One feature I always read in The Week is “Best properties on the market,” a two-page real-estate spread featuring (usually) half a dozen homes for sale in romantic locations.
Like, um, Coweta County, Georgia. Says the blurb:
[T]his 1840 four-bedroom Second Empire-style home sits on five acres, which include a three-bedroom carriage house, a pool, a gazebo, and a koi pond. $1,399,000.
That “1840″ jumped out at me, since eighteen-year-old Victoria ascended the throne only in 1837, and not so much architecture is inspired by women in their early twenties. Of course, most of your Queen Anne-style homes in no way resemble anything that Anne herself was likely to have seen, and there’s enough of a tower in the center to justify the Second Empire tag, but still this bugged me a bit.
So I looked up the place, and lo and behold:
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cover photo for East Coast Victorians: Castles & Cottages and numerous other publications. Built in 1840, this home was Victorianized in 1885 as a wedding gift for one of the town’s key citizens.
It would be interesting to see what this place looked like before Vickification. Dave’s Victorian House Site clarifies the history a bit:
This spectacularly elaborate house was originally built in the 1840′s in the Greek Revival style, then massively renovated into a High Victorian beauty in the 1880′s. The house eventually fell into ruin but was re-renovated back to life in the 1980′s. It is now a private residence.
Which fuzzes the story further, since Dave characterizes the house as “Stick Style/Eastlake,” both of which are Queen Anne subtypes.
While pondering this mystery, I briefly entertained a wacky notion: what if this were the legendary Castle McGehee? What shot this idea down was the description of the location in The Week: “about a 45-minute drive from Atlanta.” Forty-five minutes? Yeah, right. No way would McGehee ever countenance that level of truthiness.