The Magazine

The Morey Mansion: America’s Favorite Victorian Home

by Theresa Cacace (photo by William Liles)

If you love CIRCA, then chances are you’re also head-over-heels for all things Victorian! To help feed our need for towers, turrets and spindles, we’ve employed the lovely Theresa of the uber-popular Facebook page Vintage Wonderlust to take as all around the country showcasing her favorite Victorian houses. First up: California’s lovely (and haunted!) Morey Mansion!
 
For my first piece, I figured it would be quite fitting to take a peek inside one of my all-time favorite Victorian houses! Not only is the Morey Mansion a beautiful house, but it also has a fun history of paranormal activity. This house was built in 1890 for a modest price of $20,000, and last sold for almost $2,000,000 in 2010.
 
This style of home is called Queen Anne, and this one in particular has 4,800 sq feet of the most beautiful ornate and eccentric architectural detail — enough to make just about anyone drool! The Moray Mansion is very well-known (you can see why) and has been called “America’s favorite Victorian Home.” It has been featured in movies, television shows, and commercials. I will leave the dreaming up to you based on these wonderful photographs! Enjoy!
 
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Old House 101: What the Heck is the National Register of Historic Places?

by Jon Valalik (photo by John Phalen)

Hello, and welcome to Old House 101! You’ve probably heard of the National Register of Historic Places, but do you know what the heck it is? Jon’s here to tell us all about it!
 
As a publication dedicated to bringing to light historic homes and buildings for sale across the country, we felt it wise to introduce tips, resources, and general insight on the preservation of such structures. And given that the buildings listed on CIRCA, though significant on a nationwide scale, are often most important at a local level, it seems appropriate the we start by introducing the National Register of Historic Places — the US government’s official list of historic places across the country!
 
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Save This Brick Beauty in Crockett, Virginia!

by Amanda Davis

I love old brick houses, and better yet when they’re in Virginia. That state just oozes charm! I was there just last week and its historic buildings never fail to amaze me. Today’s fixer upper is in Crockett, which is located just off I-81 and about halfway between Roanoke and Bristol. It’s on the market for $72,500 and features 4 bedrooms, 1 bath, and over 2,800 square feet.
 
With the house comes 3.6 acres of land and a few old wooden sheds. Call me crazy, but I love those and would never tear them down. I think they add their own charm just sitting there abandoned.
 
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You Should Move to Galveston, TX — Land of Beautiful, Affordable Victorians!

by Alix Adams (Photo of the Ashbel Smith Building by Nsaum75)  

Welcome to “You Should Move To…”, in which we travel the country scoping out beautiful, under-the-radar old house towns where big charm can be had for little cost. Have a city, town or neighborhood to recommend? Send it along to letters@circahouses.com!
 
Galveston is a small barrier island town on the coast of Texas just fifty miles outside of Houston. With a population of around 40,000, Galveston boasts tight-knit charm along with miles and miles of beaches and an eclectic built environment that would make even the mildest old house fan weak in the knees.
 
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CIRCA School: Chimney Pots

by Jon Valalik (photo by By Wdo)

Grab your No. 2 pencils, everyone! It’s time for CIRCA School, where we uncover the fascinating facts behind everyone’s favorite old house details.
 
The chimney pot is maybe one of the most humble embellishments that can be added to a building, yet it has the potential to change the entire look of a chimney. They can be small, smooth terracotta cylinders or elaborately-designed iron structures, and their effect on the look of a home, though sometimes overlooked, can be drastic.
 
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Free House! A National Register-Listed Home in Fargo, ND

by Elizabeth Finkelstein

The best things in life are free, right? Houses included! Welcome to CIRCA’s new column, which spotlights wonderful old houses being offered entirely free-of-charge. First stop: Fargo, ND!
 
You never really know what you’ll find on Craigslist, but when an ad for a free historical house listed on the National Register of Historic Places pops up, you’ve gotta pause and read on! According to the ad, this turn-of-the-century home was designed by pioneering Fargo architect A.J. O’Shea. Fargo is a goldmine of great old houses, and there is a lot to love inside this beautiful home. What’s the catch? It needs to be moved by October 30th. But really, this is the kind of stuff you just can’t find in a newly-built house!
 
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Queen Anne: 1880 – 1910

by Hänsel Hernández-Navarro (photo by WindingRoad)

If there’s one thing we love about CIRCA, it’s the chance to “tour” the great vernacular architecture that makes America wonderful. Love Victorians? You’re most certainly not alone! Join Hänsel as he teaches us all about the Queen Anne style.
 
When one thinks of Victorian houses, the variety of architecture styles in America in the period 1840s -1900 runs the gamut. From the Gothic Revival, to the Romanesque, and even our own Shingle Style, the Queen Anne also forms part of this group of eclectic architectural styles.
 
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DREAM HOUSE: Where Nantucket Meets NYC Suburb

by Elizabeth Finkelstein

Since CIRCA features homes all over the country, it’s rare that I’m given the opportunity to peek inside any of the beautiful old houses listed on the site. Which is sad, in a way. I’ve mentioned before that what makes old houses so wonderful is an essence that can’t be captured in photographs — it’s just a feeling you get when you walk inside.
 
For this reason, I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to tour an absolutely STUNNING c. 1804 home in New City, New York — just 35 miles outside of New York City! Suburban? Not at all. I promise, once you get there, you’ll feel as if you’ve just landed on a private estate in Nantucket. This one is a BEAUTY. And it’s for sale on CIRCA!
 
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Fix Up This Circa 1833 Beauty Near the Jersey Shore!

by Amanda Davis

Summer’s in full swing, and for many of us that means heading to the beach and soaking in some sun. And for those of us who’d also love to sneak in some time fixing up a great old house, I have the best of both worlds for you today: a fixer-upper near the Jersey Shore!
 
This little cutie pie is on the market for $69,000 and sits on just under an acre of land at 727 Dennisville Road in Cape May Court House, New Jersey. As you can see, its current condition is absolutely heartbreaking! The listing says the home was built in 1833, but there are later additions that still pack a lot of charm. All this gal needs now is a loving homeowner.
 
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The Usonian Inn: A Mid-Century Marvel in Spring Green, Wisconsin

by Jon Valalik (photo by SJ Strand)

Nothing screams “July!” like a dose of pure, unabashed Americana. Today, CIRCA brings you the story behind one of our favorite properties up for sale — Wisconsin’s Usonian Inn, a classic piece of roadside nostalgia with a direct connection to Frank Lloyd Wright in the rural haven of Spring Green. As much as we love traditional B&B’s (and trust me, we do!) there’s something wonderfully appealing about being the proprietor of a retro motel. Read the story, fall head-over-heels in love, then head on over to the full listing to place your offer!
 
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