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Three houses, 156 acres and memories of Jackie

The 19th-century log cabin at Oak Spring Dairy is where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis stayed when she visited her friend, Bunny Mellon. (Stacy Zarin Goldberg)
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The log cabin in Virginia hunt country where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis went to relax is part of a 156-acre property that once was part of the Mellon estate.

The 2,000-acre estate in Upperville, Va., failed to sell as a whole after Bunny Mellon’s death in 2014, and it was broken up and sold in pieces. The parcel known as Oak Spring Dairy was at one time a working dairy that made artisan cheeses. It is the first to go back on the market.

The property includes several barns and three houses — the log cabin, Woolf’s Mill House and Hill House. The best-known is the 19th-century log cabin, which Mellon restored for her friend Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1985 and 1986.

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The two-bedroom, three-bathroom dwelling retains many of Mellon’s elegant and practical touches. Hand-painted tiles from Florence are paired with Formica countertops. A kitchen cupboard painted Bunny Mellon blue, to match the diamond-pattern painted floor, is across the room from Maytag and GE appliances.

The secret spaces — a closet hidden beside the fireplace and a stair step that rises to reveal a storage nook, to name a couple — also set the home apart.

“There are hidden details everywhere,” owner Elizabeth Epley told Architectural Digest, which featured the log cabin in 2018. “They feel like gifts that we are constantly discovering.”

When Elizabeth and her husband, Mark, bought the property in 2015, they asked Malcolm Robson, who had done the painting for Mellon, to repair places that were worn, such as two spots outside the tub in the upstairs bathroom. According to Elizabeth, he declined, saying Mellon would have loved the wear and tear.

Other than replacing the roof, the Epleys made few changes to the log cabin. They made extensive improvements to Woolf’s Mill House and Hill House.

Records are unclear about when Woolf’s Mill House was built. It could have been built by Caleb Whiteacre at the same time he built the mill, around 1798, or it could have been added in 1804, according to Oak Spring Garden Foundation documents.

The mill stopped working sometime between 1900 and 1930, but parts of it remain. Two millstones serve as doorsteps to the house. The two-bedroom, three-bathroom house, on a rise above Goose Creek, gets its name from Francis M. Woolf, who was one of Mosby’s Rangers during the Civil War and who lived there.

Award-winning Snickerdoodle and the other Brown Swiss cows that once grazed the verdant pastures are no more. And the barn that housed the milking stations and cheesemaking facility has been transformed by the Epleys into a gathering space and offices. To cleverly disguise the holes left in the hand-painted tiles by the cheesemaking equipment, the couple had local artist Joan Gardiner create ceramic flora and fauna for the walls.

The four-bedroom Hill House is on a hill above the log cabin and Woolf’s Mill House.

The property, which is under Virginia Outdoor Foundation and fox hunting easements, has natural springs, sprawling meadows and mature woods. It is listed at just under $5 million.

Listing: 8360 Oak Spring Rd., Upperville, Va.

Listing agent: Cricket Bedford, Thomas & Talbot Real Estate

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