Quirky Stone Homes and Cottages Along the Water’s Edge

Consider it the best of both words: an old stone home with a sensational water view. Yes, waterfront stone homes do exist. To find them, we hiked up to the Great Lakes region, where, believe it or not, stone homes dot the shorelines.

Take a peek at our four favorites, currently on the market. Caveat: They’re not all in top-top shape, but we think that with the right upgrades and TLC, they could serve as cozy family vacation homes for generations to come.

Wisconsin Boathouse with Beautiful Views


Nestled on a wooded lot and surrounded by Wisconsin’s Nicolet National Forest, this old wood- and stone-clad boathouse would prove the ideal retreat for a writer or artist in need of solitude and inspiration. This adorable cottage overlooks Pine Lake, located at the headwaters of Wolf River, and boasts its own dock and close proximity to sandy shores.

Crystal Lake Cottage to Call Home


The interior of this old cobblestone home would require a complete gut-renovation, but the rewards might just be worth the effort. The property sits along Crystal Lake, a 730-acre body of water located in Michigan’s Montcalm County. The lake is spring-fed and ideal for sailing, fishing and watersports. No shared access means complete privacy no matter what the season.

Fieldstone Home with Hella-Good Views


Another Crystal Lake gem, this lovely circa-1874 home boasts 18-inch-thick fieldstone walls and extensive renovations throughout. A new master bedroom even opens out to a private brick patio! Located in the village of Beulah, this home sits on 10 acres of property that includes 150 feet of lake frontage.

Island Getaway in Ohio


Last but not least on our list of faves is this circa-1870s stone home, located in the “Key West of Lake Erie,” otherwise known as South Bass Island. The home is a stone’s throw from the shore and boasts a circa-1850s all-stone wine press cottage, a pole barn, a garage and a tool shed. Both the main home and cottage are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the property previously served as a tourist attraction that celebrated Lake Erie’s winemaking history.

The Cutest Stone Cottages

Spring is so close we can almost feel it. And that means a whole new batch of stone homes will hit the market. The latest to pop up on our radar date from 1740 to 1810. Can you just imagine savoring a cup of tea in front of the cozy fireplace or tending garden in the backyard of one of these adorable cottages? Like puppies, kittens and all things diminutive, these beauties can’t help but warm the heart. Enjoy!

Former Artist Abode in Blairstown, New Jersey

Old Stone Cottage, Blairstown, New Jersey, Moravian architecture, old stone home, old stone house, colonial home, old stone home for sale
This stone cottage, circa 1740, is built in the pre-Revolutionary War Moravian style. Architectural details include three stone fireplaces, hand-hewn beams, and stone and wood floors. A detached studio is perfect for the artist or musician and the place where previous owner, artist Ben Wilson, created some of his finest work! The home is sold “as is”.

Solid Stone Farmhouse in Annandale, New Jersey

old stone cottage, Annandale, New Jersey, old stone house, old stone home for sale, stone farmhouse, historic home for sale
Beautiful stonework, a desirable location in Clinton Township, New Jersey, beautifully reworked interiors — what’s not to love about this circa-1800 stone cottage? The right owner would have great fun researching the history of this property, which was formerly hidden from view by overgrown pine trees and brush.

Weekend Retreat in Whitehall, New York

Old Stone Cottage, Whitehall, New York, old stone houses, old stone home for sale, colonial home, historic home for sale
Vermont is just a stone’s throw away from this historic stone cottage, built circa 1775-1776. The home sits high on the cliff overlooking the last lock before entering Lake Champlain. The perfect country getaway for someone who works in New York City and seeks refuge from life’s stresses on the weekends.

Former Distillery in Parkton, Maryland

Old Stone Cottage, Parkton Maryland, distillery, Historic distillery on Castle Calder estate, old stone house, old stone home for sale, historic home for sale
All we can say is, “Oy, yoi, yoi!” For sale for the first time in over 250 years, this circa-1810 stone cottage once served as the distillery on the Castle Calder estate. The historic home is being sold with 84 acres of beautiful Maryland farm- and woodland and sits along a meandering stream. The new owner is expected to preserve this dwelling and serve as a caring steward for years to come.

Step Inside an Old Stone Home This Holiday Season

The holiday season is fast approaching. Searching for festivities that will spark some holiday spirit? Step inside an old stone home! We’ve rounded up our top six Christmas home tours and holiday events, sure to warm your heart.

