MILLWOOD — Long Branch Celebrated Abode and Acreage is accessible from aurora to dark for anyone who wants to airing its grounds, adore its celebrated home and adore its amazing vistas.
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“We appetite the association to anticipate of Long Branch as its home and the acreage as its backyard,” said Anne Williams, who was called admiral of the nonprofit organization’s 13-member lath of admiral in October 2017. Williams, 36, grew up in Clarke County, lives in White Post and is the Clarke Canton commonwealth’s attorney.
The Long Branch acreage is about 400 acreage of agronomical acreage preserved consistently through the county’s attention alleviation program. It has 14 afar of four-board fence, a 3-acre pond abounding for catch-and-release fishing and a 1-mile-long driveway — Long Branch Lane — that runs through the acreage from south to north.
It has a 23-stall horse barn, bristles altercation sheds, two hay sheds, a shop, two garages and two addressee houses.
Its capital attractions are the arresting angle of rolling countryside, area advised by the acclaimed English anniversary arranger Sheila Macqueen and its Greek Revival abode that developed about a hipped-roof, Federal-style home complete in 1811 and added assimilate over the years.
As is generally the case with acceptable friends, visitors frequently use the aback door, accession at the arctic end of Long Branch Lane forth Nelson Road (Route 626). The absolute advanced aperture faces south, and the driveway from Borden Spring Road (Route 622) offers a appearance of the home alike added beauteous than that on the arctic side.
Equestrian Stephen Bradley, a three-day accident addition and trainer who has represented the United States in all-embracing competition, including the Olympic Games, rents and operates the 23-stall stable.
Millwood-based Angus agriculturalist Todd Stotler leases acreage at Long Branch for some cattle, and the owners of 73 aged horses pay lath so their horses can alive out their canicule at Long Branch’s equine retirement facility.
Joe “BJ” Lewis has been the Long Branch acreage administrator for 29 years and oversees aggregate except Bradley’s abiding and the Angus cattle.
“I adulation this place. I adulation aggregate about it,” said Lewis recently, animated and gesturing to the angle with his accoutrements widespread.
“We accept the better two-bedroom home in the county,” Williams added with a laugh.
Indeed, the 10,000-square-foot Long Branch abode is big, but by architecture it is meant to serve as a abode for weddings, business meetings, educational programs, association gatherings and celebrations. Rooms accept been acclimatized and accoutrement can be confused to lath altered needs.
While some celebrated backdrop such as about 1750s Clermont Acreage in Berryville strive for aeon accuracy, others, like Long Branch, accede renovations fabricated over the years and certificate changes for approaching generations.
Robert Carter Burwell began architecture Long Branch in 1806, according to Clarke Canton Historical Association documentation. Burwell solicited architecture admonition from Benjamin Latrobe, one of the architects of the U.S. Capitol. The Flemish-bond, hand-pressed, brick abode was not accomplished aback Burwell larboard to serve in the War of 1812. He became ill and died while away, abrogation Long Branch to his sister Sarah and her bedmate Philip Nelson, who connected construction.
In 1842, Long Branch was purchased by Nelson’s nephew Hugh Mortimer Nelson who, forth with his wife Adelaide, fabricated cogent changes to Long Branch. They amid the east addition arcade — a allowance with one or added accessible sides, such as an accomplished — and removed the aboriginal staircase, replacing it with a blind circling access that exists today.
In 1862, the acreage anesthetized to Hugh Mortimer Nelson Jr., who installed calm accouterments and two bathrooms.
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In the 1950s, Nelson brood awash Long Branch to Abram and Dorothy Hewitt, of New York. They fabricated some aliment and laid the accurate attic in the basement afore affairs the acreage to Norman Hicks, of Texas, in 1977, aback the abode bare above repairs.
Hicks anon awash the property, and its new owners were an absentee conglomerate, according to the Clarke Canton Historical Association, and Long Branch fell added into disrepair.
Long Branch was assuredly auctioned on the Clarke Canton courthouse accomplish in 1986. Harry Z. Isaacs, an baron and horseman from Baltimore County, Md., bought the acreage for $1.3 million. He again began an all-encompassing advance that included abacus a west addition to mirror the absolute east wing.
Restorations and additions took two years. The aboriginal woodwork was restored, and 10 of the eleven fireplaces were put aback into alive order. The home retained its widow’s walk, admirable aerial staircase, 12- and 10-foot-tall ceilings and its aboriginal affection ache flooring.
Long Branch was placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1968 and the National Register of Celebrated Places in 1969, which speaks to its significance, said Maral Kalbian, a Clarke County-based architectural historian and adviser who works for the county.
“It’s an amazing architecture and absolutely absorbing architecturally because of all the changes and additions,” Kalbian said. “With anniversary buyer came changes, and that’s allotment of its history, allotment of its story.”
For instance, accessory woodwork and trim throughout the abode was based on arrangement books. Craftsmen couldn’t go to see assignment actuality done in absent cities and countries, so architects such as Minard Lafever created arrangement books. Much of the woodwork in the Long Branch home is based on Lafever’s arrangement books — “The Modern Builders Guide” (1853) and “The Beauties of Modern Architecture” (1835).
Kalbian acclaimed that admitting architecture changes, Long Branch maintains a lot of its aboriginal construction, including the aboriginal copse shingles that are beneath the accepted roof.
“And what accurate a abode like that? Agriculture. The acreage is the same, and that’s important,” Kalbian said.
What’s missing, she said, are a lot of the aboriginal outbuildings that were capital to the farm. “There’s abeyant to do a lot [of] archaeological abstraction at Long Branch. There’s additionally abeyant to do acrylic assay to actuate the aboriginal colors in the home,” Kalbian said.
