Historic Garden Day | Preview Homes on the Fincastle Tour
As of press time, the Garden Club of Virginia has cancelled Historic Garden Week 2020 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. HOME magazine is dedicated to providing awareness of this worthy annual cause, and appreciates the work that garden club staff, volunteers, members, homeowners and other supporters have poured into this wonderful event.
OPEN STUDIOS TOUR ROANOKE CELEBRATING 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Open Studios Tour Roanoke will offer a virtual pop-up catalog offering art work from 27 artists for purchase the weekend of April 25 and 26. Follow our website for specific details on the weekend event: openstudiostourroanoke.com
The physical Open Studios Tour of 9 homes and studios will not take place the weekend of April 25-26 as we follow the necessary protocols that we all hope will slow down the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Discussions are underway to reschedule the 2020 Open Studio Tour to a later date.
Each spring visitors are welcomed to over 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful homes, gardens and historic landmarks during Historic Garden Week, “America’s Largest Open House.” Hosted by the Mill Mountain Garden Club and the Roanoke Valley Garden club, Roanoke’s tour, “Fabulous Fun in Fincastle,” will take place Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In celebration of the Centennial of the Garden Club of Virginia, this driving tour features five private homes and gardens in the charming and historically significant community of Fincastle. Designated as a Lewis and Clark community with ties to both Andrew Lewis and William Clark, it became the county seat in 1772 when Botetourt County stretched all the way to the Mississippi River. Fincastle boasts multiple buildings dating to the 18th and 19th centuries including the historic courthouse which houses records that attract genealogical researchers from around the world. It is also the location of Fincastle Presbyterian Church, a restoration project of the Garden Club of Virginia using proceeds from past Historic Garden Week tours.
420 S. Church Street
Built high on a hill just south of Fincastle in 1818 by John Gray, Prospect Hill was originally called Gray’s Folly. Each window of the home frames views of the town and the mountains. Constructed in the traditional board-sided Federal style, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 as one of only two houses in Virginia built with those specific architectural characteristics. On both levels of the home, the front and rear windows and doors are perfectly aligned. This design is a nod to the classical lines of Federal architecture, and also an important engineering feature. This practical plan allowed breezes to circulate through the entire house. In 1930, the McDowell family added a back porch and west wing, and replastered much of the house. They were able to repair and retain the original white pine floors in the dining room. In 2001, the late Ron Lucas and his wife purchased the home. Valerie Lucas continues to renovate and modernize it. Note the restored hand-carved interior woodwork, as well as a mantel with a horizontal sunburst design and vertically carved sunburst panels.
Valerie Lucas, owner.
1914 Grove Hill Road
Originally built c.1749 in Bedford County on a 1,000-acre conveyance of land by grantor King George of England, this historic home has been relocated, renovated and restored to its former grandeur. Occupants and owners of the house in the 18th and 19th centuries included veterans of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and the Civil War. In 1989, the King family purchased the house “as is” and began the lengthy process of moving it brick by brick and board by board to its current location on Grove Hill in Fincastle. The exterior is completely original. The current owners purchased it in 2008. A large breezeway and covered patio facilitate pastoral views of the Blue Ridge mountains with cattle grazing in the valley. Deer, wild turkey, bear and many varieties of birds occupy the land nearby. The interior is completely original, and features wide-board oak floors and six working fireplaces. Kathryn Kerkering has an extensive collection of needlepoint on display. The art includes paintings by prominent local artists.
Kathryn and Thomas Kerkering, owners.
99 Housman Street
One of the most distinguished homes in Botetourt County, Santillane c.1795, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural design and connection to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This Georgian brick home occupies 24 acres on a commanding hill outside of Fincastle. The tract on which the home is sited was purchased by Col. George Hancock in 1795. His daughter, Judith, married Gen. William Clark, the famous pioneer and coleader of the American West Lewis and Clark Expedition. The property’s historical grounds boast mountain views and lovely gardens offset by mature white oak, chestnut and magnolia trees. The home’s kitchen wing and smokehouse were part of the original dwelling. The present two-story home dates from the 1830s. It features five chimneys and ten original fireplaces, eight of which remain in use today. Original interior metal latches with brass knobs carry the seal of England. The property has been a special events venue, as well as a bed and breakfast. It has now been returned to a private residence. The owners enjoy a love of gardening and are in the midst of revitalizing the grounds.
Angela and John Sengson, owners.
The property’s historical grounds boast mountain views and lovely gardens offset by mature white oak, chestnut and magnolia trees.
108 Main Street
This Federal-style house c.1820 with gingerbread detailing is located in the heart of downtown Fincastle. Ron Lucas and his son, Jason, completed an extensive renovation and modernization of it in 2005, which preserved and repaired the original heart pine floors and detailed hand-carved moldings. That year, it was purchased by the current owners, who have since added significant work to the grounds over the last 15 years. The gardens include heirloom peonies, multiple perennial beds and extensive hardscaping integrated into the landscape design, including a lap pool. During the garden renovation the owners discovered blue glass medicinal jars, animal bones and gigantic molars buried in the soil. The interior boasts an impressive grouping of American, English and Italian ceramics and porcelain, as well as a collection of work by Rockwood artists. Several paintings by wellknown regional artists are complemented by pieces from the Ogunquit School. The home is filled with hand-crafted furniture personalized by Jake Cress; a piece of special note is the large carved bed he custom made referencing Mrs. Hagan’s love of flowers and gardening.
Charlotte and Robert Hagan, owners.
The gardens include heirloom peonies, multiple perennial beds and extensive hardscaping integrated into the landscape design.
185 Wild Rose Way
A Frank Lloyd Wright-style prairie home, Wind Flower Farm rests atop a 25-acre mountain plateau in Botetourt County. Built in 2003, the home’s design brings the outdoors in with vistas from every room. An openconcept floor plan, tall ceilings and glass windows provide a 280-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Frank Lloyd Wright features include stained glass fixtures and overhang roofing. Furnishings of interest include a 1700s antique breakfront, a Shenandoah Valley pie safe, two New Hampshire cedar captain’s chests, a Bucket Ben from Pennsylvania, and an apple-picking ladder, which now displays a quilt collection. The master bedroom contains numerous antiques including a carved mahogany tester bed, walnut highboy, cherry blanket chest and Sheraton bureau. Other bedrooms display additional period pieces including a cannonball rope bed, a tiger maple canopy bed, and a Victorian curly maple desk. A Currier and Ives needlepoint over the great room mantel, needlepoint art displayed throughout the home, soapstone carvings, and Alaskan artworks are special features, as are prints in the hallways by a local artist. Outside, there is a potting shed and a pergola, as well as vegetable and flower cutting gardens.
Lissy and Dan Runyon Merenda, owners. ✦
108 Main Street, 185 Wild Rose Way, 1914 Grove Hill Road, 420 S. Church Street, 99 Housman Street, America’s Largest Open House, Federal-style house, Frank Lloyd Wright-style prairie home, garden, Garden Club of Virginia, Gray’s Folly, Historic Garden Week 2020, King George of England, Lewis and Clark Expedition, National Register of Historic Places