1810 – Boones Mill, VA

Added to OHD on 8/14/17   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   46 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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44 Dogwood Hill Rd, Boones Mill, VA 24065

  • $79,900
  • 5 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 2565 Sq Ft
  • 2.46 Ac.
BRING OFFER!!! Built Circa 1810, Abshire-Boone Historic Home/Tavern, located in the Town of Boones Mill. ORIGINAL: Wood Floors, Custom Trim & Moldings, Windows & Glass, 4 Fireplaces. Large Loft Area, Charming Character w/Endless Potential: Tavern, B&B, Restaurant, Retail Shop &more! Workshop & Shed also on property **2Bed Singlewide conveys: Buyer can occupy while Remodeling Historic Home**
Contact Information
Angie McGhee, Long and Foster Real Estate,

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46 Comments on 1810 – Boones Mill, VA

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  1. Bethany says: 3431 comments

    I had to laugh at “buyer can occupy while remodeling!” Um, I don’t think so, not me anyway.

    • jenny says: 52 comments

      We are not all hot house roses. This house looks just about worn in enough to be comfortable, to me haha.

    • SueSue says: 1111 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1802 Cape

      I agree Bethany. I have done enough renovations to know I just don’t want to live within all the dust and mess that a house like this is going to cause. Especially with lead paint. But I could deal with the single wide. I would fix that up too!

    • Gregory Hubbard says: 456 comments


      “Buyer can occupy while remodeling…”

      For me that worked. I bought an 1874 house in Denver, Colorado, that had been derelict for 10 years. There was no glass in most of the windows, so I lived with boards. One night I ran across the parlor to answer the phone, and I went through the floor….saved by the joists.

      Despite the condition, it was a house worth saving. Because of a hostile city government and Urban Renewal, most of the older homes had been destroyed, thus it was one of the oldest standing in the city. It was built for a jeweler, so the interior woodwork, clear pine, was finely grained to look like flame grain mahogany and walnut, with bird’s eye maple inlay. The ground floor ceilings were 10 feet high.

      No central heat had ever been installed. I chopped wood through much of the winter, one of the coldest in decades. I stuffed wood into the ‘Florence Hot-Blast’ furnace in the dining room, the geographic center of the house, and I was fairly comfortable. As long as I kept chopping. Fortunately the building inspector never knew…..

      There were some drawbacks: the dining room was as hot as Arizona in the summer, while the second floor bedrooms were more akin to New England in the fall. However, as it was not a permanent solution, I lived with it until I had saved enough money to install a heating system, about February. Of course I’d re-glazed the windows the past fall.

      But I survived, saved a fine historic house, and made money when I sold it. A worthwhile experience and one I’d repeat today, now many years later.

      Gregory Hubbard

  2. Bethany says: 3431 comments

    Oh wait, I see now that the buyer can occupy the singlewide trailer while remodeling.

  3. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11875 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    They included pics of the inside of the trailer in the listing but I did not here. It wouldn’t be so bad living in it while fixing up the house.

  4. Robt. W.Robt. W. says: 358 comments

    Surprisingly lofty and well-proportioned in its original rooms, and with great woodwork. A small house packed with fine details and it would be interesting to sort out the layers of change. The thing I’m not wild about, though, is the the Google Street View – despite being in an attractive area generally.

  5. MsShoe says: 3 comments

    If walls could talk? If walls can stand up! That place scares me, but it’s fun to look at thinking of what those walls would say if they could talk. 1810, that’s OLD!

  6. Stacey says: 24 comments

    I wonder what life was like, living here back in 1810. While the house needs some love, the simple fact that it still stands and with most of the original features intact amazes me.I think it could be quite a beautiful place, if restored with the respect it deserves.

  7. Betsy says: 156 comments

    Wow ! Time capsule – everything looks frozen at about 1935 ? Please leave all of the furniture and stuff !

  8. Jim says: 5104 comments

    An interesting old place “staged” by someone with a sense of esthetics and history – very pretty. Agree that the gas station isn’t attractive and the place needs a ton of work, maybe more than can really be financially justified. I hope nobody’s thinking the dark woodwork is 1810.

