Meet the Manse

When we started looking for housing in Virginia, we decided to book a rental at first unless we found something that we really really loved. On the one hand, we're really hoping to NOT move again for quite some time--after all, this will be our fourth residence in five years(!). But on the other hand, if we were going to commit to a house long term it needed to be something we really loved.

Then we met this lovely old dame:

She's a gothic cottage built in 1848 and has served as the manse (the house a church provides for the minister) for the local Presbyterian church until this year, when the church decided to sell.

The house has a pretty interesting history.  The Ladies Sewing Society purchased the lot for $316.00 and construction on the house began in the spring of 1847 using bricks salvaged from the first church, a 1797 structure located in the cemetery.  Reverend William White and his family were the first to live in the manse when it was completed in 1848. Stonewall Jackson was a member of this church and often socialized at the manse, long before he was known as Stonewall. Near the end of the Civil War, in the spring of 1864, General Averill’s Union troops camped in the manse yard for three days. Dr. White moved among the troops, preaching and talking with as many as he could. (The only loss recorded was Dr. White’s horse, Charley, which was confiscated.) When the Civil War ended and Robert E. Lee came to town as president of Washington College (now Washington & Lee University), it's assumed that the Lees and the Whites socialized together at the manse. 

Although she's in pretty good shape for a gal of her age (great bones! original woodwork & fireplaces!), she definitely needs a little attention and sprucing. (Please bless it's (a) not an Amityville Horror house and (b) not The Money Pit or Mr. Blanding's House.)

We closed on the home at the end of October and have been doing some work on the landscaping and the house before we move in next month. While Greg has seen it in person on a couple of his stateside trips, I'm making all of these decisions from Australia SIGHT UNSEEN, guys. 

We decided to go with a creamy white (Alabaster by Sherwin Williams) and light light warm gray (Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams at 50% tint) on all of the walls (except the dining room, which is in Dutch Tile Blue). The diamond window panes are in a subtle gray (SW Dovetail Gray). Some accents (two of the fireplaces, the built-in bookcases in the library, and the lower kitchen cupboards) are in SW Needlepoint Navy.  Here's some of the inspiration for our selections (yay, Pinterest!) --note these are NOT photos of our house, just some samples of interiors we liked and used for our decisions:

Stay tuned!