|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
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Imagine stepping back into the world of the early 19th Century. The Declaration of Independence was signed only 24 years earlier. A new homestead cabin has just been built in north-western Virginia on part of a 200 acre land grant signed by President James Monroe. This and other deeds are displayed at The Old Homestead, which is now a charming two hundred and fifteen year old farmhouse restored to its 1800s roots.
The town of Berkeley Springs, one and one-half miles away, was laid out by young George Washington. It's said that he bathed in the well-known warm springs here. His 'bath tub' is still on display in the State Park. The medicinal healing springs, originally frequented by Indian tribes, became America's first spa. The historic but operational Roman Bath House in Berkeley Springs State Park is fed by the healing waters of Warms Springs run and provides natural mineral baths and massages. Numerous private spas are also located in town. A full- sized swimming pool is part of the State Park. Free Summer concerts, sponsored by the Morgan Arts Council, are presented in the park on Saturday evenings. These attractions are just a five minute drive from the Old Homestead.
Additional rooms were added to the original house in around 1850. By the time of the Civil War, descendants of the settlers sat on the front porch and watched Confederate soldiers march toward Martinsburg. Both armies, bushwhackers, horse thieves and smugglers rode through this border area. The nearby Potomac River was the boundary between North and South and many battles took place nearby.
Now guests can relax in rockers on the shaded front porch.
The back patio and deck provide views of rolling meadows and Sleepy Creek Mountain. A comfortable hammock hangs between large trees in the yard. Enjoy wildlife drinking at the spring-fed ponds and birds flocking to the feeder. (The small ponds are a natural wildlife asset, but are unsuitable for swimming, fishing or boating.) In the modern kitchen, original rafters are exposed and half-wainscot walls are restored. The kitchen chimney contains large fossil rocks. The fireplace in the living room accommodates a built-in wood stove. A dining area overlooks the front porch. Play chess at the game table in the hall area. A full bath is to the right and the laundry room is at the opposite end of the hall.
Narrow, winding steps lead upstairs to a hallway reading area. All of the wainscot doors have been retained on the second floor. A half-bath is located to the right and a small bedroom with a single bed is to the left. The original homestead master bedroom opens off the hall. Complete with a small mantled fireplace (charming but inoperable), this room boasts some lovely antiques and a double bed. The original chair-rails have been retained here. An adjoining door leads to the back bedroom. This bedroom was known as a 'captured' room - meaning that the occupants could only enter through another room. Today, a outer door leads to the deck. This room has a queen-sized bed and ceiling fan. As it is part of the addition, the stone chimney and an area of original lap siding add interest to the room.
The surrounding area provides a wealth of activities. Cacapon State Park is 20 minutes away and offers horseback riding, boating and swimming in the lake, hiking, playgrounds, picnic areas and a golf course. Enjoy float trips, swimming, fishing, and boating on the nearby Cacapon River. Bike on the C&O Canal Towpath Rails To Trails path on the banks of the Potomac River in nearby Hancock, MD. Winter skiing and snowboarding is available at White Tail resort 45 minutes away, or at Blue Knob resort an hour and a half a away. Historic Harper's Ferry is not far. You can walk through the town and visit the Civil War museums. Another activity in Harper's Ferry is whitewater rafting or tubing on the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. Nearby Charles Town offers racing and slots. A new casino has opened at Rocky Gap Lodge, Flintstone, MD (near Cumberland, MD).
Keywords: Historic old farmhouse near Berkeley Springs, WV, Views of Sleepy Creek Mt., Wooded setting, rustic, rural, secluded
I'm a retired English teacher and a writer. My writing often draws on the color and history of the local area. My granddaughter helps with cleaning, yard work and the web page. She is also interested in the local history.
Sally Brinkmann purchased this farmhouse in 1975
When my husband bought the Old Homestead and the farm in 1975, saplings were growing out of the windows. He renovated it, and lived there for a few years. It was rented out for many years, and slipped into a state of disrepair. In 2001, I began the second renovation, and researched its history. I found old courthouse records and deeds in both Virginia and West Virginia.
I live down the driveway from the property, so I enjoy the convenience of being located only 1.6 miles from Berkeley Springs. I often attend plays and gallery shows at the Morgan County Arts Council center, the Ice House. My family, friends, and I frequent the many restaurants in town, namely Earth Dog Cafe, The Ambrae House, The Country Inn, Panarama at the Peak, Tari's Premier Cafe and Mi Ranchito. For special occasions we go to Lot Twelve Public House. In Hancock, MD, visit Buddy Lou's Eats, Drinks and Antiques on the canal.
Sally, we loved staying at your farmhouse and this poem came very easily in that special space. I'd be honored to have the poem on the Old Homestead webpage... copying the electronic version below to save you some typing.
Thank you for liking my poem!
