c. 1836 – Valley Head, AL

Added to OHD on 4/21/16   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   40 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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National Register

810 County Road 606, Valley Head, AL 35989

  • $137,000
  • 3 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 2200 Sq Ft
  • 3.49 Ac.
Historic Larmore House. Step back in time in this remarkable home built in 1836 tucked quietly on 3.49 acres in a beautiful setting. Vintage outbuildings & magnificent trees dot the land featuring a stream, spring and areas for gardening. Walnut wainscotting, doors and heartpine floors remind you of the craftsmanship of days gone by. The home sports 6 fireplaces including one in the updated kitchen. While the historic character remains in tack the electrical & plumbing have been updated. City water, natural gas and access from a paved road are an added bonus. This could be the one for you.
Contact Information
Heather Nicely, Bellora Realtors,
(706) 657-3000

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40 Comments on c. 1836 – Valley Head, AL

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12125 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Thanks to winowiski for sharing!

    I am completely in love with this home! There are more photos in the National Register Photos PDF link (at the top in the Links section), it shows a bit more rooms than the listing photos.

    • Julles says: 526 comments

      Please, I can’t get the NR photos to load, would you please tell me if the pickets on the front porch are original? I just think it would look better with a more rustic front porch railings. This is a beautiful home and not far from Fort Payne AL and Menlo, GA. It seems like great place to have as a family home base.

  2. Holly Q says: 77 comments

    I’d love to see old pics of this house.

  3. Jules says: 45 comments

    The walnut is special…..and the kitchen fireplace is pretty great.

  4. evers310evers310 says: 109 comments

    We looked at purchasing this house a few years ago but didn’t like a few things about it. It sits right on the road, the road cuts through part of the property, there is a new subdivision right next door, and most of the land is not level. It is a beautiful house in a great area though!

  5. Laurie W. says: 1704 comments

    It’s hard to credit the porch railings as original. In 1836 Greek Revival still was the dominant building style — the railings & brackets look Victorian. Victoria didn’t even come to the throne till 1837 & this style was still some years in the future. Great old floors & mantels. It’s a lovely house with only some of its early elements in or out of tack.

    • John Shiflet says: 5426 comments

      The house is a traditional regional house form. (“I” house?) Sometime a generation or more later, (maybe even more recently) the front porch was “Victorianized” with scroll sawn porch details. I’m not sure this house ever had a Greek Revival phase but it certainly has seen a lot of history

      • Jared says: 24 comments

        I have a book on my shelf about folk architecture in Kentucky (I realize this is Alabama we’re talking about, but this is still applicable). According to this book:

        “In one of its many forms the I house, a two-story house which has borrowed directly from England, diffused westward from New England, and southward and westward from the Middle Atlantic states. It became popular in the Cotton South, the Upper South, the Ohio Valley, the Great Lakes area, and the Middle West. The I house was so named by Fred Kniffen in 1936 in recognition of the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, where it was most widely accepted and became the typical folk house. The I house is two rooms wide, two rooms high, and one room deep. Beyond this constant feature there are no definitive characteristics of the I house, since there is no ‘official’ form of the I house. Numerous subtypes of the I house are assigned on the basis of the placement of chimneys, the presence of a central hallway, and so on. End chimneys are more characteristic in Kentucky, but central chimneys are not at all uncommon. Ell, T., or rear shed additions are common, and porches across the front and side rear are usually present. The front of the house generally has one door and four or more windows. ”

        The author goes on to add (and this seems applicable of the house shown here): “The central hallway I house … is the typical southern I house. The inclusion of the central hallway represents a borrowing from the Georgian house. A chimney is generally a feature in each of the two front rooms. Most of these chimneys are extremely large and are situated externally on the gable ends. The central hallway is present both downstairs and upstairs. These houses, some of log construction, are among the oldest in Kentucky. Weatherboarding covers the logs, however, except in rare cases.”

        (“Kentucky Folk Architecture”, William Lynwood Montell and Michael Lynn Morse, University of Kentucky Press, 1976, 1995 paperback printing, pp 32-34).

