The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Browsing Around - September, 1983

By Bob Heafner © 1983-2012

Issue: September, 1983

“BROWSING AROUND” is a regular feature of The Mountain Laurel. In this section we feature various pieces of real estate that are for sale in “The Heart of the Blue Ridge,” and we give some details and reasons why we find them particularly attractive. We do this out of editorial curiosity and neither The Mountain Laurel nor it’s staff have any interest in these properties and would decline any interest or compensation if offered. If you have or know of property for sale, whether you are an individual or a real estate company, that you think is unique or interesting, please let us know.

This month our Browsing around feature is a beautiful old farm near Meadows of Dan, Virginia. It is a portion of the Charlie Smith farm. Mr. Smith was born in 1900 and died in 1982. He built this house and lived in it for over 50 years. Mr. Smith was a blacksmith and his bellows and forge are still in the small shop he operated beside the old house. The property consists of approximately 35 acres with close to 1000 foot of road frontage on a dead end gravel state road. This road used to come out beside the Meadows of Dan Baptist Church but when the Blue Ridge Parkway was built in the 30’s, it was blocked off and dead ended. There are approximately 7 acres of meadow land and the remaining acres are wooded. There are apple trees, cherry trees and a plum tree along with raspberries and producing grape vines on the property.

The barn is a large old structure that has been covered with siding. Behind the home is a small log granary and the door hook and latches were made by Mr. Smith in his blacksmith shop. There is also an old building where Mr. Smith had a woodworking shop. He was noted for his wood and metal working abilities. The closest neighbors are Jerry and Eura Wood, who are both retired. They have a stool Mr. Smith made for Mrs. Wood to sit on while she ironed. It is still a testimony to his ability; it is as solid and sturdy as ever.

In the words of Mrs. Wood, who lived near the Smith’s for many years, “The Smith’s were as good a neighbors as anyone could ever have.”

Below the house, at the base of a huge maple tree, is the springhouse complete with a cooling trough for storing milk and butter. Now-a-days, there’s also a pump that delivers water to the house. Next to the springhouse is a native rock root cellar where canned goods were stored.

There are several other outbuildings on the property which served as a chicken house and for storage.

The home itself has three bedrooms, one bath, a living room and kitchen. The bathroom was a recent addition and the septic tank is fairly new. The house has a long front porch and all the charm an old farmhouse should have. There are wide board floors and built in cupboards that add to its country atmosphere. For someone wanting an old house with many possibilities for remodeling, this would be ideal. It is in a nice neighborhood, tucked just out of sight but surrounded by the best neighbors anyone could hope for. It’s not a very long walk to follow the old abandoned roadbed through the woods and across the Parkway to the shops at Meadows of Dan.

Like most places in these parts, the taxes are low and affordable. Mr. and Mrs. Trent Goad are the owners and they will accept a reasonable down payment and monthly or annual payments at an interest rate below current bank rates. The asking price is only $59,500.00. Anyone wishing to inspect this property should contact the Goads at (703) 789-4512 after 6:00 PM.

Maybe this is just the place you’ve always dreamed of owning in “The Heart of The Blue Ridge.”

browsing around 1Old log granary behind house. See photograph below for a close up of the handmade latches on it.

browsing around 4Close up of handmade latch on old log granary.

browsing around 3View of the old homestead from the road. The roof you see to the left of the house is old log building pictured above.  

browsing around 2Stool made by Charlie Smith.