The Old Homestead
boards made of trees long dead
with the craftsmanship
of people long dead
board by board
they built this house
maybe with the help of friends
who are also long dead
and then there was a child
born in the room where I sleep
maybe the mother lived
or maybe she fell into a forever sleep
and maybe that child thrived
or maybe it was the fourth child
of the house who lived only to age three
and the family grew enough
to add a wing another bedroom for more kin
who lived closer together then
slept bundled two or three in one bed
and though the children played all around the house
in the trees and pond and with the animals
that frequent this land
the birds the deer the small critters in between
and the adults spent most of their day out of doors too
with raising livestock and milking riches from the earth
all the people of this place gathered in the evening
in the one room that runs through
the foundational floor of this house and
someone played music
and someone else would read
as another mended clothes and sheets
and stories lived in this house
until one candle was done and the utter darkness
called each one to sleep earlier
than we visitors with our electricity
earlier to rise too as each rushed to care
for some morning chore
before gathering together to eat
and it would be the mother who prepared this food
because the man's hands and back would be needed elsewhere
to chop the wood or prep the tiller or check on the animals
the children should have gathered and fed before they
were loosed to their pens to do what animals do
it would have been a simpler life
and i don't want to romanticize the blisters and callouses away
or the potential violence of man to animals and even smaller human beings
but the labor of life would have kept most souls focused
on what had to be done
and the smaller pockets of time to throw rocks into the pond
or sit in the middle of a grove of trees
or study the deer who came to browze on new growth leaves
at the edge of your land
must have felt a more concentrated relief or joy from all the rest
Thanks, Nina (Contact Sally to see remainder of poem)
The home is lovely and so tastefully decorated, you can sense the history of the home and property. We loved visiting the pond and it was great to have a mowed path. We enjoyed coffee on the porch daily while the dogs sat with us and the kids played in the yard. We had our own little Thanksgiving and found the kitchen and dining perfect for a feast of 4! The home is close to the main-town-area of Berkeley Springs which we enjoy visiting to walk for the day or an evening meal. The movies, books, and games provided were the perfect entertainment while we were in the cabin....the "chess corner" was perfect. It was so nice to have linens and towels provided and to have a washer/dryer. The home/cabin is perfect as long as the adults and children are comfortable navigating the (steeper) stairs that are in so many of these historical homes, we had no problem at all and consider it a neat feature. Sally responded to emails throughout our stay when we had little questions, she was gracious and kind.
The home was clean with a well equipped kitchen. The mattresses were soso. Free internet and limited channel selection on the rather smallish tv. TVs are cheap and ESPN should be standard. Do not sleep walk because the doorways are low. Bumping your head is very likely. The location is nice and this property should be enjoyed for anyone wanting a nice quiet weekend. Im not complaining at all, its an old farmhouse with charm and not a boring hotel room. I would stay again.
Comfortable old house close by to Berkeley Springs is an excellent home base while touring the area. Everything was clean and well stocked. Enjoyed having the option to bring our pup along, too.
Would recommend to anyone except those with mobility problems - the stairs to the bedrooms are steep and narrow. Strong wifi but tv channels are very limited.
Ate at Lot 12 both nights we were in town. Very good food, service, and ambiance. Be sure to take a drive and visit the Paw Paw Tunnel for an interesting walk.
My husband and I were searching for a comfortable Appalachian farmhouse to stay in for a few days in West Virginia, and the Old Homestead fit the bill perfectly. We were pleased that the house had modern conveniences, yet retained enough of it's historical flair to keep it very interesting and unique. Sally did a great job in renovating this place and provided plenty of information on the history of the families and the structure. My husband and I are very interested in antique furniture and historical architecture, so this was perfect for us!
I especially enjoyed feeding the fish in the pond and watching the birds at the feeder in the backyard. We were even visited by a cute little nuthatch, much to my husband's delight! There were plenty of acres on the property to wander around on and the path down to the pond made it super easy to access.
The farmhouse is pretty close to town, so it was easy to shoot down the hill to the springs and the shops. We were pleasantly surprised by the water in the springs. My husband was very skeptical, but we could tell it made our skin softer. We had to take some home for a keepsake! There are plenty of quaint little shops in town to check out and everyone in town was really friendly and welcoming.
Sally was very responsive throughout the whole process and very patient with us. Even when I was sending her silly questions through email and calling her up when we couldn't find the driveway. We had a great time and can't wait to come back to visit again. Thank you so much for your hospitality!!
My husband and I stayed at the Old Homestead for a quiet weekend. We were looking for a nice old Appalachian farmhouse, and we definitely found a gem in this place! The house is super comfortable with all the amenities you would need for a comfortable stay. I was really impressed with the variety of books and games provided. Feeding the fish in the pond and watching the birds in the backyard were an extra treat. We even saw a cute little nuthatch which is my husband's favorite bird.
The property is really close to town, so we were able to enjoy the springs and all the quaint little shops in town. We had WAY too much fun shopping in town.
Sally is a very kind and patient woman and she was very helpful when I had questions and when we had issues finding the property. We can't wait to stay here again! Thanks so much :)
We were a group of friends from DC who rented the house for the weekend. It is close to the center of town, but still very quiet and relaxing in the evenings. The kitchen has everything you need to cook, the beds are comfortable, and we felt right at home. We loved being able to stay in such a historic place! I would just caution that with 6 people, we did run out of water for showering (something Sally did warn us about) and we also think the tree nearest to the house could be pruned because it hangs over the top deck and makes it a bit cramped. Otherwise, everything was great.
The Apple Butter Arts and Crafts Festival held in Berkeley Springs State Park the second weekend of October.
Racetrack and casino at Charlestown, WV. Casino at Rocky Gap State Park near Cumberland, MD.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
|Pet Fee||$25 + Tax|
- PET FEE: $25 one time fee per dog (maximum of 2 dogs)
- CANCELLATIONS: Cancel 15 days prior to arrival date for refund.
NOTE: Only VRBO/HomeAway rate and deposit postings are valid.
NOTE: EVENT PRICING: Nights can be added at additional cost. Some date substitutions can be made. Ask owner.