    • George says: 16 comments

      The woodwork is curious to me, Jim. When the white painted bedroom mantles are compared to woodwork downstairs, they seem stylistically compatible with the exaggerated entablature seen over one of the doorways. The small paneled closet door upstairs seems consistent with the foyer doors downstairs as well. Perhaps the dark woodwork looks later because the blackened varnish on it looks like the surface so often seen at antiques shows on inexpensive Colonial Revival furniture from the 1900’s. It consistently ages to a very dark and unattractive purplish-brown but is extremely easy to remove with paint stripper. Perhaps some woodwork was altered or added later, the wainscoting perhaps, and all the preexisting woodwork heavily varnished to match? I do not see any of the same chair rails upstairs and downstairs but both floors have the same proportion picture rail moulding. It really needs to be examined in person but I do find the forms attractive if not their current finish.

      • Robt. W.Robt. W. says: 358 comments

        I agree on the woodwork. Everything looks of two periods to me: both original to the core house and its later expansion/infill. The heavily articulated, compound stepped, denticulated, and blocked and pilastered chimneypieces and door surrounds are all very much in the broad Shenandoah Valley tradition of the late-18th/first-half-19thC. The woodwork looks right to me. It’s just not the kind of house that someone came into 50 or a 100 or so years later and lavished a lot of effort in some very curiously regional vernacular revivalism. By the Civil War and later, the house was maintained but I don’t think anything more than sofa change was spent on updating its interiors.

        What is curious is the finish of the woodwork. I had to venture a guess, the woodwork that’s now all glistening wet-looking and dark brown was originally grain-painted treatment as is (with marbelization and other decorative schemes) quite standard in the region. Then, at some time, probably the last quarter of the 19thC, a clear varnish was applied to counter the dry flaking that typically attends old faux-finished dry surfaces. This late 19thC varnish or other clear coating tends to turn very mucky dark brown in color and have a wet look. What was meant as a preservative step ends up looking like a smeared slurry of coffee grounds and hair pomade; the original color of the painted surface beneath it is lost to any but careful examination under intense light.

        Regionally, there’s a rich variety of decorative painted/faux-finished surfaces from very subtle woodgrain that looks remarkably like the wood it was meant to cover to complex schemes that suggest bird’s eye and tiger maple inlays on two varieties of mahogany with dark walnut string inlays — all in paint applied to pine.

        I don’t think the woodwork has ever been messed with other than to apply that now rather unfortunate looking clear coat over an original painted finish in imitation/suggestion of wood.

        • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11875 comments

          1901 Folk Victorian
          Chestatee, GA

          Thanks Robt. for clarifying. I’ve been studying Federal architecture today and thought the fireplaces, paneling and trim were to the period but didn’t know much else beyond that.

