c. 1700 Colonial
Magnolia on East River
Magnolia is an early planter's home with clapboard siding and cedar shake roof in Mathews, VA. Privately situated on the pristine East River, Magnolia and its pastoral grounds were featured on the Virginia Garden Week Tour in 2013.
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Agent Contact Information
Jim & Pat Carter Real Estate, Inc.
Chesapeake Bay Office
16945 General Puller Highway
Deltaville, VA 23043
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Magnolia Tidewater Home with Warm and Gentle Appeal
Magnolia is thought to be one of Mathews, Virginia’s earliest homes. The land traces its beginnings back to a patent to William Armistead in 1635. By 1651, the patent was in Philip Hunley’s name.
Although the Mathews County property record lists 1700 as the date of Magnolia,the home has traditionally been known as a 17th century homestead attributed to Philip Hunley. Notably, during recent renovations by John England, a highly regarded contractor in historic restoration, a whole tree was seen that runs the entire length of the oldest part of the house serving as the sill. Numerous brick piers of varying ages are evident under the house. Loblolly pine floor boards which run the length of the main block on the first floor suggest it was one room.
While the history of the house is impossible to know definitively because some of Mathews County’s historical records were lost, interesting newspaper articles with anecdotes and eulogies pertaining to the Hunley family and Magnolia have survived. Magnolia has evolved and changed through generations and centuries from its early and simple existence into a gracious, well loved Tidewater home with warm and gentle appeal.
Today, Magnolia encompasses approximately 51 acres (nine parcels). The home is privately situated with 1,100 feet of shoreline on the East River, noted for centuries, as the most navigable river in the area for shipping and commerce.
In the 1800’s, this strikingly beautiful river was also used as a passage for learning. Children were transported by boat across the East River to school at Magnolia. Several children of Reverend Thomas Muse Hunley, a Methodist minister who owned Magnolia, were teachers while they lived there. The 18th century schoolhouse which served the property then was eventually connected to Magnolia, and this charming wing now serves as a first floor bedroom/study with studio above.
A focal point of Magnolia is the river room and kitchen featuring floor to ceiling windows and a beautifully finished, reclaimed, heart pine floor. Over the past few years, Magnolia was extensively renovated and upgraded by John England, a master contractor of older homes. His collaboration with a regional architect to incorporate today's conveniences into the historic fabric of Magnolia resulted in an exceptionally comfortable and functional home.
Dependencies include a 2.5 bay cedar sided carriage house with loft, and a large barn with work room, studio, open area, two equine stalls and paddock. A reproduction dairy house encloses a 20kW generator, and a guest cottage with screened porch, features one bedroom, full bath, front room, media room and kitchen. A dock on the East River has two deep water boat slips, water and electricity, and a spring fed pond is located near the brick pillar entrance. In 2013, Magnolia was open to the public for the Virginia Historic Garden Week Tour.
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