The 18th century plantation house rose in the mist of early morning. A group of archaeologists had convened upon this endangered site where the homeowner proved amenable to all of us poking around, laying out squares and basically, getting to the bottom of the history behind his Property. It most likely had featured prominently in an early 17th century land grant and there were enough features and artifacts to definitely bolster that hypothesis.
Hunting dogs overran the property and several decided to greet me with their paws on my shoulders or flying past me, legs akimbo, while leaping up and nipping at my wrist. I calmed them down and eventually played them like congo drums on their back as they stood adoringly staring at me, while pressing against my legs. Farm hands with rifles hiked down long, barely-paved lanes. The owner pointed out how his property had been linked, centuries ago, with another nearby country home, the carriage path between the two, now just a faint depression in the earth had stretched for the few miles in-between, lighting the way with torches leading to fancy parties.
We were not there for the manor itself. Our work was out in the field of vast abandoned lawn near a body of water.
However, the house called me. Long a restorer of old properties, I admired the bones of this once-magnificent beauty whose age was showing all too much. I could see where one period ended and another began. An architectural historian would be arriving later in the week.
I peered in the windows, one of the them etched with the name and date of a couple who had married here in the 1840s. Furnishings filled the decaying rooms, some period pieces amongst the peeling walls.
I loved it. I enjoyed the Blank expanse of ruins requiring TLC. The restoration work could easily approximate seven figures in a property of this importance. Yet, I imagined what might be accomplished for half or possibly… a quarter of that? Anything was possible, but for now, there were other historic homes on the same property, so this one sat semi-neglected for now.
Do you see potential in cast-off properties and people? I’ve never met one that couldn’t be saved in some way, if there were enough heart and effort to apply….
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