1. Firelight Festival, Henry Whitfield State Museum, Guildford, CT


On December 4, from 4 to 8 p.m., Connecticut’s oldest home, illuminated by outdoor fires and luminaria, will be open for a holiday home tour. Popcorn, marshmallows, s’mores, hot cider and hot chocolate will be served and a special reading of “The Night Before Christmas” are among the planned festivities. Guests are encouraged to view the Holidaze exhibit and try their hand at natural holiday ornaments crafts.

2. Holiday Candlelight Tours, Mount Vernon Hotel, New York, NY


On December 4 and 5 at 6:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. nightly, one of Manhattan’s oldest stone structures, a circa-1799 carriage house, and, later, a posh vacation retreat for wealthy New Yorkers, will be open for holiday tours. Visitors will be treated to holiday and period music as well as traditional holiday refreshments and reenactments.

3. Holiday Candlelight Tours, Kip’s Castle, Verona, NJ


On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during December, this circa-1905, 9,000-square-foot stone castle, inspired by the design of medieval Norman structures, will be open for nighttime tours. The home, originally that of a textile baron and later used as a monastery, will be adorned in circa-1920s holiday finery. The history of the home as well as its Tiffany windows will be shared during tours.

4. Christmas City Stroll, Bethlehem, PA


This holiday season, surround yourself by old stone homes and structures in the historic town of Bethlehem, a mission community established by Moravians in 1741. Running through January 10, certified guides, dressed in period costumes, will lead visitors on tours of Bethlehem, highlighting town history, colonial and Victorian architecture and holiday decorating traditions, including candles in windows and the Bethlehem star. The tour route is part of Bethlehem’s National Historic Landmark District, designated by the Secretary of the Interior in 2012.

5. Midnight Madness, Ellicott City, MD


On December 4, beginning at 6 p.m. and running through 12 a.m. on December 5, the historic town of Ellicott City, founded in 1772, will be alive with holiday spirit. The historic district, replete with old stone structures, will be open all night for shopping and dining, as carolers stroll through the streets and Santa pays a surprise visit. Shop windows will be decorated for the holidays with a contest crowning the best decked.

6. “Christmas Around the World” Tours, Belle Grove, Middletown, VA


How did early American’s celebrate the holiday season? Find out at Belle Grove Historic Plantation, which will be open for tours from Friday, December 4, through Wednesday, December 30. The Shenandoah Valley manor home, built by Major Isaac Hite and his wife Nelly Madison Hite, sister of President James Madison, will be adorned with themed decorations provided by regional garden clubs. A grand Christmas tree will be on display in the historic parlor and spiced tea and cookies will be served by the warming fire of the kitchen’s expansive open hearth.

Vote for Your Favorite Old Stone Cottage!

We scoured the market for the most adorable old stone cottages currently up for grabs. Some have been lovingly tended, while others offer an opportunity to flex those remodeling muscles. Take a look at these 10 lovelies and tell us which one you would love to own.

A Story of Old Stone Homes in Tennessee

A Pennsylvanian by birth, I came to live in Eastern Tennessee in 2008. A job planted me there for about five years. Quite lovely country, I thought, but it’s a land of log cabins, not old stone homes. After exploring the countryside, I realized I was wrong.

Ramsey House was my first real experience with a stone home in a Southern state. Breathtaking, it reminded me of many federal-style homesteads I had toured back home. And rightly so. Its original owner, Pennsylvania-born and of Scots-Irish heritage, hired an English-born architect to design and build the house of locally sourced pink marble and grey limestone – most likely in keeping with manses in his home state. Everything I love about old stone homes – intricate interior woodwork, a big walk-in cooking hearth and cozy fireplaces and a grand winding staircase – you’ll find at Ramsey House. Even a ghost or two (wink)!

So I was sitting at my computer today, pondering what to write. And Tennessee, for some reason, popped to mind. I did a search and – boom – up popped two gorgeous old stone homes for sale. Minus some columns and an odd architectural detail or two, these homes would look right at home if nestled on a country back road in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Maryland.

Wills-Dickey Stone House, Kingsport, Tennessee
Two-foot-thick stone walls. Can you imagine? This graceful lady was built around 1790 by Jacob and Mary Wills in a portion of Tennessee that was once part of Virginia. A two-story limestone dwelling, this mansion sits on over an acre of riverfront property, boasts its own barn, a guest house and four fireplaces and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Inspiration for this home’s design? Jacob was born in Pennsylvania and no doubt learned the art of stone masontry in his home state.

