The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

Browsing Around - Azeleadale

By Bob Heafner © 1983-2012

Issue: May, 1983

azeleadale 1Front view of "Azeleadale", the Dr. Thomas W. Worrell estate.While browsing around this month, I ran across one of those “one-of-a-kind, makes your mouth water, want to buy,” kind of places. It’s the Dr. Thomas W. Worrell estate, “Azeleadale,” located in Carroll County, near Fancy Gap, Virginia. It features 62.5 acres of land, a two story, brick colonial home which has ten rooms, two guest cottages, a three car garage and a picturesque pond. This area is almost completely shaded by huge towering white pines, along with an occasional maple or hemlock. Large English boxwoods line the brick walkway leading to the rear entrance and large rhododendrons are scattered about, along with azaleas and a ground cover of periwinkle, over much of the area behind the home.

The slate roof and white shutters add the perfect compliment to the dark red colonial brick. The interior is an exhibition of the type of quality master craftsmen try to achieve. Most of the first floor has walnut wainscoting, along with solid walnut six panel colonial doors, complete with solid brass, individually keyed locks. As if this isn’t enough, the windows and doors are trimmed with solid walnut and both the fireplace in the formal dining room and the one in the living room have solid walnut mantels.

azeleadale 2Rear view of "Azeleadale" from one of the guest cottages.The main house was built in 1933 by Dr. Worrell and as he planned the construction, he often traded his medical fees for walnut trees owned by his patients in order to acquire enough walnut lumber for this home. The lead glass chandelier in the dining room was bought in Paris when Dr. and Mrs. Worrell were vacationing. The breakfast room adjoining the kitchen has a beautiful view of the rear grounds and overlooks the pond. The first floor has, in addition to the dining room, living room, and breakfast room, a large kitchen with a pantry, a sitting room adjoining the living room, a rear entrance foyer, a mud room adjoining the kitchen which has an elevator that’s in good condition and a beautiful front entrance foyer. The front foyer is highlighted by a beautiful stairway and landing leading to the second floor. The handrail and pickets are all solid walnut.

On the second floor, there are four bedrooms, one of which has a large adjoining dressing room with double closets. All closets are lined with native red cedar. One of the bedrooms has bookcases built in and private access to the upstairs balcony, which overlooks the shaded lawn that used to serve as Dr. Worrell’s croquet ground.

azeleadale 3View of Dr. Worrell house as seen from the fish pond.The attic is floored and sealed and has roughed in plumbing, should the owner ever decide to install a third bathroom. The present owners use it only for storage. Access is by a disappearing stairway.

The home has over 3,400 square feet of floor space (not including the basement and attic.) The oil furnace is located in the basement. When Dr. Worrell had the house built, there was no fire department close by so he installed an automatic sprinkler system in the furnace room in case the furnace should ever malfunction.

This house not only was well built, it has been well maintained. In the last few years it has had a new septic system installed, a new pump and it has had additional insulation installed.

One of the guest cottages has a full length screened-in porch which overlooks the pond. This cottage has two bedrooms, one bath, a storage room and a kitchenette. It has a fireplace and an oil furnace. The other guest cottage is located adjacent to the driveway and at one time, was Dr. Worrell’s office. It has a kitchen, living room, bath and one bedroom.

azeleadale 4One of the two guest cottages on the Dr. Worrell estate.The property has approximately one fourth mile of road frontage and the home is situated near the center of the estate for protection and privacy. A large stream winds through the middle of the entire tract and yes, it has native trout. The property taxes are typical of this area and are only $598.00 per year. The current owners, R.B. and Betty Cooley are offering this property for sale and the asking price is $135,000. They ask that anyone interested, please contact their agent, Bracky Rogers of Rogers Realty. His telephone number is (919) 789-2926. The Cooleys will assist in financing if necessary.

I regret that space would not permit a description of many of the other features of this property but if you’re in the market for a home that’s a notch above average, in quality and beauty, you should definitely take a look at this beautiful, old southern estate.