This is another reader requested beauty. Bren asked me if I could put together a post on the historic home where her mother was once a docent.
Thistle Hill is located on a prominent crest in Fort Worth, Texas. Bren spent a lot of time there as a youngster and has some stories to tell. Bren also generously let me use some of her personal photos of the house.
Thistle Hill is a magnificent brick Georgian Revival style house built between 1903-1904. The home was commissioned by wealthy cattle baron William Thomas (“Tom”) Waggoner as a wedding gift for his daughter Electra (Waggoner) Wharton. It was Electra who named the home “Thistle Hill”.
Interestingly, the house was originally built in a Colonial style but after it was sold in 1911, the new owner decided to renovate the not-even-a-decade-old house and added major Georgian Revival architectural elements.
Today Thistle Hill is used as a venue for weddings and special events. Their tag-line is:
“Experience the luxurious Cattle Baron lifestyle within the walls of Fort Worth’s first landmark”
The main house is 11,000 square feet and has 18 rooms. In the early 1900′s it cost around $45,000 to build. Though it has not been used as a private residence for decades, there have long been rumors of apparitions of the original occupants who supposedly still haunt the house.
The handsome structure is impeccably well-kept today, but that wasn’t always the case.
On a cold mid-November night in 1959, this unassuming farmhouse in rural Kansas was the location of the brutal murders of 4 members of the Clutter family.
The case – and the house – became infamous after flamboyant American writer Truman Capote took an interest in the homicides and decided to visit the small town where the crime took place in Holcomb, Kansas.
Capote was so taken with the murders that he embarked on a 6 year-long journey of chronicling the story and the capture, prosecution, & execution of the perpetrators Richard “Dick” Hickock and Perry Edward Smith.
Capote’s odyssey resulted in his opus magnum: In Cold Blood, which later became a major motion picture in 1967.
The house at the center of it all sits at the end of Oak Street on 7 acres of pastoral farmland.
The original farmstead was called “River Valley Farm” and locals still refer to the property as such. The current 2-story farmhouse was built in 1948 for $40,000 by Herb Clutter in order to house his family of six.
If you haven’t read the book or seen the original movie about the Clutter murders (or the more recent 2005 Hollywood film Capote), let me fill you in on the crime.
This modern castle is located in Sedro Woolley, Washington and has been on the market since 2008.
It is one of those very unique properties having trouble finding that “special someone” to buy it.
The price is now down to $895,000 and that is a pretty swell deal because not only do you get a lovely 3,000 square foot castle, but also 20 acres of lush, west coast rain forest including a year-round creek.
Cross the creek via your own private drawbridge and enter into your castle!
The Biltmore. You’ve all heard of the place. It is the largest privately owned house in the United States. But how many people have actually been inside of it?
Me neither…. but I know a couple of people who have!
So let’s have a look-see at this very famous and very large home near Asheville, North Carolina.
How large, you ask?
175,000 square feet
That’s hard to even fathom for us mere mortals, but 175,000 square feet is supposedly the size of 88 average-sized single family homes. [source]
The Biltmore Estate was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II at the height of the Gilded Age between the years 1889 and 1895. George was the youngest son of railroad magnate William Henry Vanderbilt. In fact, George was prompted to commission the Biltmore after his elder siblings each had grand summer homes made for them in New Port and Hyde Park.
So it is true that the largest house in America is the result of some serious sibling rivalry.
One more little cabin for all you tiny house lovers out there.
Blue Moon Rising is actually a vacation cabin rental business in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Their specialty is cabins built from recycled, vintage and eco-friendly materials. Several cabins are located on the lakeside lot but this cutie caught my eye – her name is “Kaya”.
“Kaya” has the whole Blue Moon theme going inside and out, starting with that crescent curve over the porch.
The interior is just as blue-moon-y. There’s no other way to describe it.
Walls, floor, ceiling, doors, and windows are derived from old house and barn parts.