“Old places have soul”
~ Sarah Anderson
I adore walking around town especially to look at the old houses. I often take pictures of yard decorations, flora or fauna. And, I love finding out the history of the homes.
Last year I picked up the Ashland & Hanover County, VA Self-Guided Tour map and learned a bit about the MacMurdo House. This is a Greek Revival house built in 1858.
During the Civil War, the owner C. W. Macmurdo, who was the treasurer for the RF&P (Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad), had daughters and the family hosted elaborate balls for townspeople and the Confederate troops which seems so odd considering that a war was going on. In 1862 before the Sevem-Days battle, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson stayed overnight in this home.
I’ve been thinking about this home because it’s for sale.
Built by Cunningham Waldrop MacMurdo, the Secm-Treasurer of the RF&P Railroad, this landmark Greek Revival house with its sweeping staircase sits on a double corner lot in picturesque Ashland overlooking the railroad tracks. Famed Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson stayed at the house in 1862, where he met with key CSA officers prior to the Seven Days Battle. The house has 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 8 fireplaces, a one-car garage and garden house. Much original fabric remains including random width heart pine floors. The first floor has four generously proportioned rooms each with fireplace and grand center hall opening to a rear verandah. The parlor opens to the library with extensive built-in shelving. Off the dining is a kitchen with fireplace and exposed brick. A full bath, laundry and large utility are in an adjoining ell. Upstairs are two full baths and four bedrooms, including master with en suite bath and newly renovated dressing room. The double lot is extensively landscaped with a fish pond and irrigated garden. Perfect for gardeners or history buffs, this property is beautifully maintained and well located in the center of the Center of the Universe.
I track local homes on Zillow because my fella and I are hoping to buy a home (hopefully a historic home) in the town in the somewhat near future. But this leads back to my memory of my favorite house, and oddly enough one that can still be seen on Google Maps. Sigh. Isn’t the internet its own kind of cemetery?
As I noted, I take pictures. Here’s a picture from June 25, 2013
|I loved that window!|
On June 29, 2013, I took more pictures of the house and did some research because I really thought that if I could work out my finances I could buy this 1906 Stucco Colonial style house of 2,400 sqft on the corner of Duncan & Race Course (201 Race Course Street) even though the tax records had it valued at $218,000. From my pictures, I write, “I am IN LOVE with this house and whisper that every time I walk by.”
On July 11, 2013 when I was going for my morning walk, I stumbled upon the house being torn down. I cried. Neighbors said the owners wanted no part of any of it-- not the tin roof, not the spiderweb window over the door. The wife had apparently passed in 2011.
|The lot just days after the house was torn down. How poignant for an old chair to be facing where the house had been.|
Today the lot is still listed for sale at $189,000. I rarely walk down that street. I walk around it and hope to avoid what once was there.