Distinguished homes for sale in the D.C. region

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Victorian farmhouse | The Victorian farmhouse was built circa 1899, added onto in 1920 and restored in 1961.The nearly 10-acre property is listed at just under $1.8 million. (Jeff Dunlap)

In 1961, when John and Belle Ware bought this Victorian farmhouse near downtown Hillsboro, Va., in Loudoun County, it had seen better days. But they were determined to restore it to its former glory.

“They worked on it for a year before we moved in,” said their son Mark Ware. “Then they continued . . . restoring the house, getting it back to its original Victorian [style].”

The Wares were active in the Hillsboro community and in historical preservation. John, who died in 2007, was president of the Hillsboro Community Association. Belle, who died in 2018, was a founding member of what is now the Short Hill Historical Society and helped save the Old Stone School from demolition. She also served on the Hillsboro Town Council, and as treasurer and vice mayor.

Although tax records indicate the house was built in 1903, Mark said his family was told that construction was started in 1899 and completed in 1900. The house was added to in 1920. Mark also said the Wares are the third family to own the house.

Previous owners had divided the house into a duplex. The Wares turned it back into a single-family home, keeping many of the historical details, such as the newel posts on the stairs, and making period-appropriate additions where they could. Over the years, they extended the porch so that it wrapped around the house. The electrical system was upgraded in 2010. The chimneys were recently relined.

An iron gate in the stone fence that encloses the yard welcomes visitors to the house. The ornamental millwork on the porch gives the house its Victorian character. One of the sitting rooms has a brick fireplace with a decorative mantel. Another sitting room on the main floor has a brick accent wall with a cast-iron stove. The kitchen has rustic wood beams that stretch across the ceiling. The house, which is in the Hillsboro Historic District, has been featured on the Hillsboro Historic Homes Tour.

The nearly 10-acre property was once a horse farm. It has several freshwater springs. One of them feeds the large pond, which has a small dock and at one point was stocked with trout. A small spring house, a historically contributing structure, is nearby.

The pre-Civil War-era stone barn is one of a handful that survived what is known as the “Burning Raid,” by several thousand Union soldiers during the Civil War. The soldiers raided western Loudoun County and northern Fauquier County from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, 1864, burning a couple hundred barns and seizing or killing cattle, sheep, hogs and horses.

John converted the three-story barn, which still has its original hay hoist, into a commercial property. For several years, he ran a television repair business from it. Later, his son John Jr. turned it into an antique store and restoration business.

Mark, who grew up in the home with his brother and two sisters, has many fond memories of the house and property. When asked who he would like to see buy his childhood home, Mark said he hopes it will be a restaurateur who takes advantage of the property’s mixed-use zoning.

“Hillsboro is doing that rebranding, the gateway into western Loudoun,” Mark said. “A nice restaurant down there [would be great]. It doesn’t have to be five-star. . . . The closest decent restaurant is in Purcellville or Lovettsville. It would be nice to have one here.”

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,400-square-foot house, three-story barn, spring house and detached two-car garage are listed at just under $1.8 million.

Listing agent: Keren Jayne, Pearson Smith Realty