A 111-year-old "romantic cottage" in Staunton, Va., restored at a cost of about $100,000, is open for public viewing during July, the Historic Staunton Foundation announced.
The Barnas Sears house, named for an educator who lived there from 1867 to 1890, is to be sold next month, with the proceeds going toward further restoration in the area, said Frank R. Pancake, foundation president. He said the group hopes to sell the house for $170,000.
The house, a few blocks from the boyhood home of President Woodrow Wilson, was built by Dr. Robert Madison, who sold it to Sears a year after completing it.
The house was on land the city bought for a park 50 years ago, Pancake said. Leased out for a number of years, it was vacant more recently, occupied occasionally by "transient winos." A preservation committee bought it a few years ago and gave it to the non-profit foundation.
"The house has been recognized as a U.S. and Virginia historical building worth preserving," said Pancake, a retired military officer who teaches political science at Staunton's Mary Baldwin College.
Pancake said that his foundation raised $20,000 among members and friends and got a $30,000 grant from the Department of Interior to begin the restoration. Additional funds were borrowed to complete the restoration of the board-and-batten house that sits on a hilltop overlooking the small city and part of the Shenandoah Valley. "The view is superb when the trees are leafless," said Pancake.