The Peter Range Sr. House
Imagine living in a home built by a Revolutionary War soldier! Peter Range Sr., of German descent and born in New Jersey, moved to present-day Johnson City (lower Knob Creek), Tennessee, with his wife Elizabeth and first child in 1777. He built his first home, a two-story log home, in 1796. That primitive structure forms part of the full basement of the present-day, circa 1804  home, constructed of hand-cut blue limestone. It was built along with a grist mill (Twin Falls), which is now but a memory. The home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, boasts four fireplaces, interior exposed-stone walls and original wide-planked wood flooring.

Grey Beauties of Vermont

Holy smokes, Vermont! We had no idea you laid claim to some of the prettiest old stone homes in the country. Check out these stunners — from old-fashioned farmhouses to Greek revival-style mansions. The dreamy grey stone is likely marble, mica schist or granite. These six beauties are all up for grabs. We couldn’t think of a better way to start a brand new life!

Real-Life Haunted Houses: Stone Homes That Will Spook You Senseless

It’s that time of year, the season when nights turn chilly, leaves change hues and our thoughts turn to harvest, the ethereal glow of carved pumpkins and things that go bump in the night. We couldn’t let October slip by without announcing a list of our favorite real-life haunted houses in the United States. (All stone, of course!)

Most Haunted House in Pennsylvania: Jean Bonnet Tavern, Bedford

The wayside stone tavern was constructed sometime during the 1760s by Robert Callender, a famed fur trader and scout for General George Washington. During its storied history, the structure served several purposes: as a fort, trading post, tavern and inn and private residence. Public hangings were also known to have occurred on the property. Stories of ghostly encounters were made public in the late 1950s by the Enyeart family, owners who discovered the remains of a Colonial-era man in the basement during a renovation. The remains of a second body were discovered in the 1980s, during a floor restoration project. Tavern guests and staff members have reported sightings of several apparitions, including a wagon master, a horse thief, an officer, a soldier and a forlorn young woman (some say the mistress of Callender, abandoned and forever morning the loss of her lover).

Most Haunted House in New York: Beardslee Castle, Little Falls


Constructed in 1860 by New York lawyer and legislator Augustus Beardslee, this stone castle, built atop the site of a circa-1700s fortified homestead, is heavily inspired by the design of ancient Irish castles. Now a wedding venue, the former family manse is said to be haunted by the ghosts of French and Indian War soldiers (and their victims), a woman named “Abigail”, who is dressed in white and awaiting a wedding she died the night before, and Pop Christensen, a former owner who, broken and weary from prolonged illness, hung himself in the building.

Most Haunted House in New Jersey: Olde Stone House, Washington Township

The oldest structure incorporated in the Olde Stone House Village, this circa-1730 Jersey brownstone home sits along Egg Harbor Road, an old stagecoach route to the shore. Originally home to early settlers in the Morgan family, the home is presently used as a wedding, party and meeting venue. Several paranormal research groups have investigated the home and the village over the years, and suggested that the site is haunted by the ghost of a little girl, whose giggle can be heard on rare occasions, and the ghost of a Civil War solider, who walks up and down the home’s interior staircase.

Most Haunted House in Maryland: Jonathan Hager House, Hagerstown


A young German immigrant eager for adventure, Jonathan Hager purchased 200 acres of land in what was then considered Maryland wilderness and built, in the 1740s, his German-style fieldstone home atop a freshwater spring. A noteworthy citizen for his efforts in settling the area (now known as Hagerstown), Hager was elected to the General Assembly at Annapolis in 1771 and 1773. His homestead, “Hager’s Fancy,” is now owned by the city of Hagerstown and open to the public. The home is believed to be haunted by former owners of the property, and visitors have reported seeing a man dressed in black who paces the porch as well as the sounds of footsteps and disembodied voices on the second floor.

Most Haunted House in Virginia: Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown


Construction of this elegant Classical Revival-style manor home began in 1794 and continued for three years. Built of locally quarried limestone, the manor was originally home to Revoluntionary War veteran Major Isaac Hite, Jr. (President James Madison’s brother-in-law), his wife and their children. In the early 1800s, the home was sold out of the family and, during the Civil War, was occupied several times. Today a National Trust Historic Site, Belle Grove serves as an educational center and remains a working farm. The plantation is said to be haunted by the ghost of Hetty Cooley, a former owner’s young wife who was murdered in the 1860s by a resentful servant. She is often spotted, dressed in white and moving silently as she relives the very last moments of her life at Belle Grove.