        I’m going to venture a (non-professional, non-expert) guess that the porch columns on this house were originally just plain, unadorned posts. The Victorian scrollwork was undoubtedly added later. I wouldn’t be surprised if this house has log construction under the siding and interior wall covering, but so far I haven’t seen that mentioned in the listing or NPS document, so maybe it doesn’t. I am not at all an expert on these things, though; just adding my $0.02.

        • JullesJulles says: 526 comments
          OHD Supporter

          One of the best things about the internet is being able to meet people like you and the others at OHD and to know that we are not alone and there are other people who treasure and read their old house books. We ought to make up a list one day of those books we own to have on Old House Dreamers reference list. I would also love to have a list of houses that we personally saw where we could park the photos we took of those houses in case someone wanted to see more about that house. Kelly, is that too much of a pain in the behind to do?

      • evers310evers310 says: 109 comments

        In this part of the country the “I” house is known as Plantation Plain style.

        • John Shiflet says: 5426 comments

          Thanks for the information. Every region has traditional house styles that may or may not owe some allegiance to more mainstream styles from the same period.

        • JullesJulles says: 526 comments
          OHD Supporter

          First, thank you for the education on house types. You inspired me to do research and I found a great research paper on the subject. http://georgiashpo.org/sites/uploads/hpd/pdf/housetypes.pdf
          I learned there is a difference between house type and house style. From what I understood, the exterior of the house definitely looks like the Plantation Plain type which might or might not have had a front porch when it was built. I think that stylistically it has more than a nod towards Georgian styling with the fireplaces, wainscot, wide plank floors and chair rail. If I misunderstood what I read please tell me, I love learning new things.

  6. MonicaG says: 155 comments

    $137,000 for this is hard to believe. And 3 acres? What a stunner.

  7. evers310evers310 says: 109 comments

    Pretty sure the front porch was redone at some point, besides the point made earlier about the balusters being Victorian, if you look at the pictures of the front door you will notice that the door trim goes up into the porch ceiling, and it appears that there were transom lights originally.

  8. Amy D says: 56 comments

    This house has been on the market a good while, with the price coming down steadily. I’ve been watching it all along. It’s in a very rural, although lovely, area, and, yes, the road is right there by the porch. The original listing I saw had a photo of the family at the home about 100 years ago, as well as some nice pictures of the gorgeous creek, but I can’t find it now. I guess it’s a fair trade, since there are now more pictures and they are more informative.

  9. cheryl plato says: 174 comments

    Yep. It’s the one for me! Now to convince my husband to move to Alabama……..

  10. Jared says: 24 comments

    The NPS pdf says “The present building located at this site contains only the exterior shell of the original building that burned c. 1988 and was recently reconstructed of modern materials.” (p. 13, last sentence of first paragraph). Its a little ambiguous if they’re talking about this property or the “Thomas Jefferson Larmore” house mentioned in the pervious sentence. But it does kind of read like they mean this property we have before us in this listing.

  11. JullesJulles says: 526 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Looking at the wainscot, the fireplace mantel, the year and the flooring and I was thinking that this house might be a Georgian with a Southern flavor. With that shape, do you think it could have started out without the front porch at all? Someone mentioned that they thought the front door used to have a transom. If you think of it, you can picture it in your mind without the front porch in your favorite georgian color or do you think “that dog don’t hunt”? I love southern colloquialisms.

