Tall order

ASKING: $299,000
SIZE: 1,800 square feet
ADDRESS: 1749 Rock Quarry Road
NEIGHBORHOOD: Zion Crossroads
CURB APPEAL: 6 out of a possible 10
LISTED BY: Deborah Murdock of McLean Faulconer Inc., 434-295-1131

With a heady name like Zion Crossroads, one would expect something more than a few boarded-up and overgrown shacks. But driving through that Louisa County intersection, you don’t see much more than that. It’s a blink-and-you-missed-it kind of place… another wayside town laid waste by a nearby highway. Nevertheless, the land is lush with established trees, and the driving is easy.
Tucked away, a short distance behind this ghost town lies the Historic Green Springs District. When the district was established in 1974 landowners were asked if they’d like to protect the land voluntarily under an historic easement. Many agreed, and now 10,000 of the 14,000 acres are in the landmark district preventing division rights on 50 acres or less.
The entrance driveway of this week’s house gives little hint of what to expect. Beautifully fenced paddocks line the gravel road; occasionally we get a glimpse of a roof above the tree line. As we round a curve, the house jumps out like a jack-in-the-box: tall and slender behind a small copse of trees, with gray-stained cedar siding like an oversized bluebird’s house. Somehow it works, perhaps because of the statuesque trees that stand alongside.
Built in 1993, the house has a wide-open interior space, a “great room” with a 28-foot ceiling and triple-sash church windows that have an awe-inspiring effect appropriate in a place called “Meeting House Farm” for the Quakers who originally settled there. The privacy afforded by centering the house on 60 acres makes window treatments unnecessary, and the light at all times of day– and the moon and stars at night– can be viewed unobstructed.
A medium-sized kitchen takes up one corner– a large bathroom with claw foot tub another. A woodstove adds to the country ambience, and the ceiling fan probably keeps the heat from pocketing in the far-away ceiling.
Upstairs, the partially enclosed loft would appear to be the best spot for the master bedroom, but the proportions seem awkward after the spaciousness below. The attic above makes the ceiling appear to bear down on the sleeping area and almost obstruct the view out of the one window. But still, privacy in a bedroom is paramount. The rest of the space contains a walk-in closet.
Rounding out the living quarters, a full, finished basement with a separate exterior entrance could be turned into almost anything. Encompassing the length of the house down there are another bedroom, full bath, laundry facilities, and living area.
Outside does beckon from the huge windows, though, and it’s evidence of the reason people choose sites off the beaten track to build their dreams. Fruit trees and blueberry bushes, perennial flowers and vegetables are interwoven throughout the yard surrounding the house in colorful abundance.
The paddocks from the driveway continue around the back of the house, and the fencing’s in excellent condition. A mowed path through a wooded section leads to a Mediterranean-blue four-stall horse barn built at the same time as the house. This structure could easily accommodate more living space or office or play area depending on what future owners may need. Otherwise, it could be used for horses.
For the horse lover, this property has everything; for someone (or maybe two) who enjoys solitude but needs either access to Richmond or Charlottesville, it could fit the bill quite nicely.