Featured Old House: Tranquility
10 Under 50 is, without a doubt, CIRCA’s most popular recurring series. No surprise there — who doesn’t love to ogle darling old houses? And when these dream abodes are financially attainable for $50,000 or less?! Count us in!
One lucky CIRCA reader has turned daydreaming into reality, as the new owner of a Georgia property included in our August Edition of 10 Under 50: 4618 Wrens Highway Thomson, GA 30824. “Tell us all about it,” we implored. And so they did … enjoy Part 1 of this two-part tale!
Submitted by Nora Grimaud at Coldwell Banker Watson and Knox Real Estate:
“Country living” is a lifestyle of rich tradition and that down-home feeling. A safe place for the kids to ride a bike, to play in the yard with no fence needed, and a place with door frames marked in progressively taller increments, as a child grows up. A home with a garden filled by beautiful heirloom tomatoes and fruit trees that you are so proud of, large ferns hanging and, of course, the rocking chairs on the front porch. The slower paced way of life — country living at its best!
These homes are not easily found today. Families stay forever, rarely moving (can you blame them?). All the same, we’ve found just such a “country living” home for our clients, and they’ve even given her a name: Tranquility.
4618 Wrens Highway was a rare jewel at an unheard of price. Where others saw an impossible mess, we saw a diamond just waiting to again shine bright! These old homes can get into your heart, and you can see the life that was there and how owners before you loved these spaces. What pride these individuals had in their home!
It was love at first sight — such easy fixes and such potential to make this a true country home. I showed this home to several homeowners, but it didn’t click — they couldn’t see it. And then I showed 209 White Oak Street to Al Reeves. He immediately could see it! The love, the tradition that had been put into this home. This was not just a “flip house;” it became a love.
Al Reeves saw the vision and put his craftsmanship to work. The house had been remodeled “1980s style’ in the baths and kitchen. The goal was to return these space to a more modern-day farmhouse. As we began to look, the barn, the pasture, the fairly new storage bullding, were icing on the cake. The acreage itself includes a large creek – Briar Creek – a beautiful area to picnic and catch some fish or swim. Plus, a small pond. It just got better and better.
But this project has not been without its obstacles. Vandals had broken in and destroyed the heating and air systems, removed copper … and just mainly made a mess. Nothing that could not be fixed! Inspections were made and all came with good results. At some point the home had been treated for termites (a must in Georgia) and when inspected — all clear!
We found many mysteries but also found answers. It may have been in a closet, in the dog yard, or in a trash pile. But, we found how the house had been at one time and begin to make plans (stay tuned for Part 2!).
Work began in the front acreage. A new driveway was put in, entrance with a gate. Overgrown vines and bushes were cut and taken off. Much much work and time was spent on this. Now it is a grand entrance with the house in view after you leave the gate. The house proudly stands and looks over you as you enter the property.
As you wind your way down the driveway with dogwoods lining the way it brings you out to the front of this 1875 home.
AUTHOR CRISTIANA PEÑA
Cristiana is CIRCA Old Houses’ social media butterfly. A Midwest transplant, she traded the prairies of South Dakota for the architecture of New York City and the history of the East Coast. Cristiana studied Art History, with an emphasis in Architectural History, at Penn State and later received her Masters in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. By day, she advocates for New York City’s historic neighborhoods through community campaigns. By night, she freelances in new media projects, lending her expertise in leveraging the social web to broadcast an organization’s message.