Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Historic Preservation

I’ve been losing sleep lately.  I haven’t been sick.  I haven’t been stressed.  There hasn’t been any big changes in my life.  I have just been thinking about a house.  How can a building make me lose sleep?  Well, this isn’t an ordinary house.  This is the home of my dreams! 

Almost two decades ago, very good friends of ours purchased a house and barn that was in need of updating and repairs.  It sits on 10 acres of land with woods, fields, three ponds, and a spring house.  It is in Washington County, Pennsylvania, only 25 minutes from our current home.   The updates and repairs that they performed are incredible.  Everything is redone.  We have watched them pour their retired lives into this home, making it have every modern convenience while still keeping its original charm.  Last week they put this piece of paradise up for sale.  Sounds good so far, right?   Here is the part that stops most people.  It was built in 1790. 
This is the completely restored home built in 1790 by William Wolfe, a revolutionary war patriot.

This is thee completely restored barn next to the drive way.

The house I live in today was built in the 1960s, and on the days when the floors creak or the bathroom faucet leaks, I think “This house is old!”  Imagine the problems that could arise from a house over 200 years old.  But, I would have been willing to brave the difficult times of house repair and maintenance to have a small glimpse into the past and experience life like it was (with air conditioning and a dishwasher, of course).

Would my living in a house like this be considered historical preservation, one of the objectives of the DAR?  According to the Historic Preservation Committee web page,
“The Historic Preservation Committee encourages chapters and state societies to actively participate in historic preservation to preserve the past, recognize individuals or groups who voluntarily participate in historic preservation to enhance the present…”
If I lived there, I would certainly continue to maintain the quality of the home and repair things when needed.  I could see my family taking one week during the summer to “live like colonials” without any technology or modern conveniences.  We could drink from the spring and fish in the ponds.  All we would need would be a cow, and we would be set.  What fun it would be…we are adventurous! 

This may not be the kind of historic preservation that would win an award at Continental Congress, but it certainly is worthwhile.  Of course, I would have it easy.  I didn’t have to do the renovation, but I would have to maintain the house.  In time, I wonder how many dwellings like this will remain in our country?  I am glad we have people who care about preserving the past.

My husband and I discussed it for days.  To move to a new school district, and add 20 more minutes to his commute which is already over one hour, was too much for our family.  We would have to pass over this opportunity.  I felt like a stalker, though, constantly checking its listing, reviewing the photos over and over again.

I guess I have good news, though.  The house sold for their asking price today to someone who has loved the house longer than I have.  At least I will be sleeping better at night.

This is the view from the back that includes the spring house.

1 comment:

  1. It's great to know the house will be getting owners who love it as much as you did.