mill, Stewartsville, New Jersey

Situated along the Pohatcong Creek, this fieldstone and red sandstone mill was constructed sometime around 1750 and, during the time of the Revolultionary War, provided much-needed provisions to the Continental Army encamped nearby. The mill was converted to a private residence in the early 1900s and, when owned by actor Harry Bannister in the 1930s/1940s, was the site of many posh parties and star-studded events.

Beekman Brothers Mill, Saint Johnsville, New York

Hurry! Auction bids for this amazing Mohawk Valley property are being accepted through March 31, 2016. Situated near falls created by a gorge along Timmerman Creek, this native limestone mill was built circa 1830 and remained in operation through the 1930s. The mill, long abandoned, was purchased by Judith and Ron Hezel in 1988 and converted to a private residence. The property, which includes a barn, a three-stall garage, and a guest house, plus some of the antique milling equipment, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Steeped in legend and lore, the mill is said to have served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Irish Country Cottages for Sale

There’s something so romantic about an Irish cottage, surrounded by acres of emerald green. Feast your eyes on these beauties — and feel free to daydream your heart away on this St. Patrick’s Day!

Southwest Cork


This grazing property, located on the Southwest coast of Ireland and only 70 minutes from Cork City (aka the “Irish Riviera”), is as far away from trouble as one can get. The land itself (.5 acres) would prove an ideal organic farm and comes with the remains of a stone cottage. You could rebuild the home, preserve it in glass or use it as the foundation of a garden.

County Clare


Located close to the villages of Bodyke and O’Callaghan’s Mills in County Clare, this old stone cottage is nestled on a half acre. Mind you, the home needs a complete renovation, but with views like this and proximity to exquisite countryside, you may just be more than happy to take the leap.

County Leitrim


Located in the town of Carrick-on-Shannon, the largest town in the county, this three-bedroom beauty boasts views and proximity to the town center and the River Shannon. Perfect for expansion, this home could serve as a holiday getaway or primary residence.

West Cork


Perhaps the best of the bunch, this old stone farmhouse is surrounded by lush farmland and mature trees. The River Brandon runs right through the property, which features an outbuilding and paved yard. The entire home, complete with expansive open hearth, requires a complete renovation (and modernization). Thankfully, you’d be located just three miles north of Brandon, known as the gateway to West Cork, to gather much-needed home improvement supplies.

County Kerry


Nestled near the town of Tralee, the largest town in County Kerry, this thatched-roof stone cottage comes with … wait for it … 12 acres of land, six outbuildings and its own hay barn. Gentlemen farmers, you’ve met your match! Major improvements will be necessary, but you can always warm yourself by the humongous open hearth while a construction crew transforms this magical space for you.

County Waterford


Saving the best for last, this three-bedroom stone home (once a creamery) is located within walking distance of the coastal town and picturesque harbor of Dungarvan. The beautifully renovated home, complete with open hearth and solid timber floors, is being sold with all its contents and furniture. Seaside getaway, here we come!