ELMHURST HISTORIC HOME – 5 /- ACRES
WELCOME TO ELMHURST
Elmhurst is situated on 24 acres of beautiful bottomland located on the banks of the Greenbrier River and Howards Creek. Built in 1824, Elmhurst is a lovey brick home nestled in a peaceful setting. The Greenbrier River is the last undammed river east of the Mississippi and Howards Creek is one of the better known trout streams in the state. Elmhurst is just a 5 minutes drive to historic Lewisburg and to the world renowned Greenbrier Resort.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF ELMHURST
When you step through the two-story portico and white columns of Elmhurst, across the threshold and into the bright, airy foyer, a sense of history caroms through this nearly 200-year old historic property.
The history of the town of Caldwell itself traces back to this once inn and tavern. Built in 1824 on the banks of The Greenbrier River, Elmhurst was the creation of one Henry B. Hunter. A new toll bridge had recently replaced a ferry crossing and Hunter had the keen sense to take advantage of the necessary stop toll=payer would have to make.
That, coupled with the inn’s tree-shaded, peaceful setting along the banks of the confluence of The Greenbrier River and Howard’s Creek, meant Elmhurst quickly became a busy stayover on the old stage and wagon road. With style and panache rarely seen in early 19th-century inns, Elmhurst managed to attract a number of travellers looking visit some of the pastoral countryside and mineral springs the area was so well-known for enjoying. In fact, registry records show that Martin Van Buren and his Secretary of War were guests here in 1837.
John North purchased the property in the mid 1800s, and presented the tavern to his daughter Isabelle and her new husband James Caldwell in 1851. After the Battle of Lewisburg in 1862, Confederate General Henry Heth withdrew his forces across the Greenbrier, burned the toll bridge into its chilly spring waters, and set up gun emplacements and trenches near the home. In 1864, Isabelle became gravely ill and her illness prevented Federal Forces from evacuating the entire property. The officers even went to the lengths of having an Army surgeon confirm that moving the family member would inevitably cause her death. Legend has it that the family had just enough advanced notice to hide their most prized possessions, including burying the silverware beneath the dirt floor of the poultry house, which still stands in the yard today.
In notes by the U.S. Department of the Interior, when presenting the property to the National Registry of Historic Properties, the author writes, “It was the existence of inns like Elmhurst that made travel a bit more pleasant. This helped in its own way in the development of commerce between east and west…and stages needed a [lace to stop and change horses while giving their passengers a place to rest and have a meal. Elmhurst admirably satisfied these, and the house attracted well-known people to the “picnic parties” held there by guests from the nearby Old White Hotel.”
Ironically, it was this very development that Elmhurst helped to foster that ultimately led to its decline. With the emphasis shifting from roads to rail, particularly through the rugged Allegheny Mountains, came a slow demise to the once bustling business of roadside inns.
The property shifted through a number of owners over the years when Emil Cadle purchased the property in 2011 and began the two year restoration of Elmhurst.
These first impressions of Elmhurst are indeed warranted—its aged red brick exterior, the symmetry of its construction, the decorative front door with reeded pilasters flanking it sides and the arched overlight with filigree designs of ovals, circles and diamonds.
Another unique feature of Elmhurst is the knee-high, hand-stacked stonewall that fronts the home and opens to the narrow pathway that leads to its entrance. With the deep-set door beneath a portico supported by four square columns and capped by an ornamental steeped gable, the front of the home is both stately and elegant in its symmetry and proportion. Two high chimneys appoint both the western and eastern flanks of the home, adding a touch of gothic to this otherwise Georgian masterpiece.
Upon entering the home you’ll find wide-plank, heart pine floors throughout the first level—a “double-pile” layout with a wide central hall and two large rooms opening on each side. A carved staircase leads to a number of rooms on the second level that work and wind their way to the back of the home, which presents a layout more attuned to farmhouses of the surrounding countryside.
Although some of Elmhurst’s rooms have been partitioned to include bathrooms and other modern amenities, the overall integrity of the design remains intact, and the structure sits mostly as has for the past 180 years.
The original kitchen sat detached from the home, as was typical for safety reasons in earlier times. Once the old kitchen was integrated into the rest of the home, this area became the servants’ quarters. Today, the kitchen features solid cabinetry, an apron-front farm sink, hand hewn exposed oak beams, and a beautiful view out to the eastern side of the property.
Hand-carved mantels and other woodwork throughout the home are exquisite and represent the attention to detail often found in such craftsmanship of the 19th-century.
The home sits on a 24 acre parcel of land that borders both The Greenbrier River and Howard’s Creek and is dotted with a number of walnuts, oaks, sugar maples and sycamores.
Finches and jays fly about with no thought of the Midland Trail that carries traffic between Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs only 40 yards away.
|Lot Size:||5 Acres|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Location:||Lewisburg, WV 24901|
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