          • Jim says: 5104 comments

            I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, only that it didn’t look like that in 1810. I’m very unhappy that it’s seriously endangered.
            Boones Mill Historic District – OMB No. 1024-0018
            The Boon-Abshire House (DHR #170-0009-0006) was constructed ca. 1814 when Stephen Boon inherited the property upon Jacob Boon’s death. It has been in the Abshire family since 1900. An eighteenth-century log house stood in the rear yard until the 1930s. Reputedly the first frame dwelling in the area of Boones Mill, this two-and-a-half-story building has an unusual floor plan with the main staircase tucked into a small room off the front porch rather than from the more typical interior hall. This variation suggests an intentional attempt to separate public (downstairs) from private (upstairs) spaces, a desirable feature if the house actually served as some type of tavern or lodgings for travelers. Two front doors access the two first-floor rooms from the porch. The house retains exceptionally fine craftsmanship in the form of its Federal style woodwork, which includes gouged and reeded carved mantels and door surrounds with tripartite and tablet panels, reeded architrave moldings, and wood panel wainscoting. First-floor windows feature nine-over-nine wood sashes, while the shorter second floor has six-over-six windows. A one- story rear kitchen separated cooking messes from the more elegant dining room and parlor of the dwelling. The building stands on a rubble fieldstone foundation, is of mortised and tenoned timbers with weatherboard siding, and features exterior end chimneys of handmade local bricks with semi-detached stacks.
            44 Dogwood Hill Road. Ca. 1820. Boon-Abshire House. 170-0009-0006. Also 170-0005. CB.
            This property is one of very few intact small farmsteads in the town limits of Boones Mill, and retains in addition to the ca. 1820 main house a varied collection of domestic and agricultural outbuildings. The Boon-Abshire House, which faces east-northeast toward Dogwood Hill Road, is an evolved two-story, weatherboarded mortise-and-tenon-framed building with a fieldstone foundation, recessed front porch, two six-panel front doors, six-over-six double-hung wood windows, Flemish-bond brick exterior end chimneys, and a standing-seam metal side-gable roof. Small, square, four-light, fixed-sash windows in the gable ends flank the chimney stacks. A one- story gable-roofed ell extends from the rear of the house.
            A 1937 survey prepared for the Virginia Historical Inventory documented the interior features of the house:
            The roof of the house is extended to cover the front porch, which is cut off at each end. One end forms a large entrance to a built-in winding stairway which is the only stairway in the house, except the one going to the attic from the upper left room. At the other end of the porch is a small bed room. A long room above extends over the entire front of the house. Two rooms and a hall complete the second floor, and the attic has a very low ceiling and two small windows. There are three windows in front on the second story, and one on each side. Downstairs there is one window in the room used for the stairway, one in the small bedroom, two in the room on the left and three in the room on the right, as well as two over two windows in each of the two rooms constituting the “L”. The frame of the house is of huge timbers mortised and pinned with wooden pins, two to each rafter. There are four glasses in a transom over each of the doors, and the facings of all the doors down stairs are beautifully carved. The wainscoting has a carved border, and the mantels which are of poplar are also carved. The hardware has been replaced by modern contrivances, but the original key holes remain, and are of great size. The doors are mostly four panel, but the two doors on the porch are two panel. The foundation is of native stone and the two brick chimneys are ornamented for several feet from the grounds.
            The property was obtained by Stephen Boon in 1814, and the Abshires have owned it since 1900. In 1937 the property was owned by former Franklin County Deputy Sheriff Henry T. Abshire,
            who in 1936 was convicted during an infamous moonshine-related conspiracy trial. (Virginia Historical Inventory, 1937).
            VDHR Architectural Historian Michael Pulice asserts that the Boon-Abshire House is the second-oldest surviving house in Boones Mill, and that it is one of the region’s earliest surviving houses (DHR file #170-0005, October 2013). Some traditions suggest that the house is of log construction and was built in 1777 by Jacob Boon, but architectural evidence supports an early nineteenth-century construction date.
            a. Storage building. Ca. 1900. CB. This is a one-story, front-gable, wood frame outbuilding with vertical siding, stone pier foundation, and minimal window openings with protective bars. Entry is through a single-leaf, braced-board door centered in the gable end. The building is sited to partially overhang a small creek at the rear of the property, and appears to have been used as a workshop or storage building.
            b. Corncrib. Ca. 1900. CB Structure. This is a one-story, lath-sided wood frame corncrib with a stacked-stone pier foundation, standing-seam-metal front-gable roof, and a braced overhang at gable-end entry
            c. Garage/workshop. Ca. 1930. CB. This is a one-story wood frame garage or small shop building with wood weatherboard siding, 4-light fixed windows on side walls, a single bay opening with double-leaf garage doors, a pier foundation of stacked stones, and standing seam metal front-gable roof. Doors face the adjacent street (Heatherwood Drive), but an interior vent pipe suggests other uses, possibly as a workshop. Deputy Sheriff Abshire reputedly stored moonshine confiscated from bootleggers in the garage/workshop outbuilding (HBMV).
            d. Springhouse. Ca. 1930. CB. This is a one-story, shed-roofed, wood frame springhouse with wood siding and poured concrete foundation.
            e. Mobile home. Ca. 1980. NB. This is a one-story, single-wide prefabricated mobile home with added front deck and skirting. Addressed as 40 Dogwood Hill Road.

