Cape Charles, Virginia Is A Great Place To Buy A Historic Home In A Victorian, Queen Anne or Gothic Style


by: Marlene email

Looking to buy a  historic property  in Virginia ?   Consider purchasing real estate  on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in the quaint  historic  town of Cape Charles,  perched along the sandy shores of the Chesapeake Bay.  Cape Charles today continues in its historic coastal traditions and many of the town’s activities center around its deep water  harbor,  marinas  and its beautiful sand beach.  Most of  the 500 buildings in the original part of town date back to the late 1890′s and this section of town has been designed as a  “Historic District” .  In addition,  about 10 years ago,   the acreage which now comprises  the golf resort  were annexed by the town and now form its northern and southern boundaries.  Most of the new  homes built there are of a traditional style and blend well with the homes in the Historic District,  creating a harmonious whole from the sum of  several  parts.

Cape Charles has an interesting history– it was actually created from scratch by a Pennsylvania Congressman,  Wm. Scott,  who purchased the land which is now Cape Charles after learning that its deepwater  harbor was to become  the southern terminus of  the railroad.  ( Obviously,  insider trading is not a new phenomena ! )  In 1883,  Scott  began the process of development,  laying out the town as a square,  creating a five acre space for a future central park  (see the Sept. 11th post on the dedication of the beautiful new Cape Charles Central Park),  naming  the avenues  for famous Virginians  (Washington,  Jefferson,  Madison, etc., )  and the streets for what I’m assuming were his favorite fruits  ( Fig,  Strawberry,  Peach, etc.)  and then proceeded to sell  building lots.  Between the strong economy generated by the new railroad,  which ran from Manhattan to the Eastern Shore,  and the busy ferry service from the harbor ( which took both rail passengers and cars across the Chesapeake Bay,  landing  in Norfolk ),  Cape Charles quickly became a busy and prosperous  waterfront town.  Grand homes were built along the beachfront and in the beach blocks,  more modest homes further back.  By the early 1900′s,   most of the lots had been built out,  in a potpourri of architectural styles ranging from Victorian,  Queen Anne  and Georgian  to Sears Craftsman cottage style homes, with  Gothic and  American four square as well.  Sadly for Cape Charles,  by the mid-1950′s,  the railroad retained freight service but terminated passenger service and postal service  to Cape Charles.  And in the cruelest cut of all,  the ferry company moved to a new terminal at what is now part of  Kiptopeake  State Park,  nearly  five  miles away.   Adios,  so long,  sayonara  to Cape Charles, which sank into a slow decline with the loss of its two economic engines.

Circa 1906 Georgian Revival Home For Sale In Cape Charles, Virginia

Fast forwarding to 2010….   With the completion of much of  the golf  resort and the revival of interest in buying and restoring historic homes in coastal towns,  the renaissance of  Cape Charles and restoration to its intended glory is nearly complete.   And it’s exciting to see  a variety of opportunities for people to be able to purchase  real estate  in the historic area of Cape Charles  and to be able to enjoy  the ambiance of  yesterday in a home which has been restored  to its original elegance.  This post will feature a lovely restored historic home  listed by Blue Heron Realty Co.,  a  marvelous Georgian Revival.   Interestingly enough,  this home  was previously a B&B  so the  restoration  fortunately included adding a  private bathroom to each  bedroom,  the acute  shortage of bathrooms  being to my mind one of the thorny issues that always has to be dealt with in restorations of historic homes. 

Entry Foyer With Fireplace, Ceiling Medalion, Antique Chandelier and Columns

Built in 1906,  this 4200 square foot Georgian Revival home has been fully restored to its former  glory !  Located just two blocks from the beautiful Cape Charles town beach,  this home reflects the best traditions of gracious Virginia living.  With spacious formal rooms and seven bedrooms plus eight and a half baths,  there is plenty of room for private entertaining or it could be returned to its  B&B status.  The stately entry foyer features the original ceiling medallion with light fixture and original leaded glass windows.  Wood floors have been beautifully restored and the 12 inch baseboards have top and bottom shoe molding.  The large dining room is light -filled and simply spectacular with four floor-to-ceiling windows,  original ceiling medallion and gasolier chandelier.   Original carved  fireplace mantel adorns the gas-converted  fireplace in the spacious living room which also features pocket doors.   Warm and cheerful,  the   gourmet kitchen features  Wolf range, Viking hood and  side by side refrigerator– everything you would need to fix a fabulous crab au gratin with your fresh- from- the- Chesapeake-  Bay lump blue crab.   Large Butler’s Pantry,  plenty of  storage.  

Go Green- Slip Over To The Marina Just Five Minutes Away In An Electric Golf Cart

Outside,  a lovely wisteria-covered pergola and a hot tub as well as a  detached office with a sleeping loft create private spaces for work and leisure.   Located on a corner lot in the Cape Charles Historic District,  this gracious, lovingly restored home is but a short stroll to the beach and a quick golf cart ride to the two marinas,  Palmer or Nicklaus  golf, little  shops,  art galleries,  the Palace Theatre and fine and casual dining.  Could it get any better ?  So  get ready to live the sweet beach life in the romantic ambience of  yesteryear.  Priced at $599,995.  ( For more information on real estate and historic homes for sale on Virginia’s Eastern Shore,  click on the  “historic home  listings”  section of  the  Blue Heron Realty Co.  website   www.blueheronva.com  .

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