The Magazine

Live Like Victorian Royalty in Sylvania, Georgia!

by Leona Jaeger

I don’t think I’ve met a single soul who doesn’t love the idea of a sunny day, a barely-there cool breeze, an icy lemonade (or iced tea or mint julep) and a huge porch on which to sway lazily away in a cozy rocking chair. If you’re one of the souls I just described, then you are going to be swayin’ in porch heaven! Welcome to the Kittles Homes — for sale on CIRCA!
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She’s the Queen City of the Shenandoah: You Should Move to Staunton, VA!

by Alix Adams (Photo courtesy of the Historic Staunton Foundation)

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!
Staunton (pronounced Stanton) is tucked into the foothills between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains and named in honor of the lovely wife of a Virginia Governor named Gooch, Lady Rebecca Staunton Gooch. Incorporated as a town of 800 in 1801, she now has a small yet bustling downtown and a population of almost 24,000. Oh, and hey — you should move there!
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The Hermitage: The Nation’s Second-Ever House Museum!

by Taylor Speer-Sims

Join old house-obsessed, Southern transplant Taylor Speer-Sims as she bounces around the heart of Dixie scoping out the biggest & most beautiful Great Southern Estates!
Welcome to the kick-off of my new column, which will take you on a whirlwind tour through some of my favorite big, old houses down here in the South! Being originally from the North, southern houses seem to grasp my romantic imagination perhaps a little bit more than their northern counterparts. Is there, in fact, a type of romanticism surrounding the ideal image of the columned, two-story home set on a hill overlooking acres and acres of farmland? I say: absolutely!
For my first article, I am going to introduce you to The Hermitage, built c. 1835-36. It was formerly the home of President Andrew Jackson, in Hermitage, Tennessee. I work here one day each week, so I get to go behind-the-scenes of the home of one of the most famous Presidents in American history! Interestingly, it was the second house in the Nation to be set-aside as a house museum, after George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon. Unbelievable, no?
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CIRCA School: Hood Molds

by Jon Valalik (photo by Inspectapedia)

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.
A hood mold, more accurately called a dripstone when applied on the outside of the building, is a type of molding which projects outward above a door, window, or archway in order to deflect water away from the opening underneath it. They first appeared over 1000 years ago in medieval Europe, in Romanesque style architecture and continued to be used as a functional architectural element for centuries. They were widely applied to Italian, and Tudor buildings, but gained much of their popularity in Gothic cathedrals.
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House Crush: The Justus Humiston House

by Leona Jaeger

One of the many things I love about old houses is what they can teach you — what they can help you imagine. My latest house crush has me imagining all sorts of things about life in 1769! If you love early American homes as much as I do, you’re about to fall head-over-heels in love with the Justus Humiston House — for sale on CIRCA!
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What is a State Historic Preservation Office?

by Jon Valalik (photo of the Leander Reeve Stone House in Hampton, IA by Ann Sullivan-Larson)

If you own an historic home, the State Historic Preservation Office might turn out to be your new best friend! Read all about it in this week’s edition of Old House 101.
The State Historic Preservation Office’s main purpose is to survey, document and nominate historic properties for the National Register of Historic Places, as well as support their rehabilitation. In addition to physical conservation, they promote historic preservation at a smaller scale by helping local communities educate and address issues of preservation with the public in their respective states. If you own an old house, there are some perks in here for you, too!
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10 Houses Under $50,000: August Edition

by Elizabeth Finkelstein

The August round-up of 10 Houses Under $50,000 has me yearning for the return of fall — I sure would LOVE to make use of some of these fireplaces! If you love fancy-pants woodwork and some teatime porches, you’ll have yourself a blast looking through the guilt-free houses below. Just make sure to send CIRCA your renovation photos once you’ve snatched up your favorite!
This week’s picks, right this way

The Grandest Victorian Home in America!

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.
In keeping with our “jaw-dropper” theme, let’s take a look inside a TRULY amazing (is amazing a strong enough word here?) Victorian home — The Carson Mansion!!! Located in Old Town, Eureka, CA, this home has been regarded as one of the highest executions of American Queen Anne Style architecture, and is widely considered to be “the grandest Victorian home in America.” Builder and lumber tycoon William Carson is believed to have said, “If I build it poorly, they would say that I was a damned miser; if I build it expensively, they will say I’m a show off; guess I’ll just build it to suit myself.” I say, job well done!
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Antique Finds For Your Vintage Farmhouse

by Lauren Spinelli

Welcome to our new column Lauren’s Picks, in which antiques lover Lauren Spinelli travels the globe (and the Internet!) hand-selecting her favorite vintage finds. This week we’ve got all the goods you’ll need to deck out your vintage farmhouse!
Relax and let the sweet breeze blow, because today I’m beautifying a classic, old farmhouse. With simplicity and affordability in mind, I carefully curated my favorite antique and vintage finds via the internet and beyond to decorate a farmhouse into a home. So, grab your favorite rocking chair, pour a cold glass of lemonade and enjoy my farm fresh picks, ya’ll!
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How to Choose Historic Paint Colors

by Candice Whitlow

Taking on a fixer-upper is very exciting, but let’s face it, we all want to see instant results! Don’t we all wish we could live in the world of reality TV, where your renovation is completed by a large team in a half an hour? Unfortunately, that’s never the case (sigh)! However, there is one project that can be done in a day and totally changes the look and feel of your home. It’s time to grab a drop cloth, a roller and some brushes — we’re about to get painting!
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