            • Robt. W.Robt. W. says: 358 comments

              Jim: Great info – and a colorful history, too.

              I’m puzzled by the infill of the once open front porches: obviously it’s an alteration, though unusual in its form, and possibly relatively early. I’d love to have a walk-through which I think would clarify a few things are are not quite clear from the photos.

              The description you found mentions but –rightly, I should think– dismisses a purported log construction. There’s nothing of the width of the walls and the general proportions of the house to support that. It also makes no attempt to sort out when the front porches were infilled.

              I take back what I said about there having been no significant improvement since construction and the porch infill. At some point a picture rail was added in a number of rooms — not a big change but some indication of an attempt, however meager, to update the house. The picture rail looks barely three-dimensional, and crude and chunky (in some photos I thought it might have been a stripe of paint or wallpaper, but in other photos there’s some slight depth it seems.) A simple exterior belied a rather nicely proportioned interior with elaborate and striking finish woodwork; it then seems soon enough to have fallen into Backcountry obscurity (less the moonshine notoriety) that preserved it rather remarkably.

              • Jim says: 5104 comments

                Robt., it seems there’s a conflation with the old log house razed in the ’30’s and this one. The town website and the Historic Boones Mill FB page say this is the home of town founder Jacob Boone, which is false but doesn’t want to die. They also try to tie the unrelated Daniel Boone to the town and this building, as if the real history of the Carolina Road isn’t interesting enough.
                I’m unsure of the construction sequence also. It makes sense that the 3 front rooms up and down were added to a conventional 2 over 2 house, but the back door (to the kitchen now) seems incompatible with a stairway in the hall, so who knows?
                This one is special. It only needs a guy with a few bucks that doesn’t mind living in a trailer and finds the Stop In store a convenience and not an eyesore. Maybe the sandwiches are good.

  9. Laurie says: 1705 comments

    My thought too, Jim, about the woodwork. Hard to envision what it must have looked like, with that horrendously dark stuff. The neighborhood could be better, but the house does have great character & the mountain view in back. Not sure what it is, but I expected a ghost to show up in some photos — maybe because the stuff in there looks like the family walked out in 1940 & never came back.

  10. happygal0000 says: 2 comments

    I live in Roanoke, VA, about 20 min from Boones Mill (and the closest large town to Boones Mill). If anyone is seriously interested in this place and needs specific info/photos, I would be happy to drive over and check it out.

  11. Tia P. says: 52 comments

    I really enjoyed looking at this home. The rustic photos were wonderful! The timeless furniture, the old pictures and furniture, the worn walls, “I really liked”! To me it wasn’t scary at all. I like how the owner tried to bring to life the home by adding clean linen among the dusty furniture. The rocks that were the foundation was pretty cool to see! The land and scenery was breath taking! Very nice!

  12. Angel Abshire Shadoff says: 1 comments

    Neat seeing these photos. The Abshire’s that owned this were in our family – never seen the home in person so it is neat to see it here.

    • Karrin says: 1 comments

      Boones Mill is the area of settlement of my Naff ancestors. Interesting to see them mentioned in one of the linked documents. I’ll have to dig out the book that details the Naff homestead and see if it’s extant. Really I should visit this area!

  13. Don Carleton says: 268 comments

    The interior woodwork seems to my only semi-trained eye to be compatible with other dated examples of “back-country” or provincial federal/neoclassical work I’ve seen, which often exhibits an amazing exuberance. (Although I hesitate assigning a “back-country” identity to said exuberance as coastal places like Bristol, RI exhibit a similar wild take on neoclassical decorative patterns.) In any event, staining or no, really some amazing mantels/casings going on there!

  14. cheryl plato says: 174 comments

    Love this house!! Although the outside looks like it is “listing” a little, the inside looks pretty solid. It’s beautiful and I hope someone saves it.

  15. Angela says: 190 comments

    That is a oil heater. Old houses used these for heating before central heating because available.