    • Robert says: 1 comments

      Having been in the house (I spent several hours, measuring and photographing everything I could get to) – I can assure everyone that the house is mostly original (not burned and rebuilt of modern materials) and the original ceilings are only 7 1/2 ft at best, and are too low for the house to ever have had a transom over the beautiful, handcrafted and very original front doors. The area over the doors is nothing more than somewhat primitive ornament and only on the exterior. Regarding the front porch – if one reads the information on the National Historic Register regarding the house – it states that it is unlikely that the house was built before 1845 as Vance C. Larmore did not own the property – nor was there any record of his residing in the area before 1838. That tells me that the 1836 date is questionable – at best, especially as Mr. Larmore is reputed to have designed and built the house. Back to the porch…the details have been replaced over the years and its not all original. Porches are exposed to weather and tend to rot. But, it has definitely been part of the structure long enough to be included as part of the historic fabric of the house and as such, should be preserved. The house was built at the beginning of the Victorian period (Victoria was Queen of England) and the present porch represents a perfect example of an folk-Victorian era porch. And despite what some may think – it is a somewhat plain porch for the era in question. I shudder to think that anyone would remove it and replace it with a more rustic porch – as that would be quite unsuitable and even criminal to the architecture of the house as it currently stands. Also, I’ve seen a very old photograph which shows Vance C. Larmore, his wife and children standing in front of the house – and the current porch is virtually identical to the one in the photo. So, if not original to the house – it must have been placed there by the original owner. My only complaint regarding the front porch is that at only 6ft deep – it seems a bit shallow for the era. Also, to address another comment – the house is definitely not of log construction, later sheathed with clapboard siding. The entrance hall is not a dog trot and there’s no evidence to suggest it ever was. I presume the house to be of balloon frame construction – as the walls have been insulated in a mid-1970’s restoration. Also, I noticed that the 2nd floor was originally one large room – with the staircase coming through the middle. The wall partitions, bathroom and closets are later enhancements and are of vertical plank construction (very thin – no 2×4’s, chair rail, etc.) In all, its a lovely old home place with loads of historic charm. Had I been able to light a fire under my realtor – I might have been the owner. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be.

  12. Tommy Q says: 446 comments

    The “road” is no wider than a driveway. I doubt if traffic would be a problem, especially if you put up signage and maybe a couple speed bumps. What great house and Alabama is a terrific place to retire. It’s also in the north of the state near Tennessee and Georgia, some of the prettiest countryside in the USA.

    Cheaper than a high-end Benz or Beemer…

  13. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12125 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Added some more photos. Thanks winowiski! 🙂

  14. says: 4 comments

    I’m so in love with this place!!

  15. JullesJulles says: 526 comments
    OHD Supporter

    The Hubby and I are doing a road trip to go see this house tomorrow. We have an appt. at 12:00pm Alabama time to see it if anyone is interested in meeting us up there or if you have some questions about the house or want some pictures of something specific in it we would be happy to help.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12125 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Have fun looking at it! Let us know how you like it. 🙂

    • JullesJulles says: 526 comments
      OHD Supporter

      We went and saw the house. The rooms are about 15×16, have 7 1/2 foot ceilings and no HVAC except for an ugly gas heater on the wall. The outbuilding with the stone floor was a slave cabin. The records say the owner had 70 slaves. No bad juju that I could feel in the slave quarters. (I like to think they are all dancing free in heaven). No floor in the house is level but they all feel solid. Not much lighting and it is dim but that could be fixed with lamps. The agent said that they had new 220 electrical. The dining room has a big chunk cut out of it for a bathroom. If I had the house, it would have to go. Nice walnut paneling on the walls. The kitchen is very nice and has a good rustic feel. Only one fireplace works with a woodburning stove (missing) but the others are nice especially the one in the kitchen. There is a spring and a well on the property that has hard water. The house is hooked up to the city water (septic field) for that reason but you could put a filter on the well and hook it back up. The house has a functional metal roof but it is rusting a lot. The land is really nice and you have mature hardwoods and softwoods and cleared space. The home backs up to an expensive subdivision which leads to what I think is a problem(some may not) which is that the subdivision owns the spring even though it is on the house’s land and the property is bound by the neighborhood covenants and the historical society’s covenants. Some people are happy that they have covenants for the houses but I am not one of them. So no changes or chickens unless you go through two groups to approve it first. The lot is not square and is divided by a road. The road had 3 cars go by in the hour that we were at the house. The porch looks original and a photo of the house in 1903 had the victorian pickets on it then.
      While I was there, when I entered the house, I felt like an oppressive blanket went over my feelings and when I walked outside the house it was gone. I felt great again looking at the land but when I went back into the house I felt the blanket again. I walked around and it wasn’t in the upstairs but I felt it most strongly in the parlour. I do not see ghosts and only occasionally feel good or bad vibes a place gives off. But when I stood still in the parlour, I felt an older woman tell me it was her house. She was not bad or evil but seemed to be worried that we would disrespect her house. Take this observation or leave it for what it is worth.
      Hope it finds a good and respectful homeowner. The seller is very motivated.

  16. Arthur Hickman says: 1 comments

    We love the house.

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