Nestled in the picturesque Little Cove Valley of south central PA, history joins with spacious comfort! The original stone portion of this lovely 6 bedroom retreat was owned in the late 1700's by a Revolutionary War soldier by the name of Christian Swend who fought in George Washington’s pivotal Battle of Trenton during Christmas 1776. The house was expanded twice to its current 3,500 square foot size integrating the original stone structure with the newer kitchen, family room, second floor bedrooms, and master bedroom suite additions. The stonework, deep window sills, wide plank hardwood flooring, fireplaces and concealed staircases of the original structure have been retained to preserve the historic nature.
The house, large enough for an extended family getaway or small group retreat, has a formal living room, a dining room (converted from the original kitchen), a combination kitchen and family room, six spacious bedrooms, each with its own unique features (see descriptions below), an exercise room, and a mudroom. All of the rooms are decorated with numerous antiques, crafts, paintings and prints, that make entry to each room a new and exciting discovery. Books, videos, parlor and board games are scattered throughout for both younger and older guest’s entertainment. There is no WiFi, but a new cell phone booster provides 4G LTE coverage for all US networks.
Outside, in addition to the historic outbuildings, await amazing mountain views, beautiful gardens, expansive lawns, fruit trees, and a picnic pavilion with a huge fireplace. At the base of Cove Mountain, the farmhouse sits on 72-acres of ground composed of a diverse mix of mature mountain hardwood forest, open fields, freshwater ponds, and mountain streams. PA State Route 456 bisects the property providing convenient access north to PA Route 16 and south to Interstate 70.
Whether your goal is to relax, reconnect with family and friends, enjoy the outdoors, taste regional wines, or to take in the local history, this property has something for everyone. Nearby towns of Mercersburg, PA (12 minutes), McConnellsburg, PA (15 minutes), Hancock, MD (24 minutes), and Hagerstown, MD (30 minutes) offer glimpses of small town America with unique shopping, festivals, and restaurants while the property is also well situated to major attractions including the Gettysburg National Battlefield (60 minutes), the Antietam National Battlefield (60 minutes), the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Path and the Potomac River (25 minutes), Cowan's Gap State Park (25 minutes), the Whitetail Ski and Golf Resort (24 minutes) and the Rocky Gap Casino Resort (49 minutes).
For those who appreciate wine, there are no less than seven excellent PA and MD wineries (25-60 minutes) that offer a variety of wines for tasting. Other relaxing activities in the area include the Hagerstown Symphony Orchestra, the Totem Pole Playhouse in the Caledonia State Forest and The Capital Theatre in Chambersburg, PA.
Sportsmen can enjoy skiing, biking, hiking, golfing and fishing. A must for winter sports enthusiasts is Whitetail Ski Resort which offers skiing and snowboarding a short 24 minutes away. In nearby Hancock, MD (at path mile 124), bikers and hikers can conveniently access the 184.5 mile long C&O Canal path which is located along the north bank of the Potomac River. Cowan's Gap State Park has a beach, kayaking & hiking. We are located near many spectacular golf courses, such as Greencastle Greens, Great Cove, Majestic Ridge, Whitetail Golf Resort, Black Rock, etc. In addition to the ponds on the property, there are many streams within a short drive that provide excellent trout fishing, along with catfish and many types of bass (FYI - guests under the age of 16 do not require a fishing license in PA).
The Tuscarora Trail, a branch of the Appalachian Trail System, runs north/south along the peaks of the Tuscarora Mountain to the west of the farm. Section 8 of the Tuscarora Trail, has several trail heads, two of which are quite close to the farm. Hells Hill (~1 mile) and Alice Trail (~3 miles) are the two closest trailheads for those who wish to hike. The Hells Hill Trail is a one mile climb meeting the Tuscarora Trail at mile 5.7. South from there, at mile 10.8, is The Lockings (elevation 2,020 feet), where one can experience fantastic views into Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. The high point on section 8 is mile 10 with breathtaking views to the east and west.
