Blogtoberfest Guest Post #2 Robert Louis Stevenson’s Widow, Patrick Swayze Movie House & Colorado Flying Horse Ranch, by the writers at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Widow!
Robert Louis Stevenson, will always be best known for his wonderful classics, “Treasure Island,” “Kidnapped,” and “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” What many of us never knew was that much of his inspiration and much of his adventure was due to his great romance with Fanny Osborn in the 1800s. He and Fanny met in France where she was studying art after leaving her philandering husband in California. When she abruptly left France and returned to California to determine whether or not to end her marriage, he followed. A longtime sufferer of bronchiectasis, after he and Fanny finally married, they travelled constantly trying to find a climate that would ease his illness, finally settling in Western Samoa, where he died in 1894 at the young age of 44. Six years after his death, Fanny returned to San Francisco to resume her life and in 1900, commissioned noted architect, Willis Polk, to design her Russian Hill mansion.
The mansions that line the hills of San Francisco are known for their grand architecture, sturdy structure and intricate flourishing details laboriously executed by old world craftsmen. Entrances were grand with their swirling staircases, rooms were large and airy and windows were expansive to capture the views over San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island and beyond. Fanny Stevenson’s mansion had and has today, all of those attributes with one very special extra. Ensconced in a tall arched window in the staircase is a circular stained glass picture of the ship, Hispaniola, riding the seas from Stevenson’s most famous novel, Treasure Island. At 8,846 square feet, the mansion includes three levels with elevator, six bedrooms, seven baths, rooftop terrace and balcony walkouts on other levels. Grounds are formally landscaped with patio and parking for four cars.
Home was commissioned by Fanny Osborn-Stevenson, the widow of author Robert Louis Stevenson, in 1900. Offered at $15.9 million.
Mrs. Gregory Peck’s L.A. French Chateau!
Mapleton Drive in Holmby Hills, Hollywood, California is well known as the most expensive street in Los Angeles. On one side are the greens and fairways of the Los Angeles Country Club Golf Course and on the other side, Holmby Park. The street has been home to many great film stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby. Crosby moved there after his previous home burned to the ground from a Christmas tree fire, and years later, Aaron Spelling tore it down to build his infamous mansion, which is still a great bone of contention for many locals. Internet blogs run rampant about the Spellings tearing down a beautiful historic home to build what commenters consider to be a “tasteless” behemoth. Today, many are coming into the neighborhood tearing down the beautifully crafted mansions of yesteryear to build contemporary homes on this quiet street where homes are hidden behind thick shrubbery.
Veronique Peck, wife of Gregory Peck, five time Emmy nominee for best actor and winner for “To Kill A Mockingbird,” also lived on Mapleton Drive in this large French Chateau-style home on 1.3 acres. It was a home she bought after her husband’s death. On South Mapleton, it is located halfway between the former Spelling mansion and the Playboy mansion. At 9,182 square feet, the 1932 home has seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms and large formal rooms with glass walls and French doors opening to terraces and the privacy of lush landscaping. Family room, guest suite, two maids rooms, chef’s kitchen and breakfast room are on the main level with family bedrooms on the second level. The large outdoor swimming pool and its setting is reminiscent of the glamour of Old Hollywood, often seen in films. For more information.
Gregory Peck’s former Holmby Hills estate, now offered at $24.995 million.
Patrick Swayze Movie House!
Exploring Charleston, South Carolina is a must do for those fascinated by American history. Strolls along the promenade of the Battery and viewing the massive mansions and their manicured gardens through the wrought iron gates of privacy walls takes one back in time. Settled by the English in 1670, things weren’t all gardenias and magnolias as it is today. Instead Charleston was ravaged by wars and skirmishes by sea and land that began before the Revolutionary War to the end of the Civil War. It is said that White Point Garden, sometimes erroneously referred to as Battery Park, is one of the best places to get to know Charleston. The cannons and cannonballs in the park were placed there in response to the War of 1812 intended as a last defense for the city when all else had failed.
