by D'Ann Mateer
My husband and I love old houses. We love touring them. We dream of living in them. Big or small, city or country, doesn’t matter much to us—as long as they have a history.
Of course we are destined never to live in any of our dream houses. For one thing, we are not handy. At. All. Nada. Zilch. My husband I both wield words. We work with our heads. So that means in order for us to actually live in a historic home, it would either have to be already restored (read: expensive) or we’d have to pay someone to restore it (read: expensive.) See what I mean?
So we content ourselves with tours. Just in case you share our penchant for old homes, here are some of our favorites:
Amazing house. It even survived the devastating hurricane of 1900.
The Beauregard Keyes House, New Orleans, LA
Ok, so not only did this house have cool Civil War history, it also housed a writer, Frances Parkinson Keyes, in later years. After touring the house, I read one of her books. Now I’ve read many and I’m a huge fan! You can’t beat finding a house and an author in one trip!
The Teddy Roosevelt Birthplace, New York City
Like many presidential homes, this is run by the National Park Service. Not only is it the house, but they also have a “museum” that not only tells about the life of Teddy Roosevelt and has some cool memorabilia.
John and Abigail Adams’s home, Braintree, MA
Yes, presidential homes are among our favorites!
Madewood Plantation, Napoleonville, LA
This house is also a B&B. What we love about this house is that it not only has a great history, it is not maintained as a “showpiece.” Staying there is truly the experience of living in such a house in days gone by.
And then there is the very most favorite house I’ve ever been in: Blenheim Palace, Oxforshire, England
Need I say more? Of course I didn’t get to tour Buckingham Palace, and Windsor Palace was pretty awesome, too, but they herded us out before we saw the whole thing due to a fire alarm going off! No can ever say I dream too small!
Of course these are just the ones I can remember. There are still so many more—like The Hermitage and Mount Vernon and Oak Alley and Laura Plantation and the numerous local historic homes whose occupants didn’t go one to live in the White House. I have yet to tour the old plantation homes of the deep South. That’s on my list of things to do eventually.
When our kids are grown, we’d really love to live in an old house—or at least a new one made to look old! For now, we’ll be content in our very ordinary home. But whenever we travel, even to some small place, we look for other homes to tour, to add those of our dreams.
So what about you? Do you enjoy looking at houses? Old ones or new ones? Do you live in your dream house or is your dream house one that will remain forever in your dreams?