For those looking to try some local dining, there are a wide variety of restaurants from 8-24 minutes away, the elegant Mercersburg Inn (14 minutes), the historic James Buchanan Pub (15 minutes), the home-style Foot of the Mountain Restaurant (8 minutes), and the charmingly unique Buddy Lou’s (24 minutes), as well as others. If you would like to skip the cooking and stay in, we have local caterers that we would highly recommend.
The main entry point is down a garden-lined brick walkway into the Gathering Room. This room is a combination family room/modern kitchen with comfortable seating, enormous island bar, a big screen TV, wood floors, stone wall, rustic table and benches, and antiques. From this central area our guests may enter the Hunt or Harvest Rooms, climb the stairs to the 5 upstairs bedrooms, go down the hall to the master bedroom, exit to the front patio, or access the mudroom.
The Hunt Room in the original stone house is the emerald and sapphire colored formal living room with seating for five guests on three artfully covered chairs and a unique divan. The prints and antiques of this room are ones associated with the fox hunt and with George Washington and the Revolutionary War. A Governor Winthrop desk can be opened and used for writing. This room also has a keyboard for those guests who wish to entertain with live piano and is especially enjoyable during the holidays. The stone fireplace has been capped and converted for use with provided candles, which when lit, add to the enchantment of the room.
The Harvest Room, in the original stone portion of the house, was the 1700's kitchen and is now the dining room. It is decorated in autumn colors, burnt reds, yellows and gold all of which complement the original brick cooking fireplace and massive wooden mantel. The fireplace has been capped and converted for use with provided candles. The dining room table in this room is an original antique harvest table that can expand to accommodate 12 people along with their bountiful feast. On the north wall opposite the fireplace is a large framed timeline showing a portion of our Christian history from Noah to Moses. Three framed pictures in this room are of the house in its original state. A door in the south-east corner is the original entrance to a concealed staircase leading to the Rose Bedroom. The dry sink to the right of the fireplace can be used as additional counter area for desserts to tempt the guests as they eat.
The Wine Room, the master bedroom suite decorated in burgundy and gold, is at ground- level and has a private bathroom and walk-in closet. The four-poster queen bed and vaulted ceiling with natural lighting from the east and west add to the splendor of the room. The Spring House and Pavilion are viewable from the eastern windows. The private seating area offers the guests a relaxing reading and conversation area away from the bustle and activity of the main house. There is also a private exit onto the brick front patio. An additional twin bed is available to be set up in this or another room.
The Garden Room, decorated in soft green, is on the second floor at the top of the main staircase and has two four-poster twin beds. This room receives the morning light from the east and southern light throughout most of the day. This bedroom has a private entry to the Red Bathroom at the top of the stairs. Two closets, a large wardrobe and mirrored dresser offer storage space for a variety of vacation items.
The Patriot Room, decorated in red, white and blue, is down the windowed hallway from the Garden Room and has a four-poster queen bed. This room receives light from the south through much of the day. The western wall of this room displays the original stone exterior wall of the main house. A bookshelf cleverly built into one of the original deep window holds a selection of patriotically themed books and movies for the guest’s enjoyment. The guests using this room have a choice of bathrooms, the Blue Bathroom is to the left out their door and the Red Bathroom is to the right.
The Rose Room decorated in red and white is in the original stone house and has a king bed. Access to this bedroom is from the concealed staircase in the Harvest Room or from the Blue Bathroom. This room receives natural light from the east and from the west. The room shows the original wide wood flooring laid down over 200 years ago as well as the deep window sills displaying the thickness of the original stone walls. The bookshelf on the east wall is the other side of the bookshelf in the Patriot Room. The Eagles’ Nest bedroom is accessed from the concealed doorway in the southeast corner of this room.
The Buttercup Room decorated in soft yellows and browns is entered from the Rose Room or from the Blue Bathroom and has a double bed. The room receives light from the west through two windows and is great for guests who like to sleep in late. The room is connected to the Blue Bathroom and to the Rose Room.
The Eagles’ Nest is entered from within the Rose Room through a concealed door and staircase in the corner. Passing up the curved staircase leads the guest to a charming and cozy bedroom with a two twin trundle bed. The south wall shows the stonework for the original Harvest Room chimney. The western window has a window seat built in allowing the guest to relax and read or comfortably watch the clouds pass over the Tuscarora Mountain