The historic mansion where the movie “North and South” was filmed starring Patrick Swayze in 1985, is now for sale. Filled with history and lore, from its verandas are views over Charleston Harbor of Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney and the Sullivan Island Lighthouse. Built in 1843, the 15,669 square foot mansion has a total of 17 bedrooms and 18 baths. The main house has large halls and even larger rooms and a spiral staircase that winds its way to all four floors. There are eight original fireplaces and the parquet floors are also original to the home. The former carriage house has been turned into The Battery Carriage House Inn with eleven guest rooms, each with its own private entrance. This home’s ballroom hosted the Charleston Preservation-Historical Society, which was the first preservation organization in the country. A large garden separates the main house from the Inn. For more information.
Co-starring with Patrick Swayze in “North and South,” this grand mansion with its separate income-producing Inn is located on the most enviable spot on Charleston Harbor. Priced at $8 million.
Colorado Ghost Town!
In 1877 the Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company built a narrow gauge railroad through La Veta Pass to Uptop, Colorado which was a depot at the top of the Pass and what was then the highest railroad and depot in the world. With the building of the depot, merchants moved to the location to cater to rail passengers and for entertainment, built a large dance hall-saloon. It was a favorite stop for miners, railroad men and lumberjacks. The bar, known for its unique curved bar, served prohibition liquor made in a still behind the building that fueled many a raucous poker game. In 1899, the small gauge tracks were torn up in favor of standard gauge and the railroad was rerouted nine miles south. Many types of passengers made use of the railroad such as a team of Harvard botanists that camped at Uptop to collect plants for Charles Darwin. The railroad also made it possible for Indian Chief Ouray and his wife to travel to Washington, D.C. for treaty negotiation. Tourists flocked to Uptop to ride on the highest railway, which the railroad company advertised as the “Railroad Above the Clouds.” When the railroad moved out, lumber companies moved in and in 1930 the Chapel-by-the-Wayside was built for that community.
Today Uptop has been recognized by the National Historical Society after being restored by two sisters, both in their 60s, who left their professions in Boston to bring the town back to life. The “ghost town” on 250 acres of land contains the home, guest cabin, dance hall-saloon, train depot – now a museum, and the chapel with views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the southern Rockies. For more information.
Sale includes train depot, dance hall, saloon and chapel, water and mineral rights. Now priced at $2 million.
Colorado Flying Horse Ranch!
The Flying Horse Ranch, 30 miles from the famous ski resort of Breckenridge, is 3,688 acres of natural beauty surrounded by national forests and mountain views. It’s a ranch that satisfies a wide range of tastes from elegant to rustic and activities from connecting with your inner cowboy, fishing, skiing and dining in Breckenridge, exploring the land or entertaining with style. There are seven structures on the ranch including the 10,711 square foot lodge, two lakefront cabins, a ranch house, two raised deck tents at the fish camp and a 7,492 square foot log barn. The two lake cabins each have one bedroom, living room, bath, sleeping loft and outdoor decks for enjoying lake views. The ranch house can be used as a home for a ranch manager or guests. the new barn contains equestrian facilities with eight stalls, bathing booth, tack room, hay loft, workshop, heated office and restroom. But the pièce de résistance is the main lodge.
Built in British Columbia of massive white cedar logs, the lodge was shipped to the ranch and reconstructed on Horseshoe Lake. Even with the exotic marbles, granites, onyx chandeliers, persian carpets and leather furnishings, the home maintains the log cabin ambiance throughout – a perfect blend in the creation of elegant rusticity. The great room’s unusual fireplace surround depicts area wildlife reminiscent of cave drawings. Other features include a western bar and pool table, two master suites with fireplaces, one with copper soaking tub and an eight foot shower that uses dramatic black and gold large patterned marble for shower walls and counters. The other master is a complete apartment on the second floor and there are three additional guest rooms. For more information.
Previously listed at $22.9 million, Flying Horse Ranch will go to auction on October 11th, selling as two parcels or in its entirety.