Published: Sep 12, 2011 05:13 PM
Modified: Sep 12, 2011 05:15 PM
There is a Williamsburg-style house sitting in the middle of 10 acres of white oaks and pines just south of Hillsborough where a historic stage coach trail once connected the colonies. Almost an acre is cleared around the house, allowing for vegetable, herb and flower gardens behind picket fences, so reminiscent of Colonial Williamsburg.
The headwaters of New Hope creek border three-quarters of the property. Water falls over the stone creek bed and into a small pond that attracts frogs and wildlife. Youll see glimpses of the gurgling falls as you come up the driveway.
When Stan and Janet Forrest Dicks drove up that driveway 14 years ago, the New Jersey transplants say that they fell in love with the property.
"For me, the property really has a sense of place," Forrest Dicks said. "When I first saw it, I was reminded of Jim Nollmans book Why We Garden, where he talks about cultivating a sense of place. The stage coach trail runs through the property and the grand white oak trees and prehistoric boulders at the creek bed and quartz that pops up out of the ground and all of that creates a sense of place here. So much so that weve taken only one vacation in 14 years because I always say, when you live in paradise why go elsewhere."
"When we walked into the kitchen I said, "Get out the offer sheet," Dicks said. "The overhead beams and Williamsburg fireplace and heart pine floors I loved the property, but when I walked into that room, well that clinched it for me. I love sitting in there on a cold winter evening its almost like youve gone back to Williamsburg."
The front of the house faces south. The kitchen, living room and master bedroom have views of both the front flower gardens and the back where there are more flowers, a large picnic area with Adirondack chairs, picnic table and fire pit. The backyard also has the homes old well house, a purple butterfly bush and the old stage coach path into the forest.
Dicks says he also enjoys walking his dog twice a day to a little pond by the driveway which leads down the creek to the waterfalls. "It is fun to see the creek flowing, watching the frogs jumping in and out of the pond," Dicks said.
"The stars are brighter, and the bugs are louder, and you can sit on the patio and look into the forest without competing noises," Forrest Dicks said. "You can see hummingbirds, bees and butterflies on the bee balm bordering the patio. You can see the tufted titmouse, cardinals and finches from the living room where you are within feet of what is going on in the bird feeder. One year we had a mother dove park her baby within 15 feet of the house. The baby would rotate a quarter turn waiting for its mother. And at dusk, the mother dove came and got her baby back. It was such a special thing to watch."
Herbs and vegetables grow in the fenced gardens, and a ton of pickles and tomatoes have been canned and stored in the basement where there is a storage space within the utility room area adjacent the family room.
The couple says that the trees are absolutely glorious majestic white oaks that have been here since the stage coach rolled through. The trees really do help define the specialness of this place, Forrest Dicks said.
They say they have enjoyed sharing their little slice of nature with seven of their grandchildren who live in the Triangle.
"It is fun to watch them engage in nature and name the lizards and skip rocks and chase lightning bugs," Forrest Dicks said. "We had a camp out a couple of weeks ago and pitched tents in the backyard and slept outside that night and told ghost stories."
Children living in this house would attend Orange County Schools: Grady Brown Elementary, A.L. Stanback Middle School and Cedar Ridge High School.
As peaceful as their woods are, the property is almost as short a drive to Carrboro and Chapel Hill as it is to Hillsborough. Stan and Janet take Old 86 to Fayetteville Road when going to Chapel Hill. Stan and his 95-year-old father, who lives in Chapel Hill, attend UNC football games. Stan teaches technical communication at NC State University. Janet is a physician recruiter for Physician Search of Chapel Hill.
Although the property is convenient, the Dicks say it is time for them to face retirement and cut back both physically and financially to get ready for the next stage of their lives. They say they plan to stay in the area and downsize to a smaller place.
Therefore, the 2,671-square-foot house built in 1978 at 4941 Boulder Run Road is being offered at $479,000 by listing agent Kathy Underhill (919-618-5692) of Holleran Real Estate and Consulting LLC. To see the property tour and get a feel for it go to www.seetheproperty.com/76646.
This is an unusual house, Forrest Dicks said. The rooms are not palatial it is reminiscent of a different time and has a center hall bath and the focus is really on living comfortably. The Dicks use two of the bedrooms as office and hobby spaces. The private office on the main floor has a private bath and could be used as a master bedroom. This room has ample closet space and a lovely Rumford fireplace. The hobby room at the end of the hall is smaller, but also has a Rumford fireplace. The upstairs master bedroom and adjacent dressing room both have Rumford fireplaces.
When you add the kitchen and living room fireplaces, the house has a total of six fireplaces. The mature hardwoods naturally drop enough limbs to provide a constant source of firewood. Like all Colonial two-story homes, the curved stairwell forces heat to flow up to the bedrooms. For more information about Rumford fireplaces, there is an informative article by the Buckley Rumford Company at www.rumford.com click on "What is a Rumford fireplace anyway?"Sally Keeney can be reached at email@example.com or 919-942-1027.
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