  16. Kristin says: 1 comments

    I still have hope that someone will buy and restore this place to what it could be… it deserves that, but my relatives can’t manage it, hence the sale. As for comments about age and history, here’s what I can offer: the house and its features are difficult to date because it wasn’t constructed all at once. “Maybe we should cover the outdoor kitchen so it’s PART of the house.” “Maybe we should add indoor plumbing!” “Let’s try a few of those newfangled electric lights!” Bit by bit, the house became what it is. No, it’s not connected to Daniel Boone. Yes, the front porch was appropriated at times as a slave auction block. My sister and I always hoped to offset that bit of history; we wanted to discover that this house had secret rooms, perhaps under the porch, and was part of the Underground Railroad. When “Grandpa’s garden” was in commission in the small field next to the house, I would go searching for arrowheads among the furrows. Grandpa seemed to find all the arrowheads; I found pieces of broken chamber pot (identified by Grandma, as she laughed). I wish that part of that field could be an archeology project. And maybe part could be restored to a nice garden for growing “Grandma’s green beans”–half-runners and blue lake varieties. My heart aches for the sale of this house. I’m proud to bear some resemblance to Louisa, who deeded the house to my great grandfather Henry Abshire back in the day.

    • CassandraTV says: 1 comments

      Kristin, thank you for all the lovely information. My husband and I are in contact with the listing agent and hope to talk with you soon. Best.

    • LeeleekLeeleek says: 1 comments
      1810 Federal
      Boones Mill, VA

      Kristen, my dad bought this house, and is leaving me to restore… I want you to know how much I love this house. I love her history, her beauty and would just love to hear any story or memory. I would be happy to take you through her rooms at any time.

      It is paramount to me to restore her to her original condition… I’m not looking for a ‘glamorous makeover’ for her… Any thoughts you have are most welcome!

  17. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11875 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Posted in 2014. Reduced to $79,900, moved to front page so comments above may be older.

  18. Kimberly Strawn says: 5 comments

    I don’t believe I have ever seen so many linoleum rugs in one house!

  19. Laurie W. says: 1705 comments

    Re-reading the early comments, I find them even more interesting than the first time! No small job to restore this house to the beauty it could be, but it’s priced accordingly. Given its age & all the original elements remaining — or early elements, I should say, since they were added at various times — putting the place right would be a laudable thing. I certainly understand Kristin’s sadness at the house’s loss.

  20. Graham says: 142 comments

    That large vanity with the round mirror is exactly the same as the one I purchased from an antiques store for my wife for a Valentine’s gift years ago. A good time capsule of a home.

  21. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 1025 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1905 Neoclassic & 1937 Deco

    This place is a linoleum rug gold-mine!

  22. tess says: 297 comments

    “Warm Morning Heater” brings back lots of memories. Used to run from unheated bedrooms to parlor and put our backsides to the heater…sure felt good. House looks on the verge of can be rehabbed or take it down. Hope someone buys it soon, hate to see what another winter will do to it.

  23. Cody H says: 133 comments

    I say it all the time and nobody believes me, but this is a great example showing that not ALL federal style and/or period houses were SUPPOSED to have painted woodwork! This place is great!

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11875 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Could still be painted to look like that. Or it could have been scraped long ago and stained (kind of see some brush strokes in one of the pics.)

    • jenny says: 52 comments

      You are exactly right, at least in Virginia. This beautiful old place reminds me of my house, which has that same darkened varnish on the American Chestnut wainscoting, and was never painted. It’s not on the radar yet but someday the wood will be an amazing warm brown again. If I were going to generalize, I’d say that pine and poplar were painted. Oak, Chestnut and other hardwoods were not.

  24. kevinb says: 116 comments

    What an amazing time capsule. Love that it basically looks like nothing was done after WWII.

  25. SueSue says: 1111 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape

    And what do ya’ll think he renovation ball park figure would be on this wonderful old place?

  26. Marshel says: 59 comments

    I’d choose one room such as the hall or the bedroom with the green chair and apply a clear varnish right over the paint that was left. A friend of mine did this in his 1830 home in Marion, Alabama, and filled it with fine old Empire furniture and it’s every visitor’s favorite room.

  27. This house is simply beautiful in all of it’s shabby loveliness. Sigh. I would fix the structural issues & keep the amazing patina that this house has earned over the years. I love this one!

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