“There is an befalling to absolutely let the history of the acreage adviser its interpretation.”
Today, Long Branch is endemic by the Harry Z. Isaacs Foundation Inc. in Baltimore, which is managed by advisers Michael Hankins as able-bodied as Harry “Bunny” Benham and Thomas Gilpin.
The foundation has a assignment to ensure the acreage is appropriately managed and maintained, Williams explained, acquainted Hankins, Benham and Gilpin accumulate in acquaintance with the Long Branch Celebrated Abode and Acreage lath of admiral and occasionally arrangement the farm.
The foundation provides a baby award for Long Branch Celebrated Abode and Farm, which is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit alignment focused on befitting the acreage basic and independent for the amusement of Clarke association and tourists.
Long Branch Celebrated Abode and Acreage is managed by its lath of directors: Admiral Williams, carnality admiral Randy Buckley, secretary Doris Stimpson, broker Cary Embury, abettor broker Susi Bailey and lath associates Andy Ferrari, Alicia Lewis, Althea “Robin” Richards, Lionel Chisholm, Melanie Hitchen, Lauren Cummings, Michael Williams and Immy Glaize.
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Two emeritus associates are Caroline Roberts and Mrs. M. Tyson Gilpin.
Williams said the anniversary operating account to advance Long Branch is about $400,000.
Longtime association anamnesis aback Long Branch hosted abundant big fundraising contest anniversary year, including an anniversary hot air airship anniversary captivated in the abatement for 16 years. The aftermost one was in 2010.
“Weather was consistently the better factor,” Williams said, acquainted altitude charge be aloof appropriate for hot air balloons to booty flight. She said there were huge costs associated with the event, including insurance, permits and security.
“It amount about $100,000 to put on the accident and, in a acceptable year, [Long Branch] would gross $200,000,” said acreage administrator Lewis.
“We can’t define one specific acumen that led to abandoning the airship festival,” Williams said. “Were there complaints from owners of livestock that the balloons agitated their animals? Yes. But, there were added issues.”
Board affiliate Susi Bailey added, “There were challenges and misunderstandings. Things we appetite to correct. Our ambition now is to host added family-friendly events.”
Members of the Long Branch Celebrated Abode and Acreage lath of admiral serve three-year agreement afore they charge footfall bottomward for at atomic a year. Clarke Canton built-in Bailey has served on the lath back the aboriginal 1990s, demography the appropriate time off amid terms.
“I appetite to see [Long Branch] be a association accident abode area bodies feel welcomed,” she said.
The absolute 13-member lath is committed to that idea.
Many associates are almost new to the board, and it is Williams’ aboriginal appellation as president. So, aftermost fall, the lath aggregate at Long Branch for a retreat to focus on its eyes for the future.
From the retreat came the abstraction to advance Long Branch as a association acquisition spot. “Everyone on the lath is on the aforementioned page,” Bailey said. “We appetite to bottle and advance the celebrated abode and acreage for the year-round account of Clarke Canton association and others.”
Long Branch Celebrated Abode and Acreage will abide to host its anniversary Easter Egg Hunt, Morning with Santa for the association and its address series.
The acreage will abide to be busy for contest such as the Old Dominion Kennel Club dog appearance and clandestine functions such as weddings.
“Long Branch is the affectionate of abode area you can be as artistic as the abode and area permit,” Williams said. “If an alignment came in and capital to host a anniversary of some kind, we’d say, ‘Great.’”
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What’s missing appropriate now at Long Branch is an controlling director. Lewis and an abettor administer the farm. Lath members, a few part-time advisers and volunteers handle added tasks, including accounting work.
But Long Branch has been activity afterwards an controlling administrator for added than three years. The aftermost Long Branch controlling director, Nicholas Redding, served two years afore accepting a position with Preservation Maryland in September 2014.
The lath of admiral is absolute a chase for a new controlling director, and Williams expects an advertisement to be fabricated in backward February with a March 1 alpha date.
“It will booty a appropriate being to be all that Long Branch requires,” Williams said. Responsibilities lath fundraising, accident planning, analogous third-party rentals and giving tours by appointment.
Weddings are handled separately; Long Branch has a arrangement with a bells planner.
The abode is carefully dispersed to lath a advanced array of events.
“Mr. Isaac furnished the abode to his liking. Unfortunately, he died afore he could adore it,” Bailey said.
Previous boards awash Isaacs’ accoutrement and planned to ample the abode with aeon pieces.
“That did not assignment able-bodied for us,” Williams said. “We can’t allow to ample the abode with big-ticket aeon pieces. We appetite bodies to be adequate here.”
Comfortable and admiring of a alive farm.
Lewis asks those who appetite to angle in the Long Branch pond to acquaintance him first. Additionally, dog owners should apple-pie up afterwards their pets, and visitors charge break out of the fields that accommodate livestock.
“It’s a abundant abstraction to allure the accessible to see a arresting allotment of property,” Kalbian said. “There’s history at Long Branch that will address to abounding bodies … architectural history, African-American history and the adventure of apprenticed people. Long Branch is additionally an archetype of the axial role of women. During the Civil War, it was women who were larboard to administer these estates.”
Indeed, Long Branch is an absurd association resource.
“At our lath of admiral retreat, we created a new three-year cardinal plan for Long Branch, which begins this year,” Williams said. “The eyes of the lath is that aural three years the association will anticipate of the Long Branch abode as its active room, the area as its backyard and our admirable angle as a accessible trust.”
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