A Covetable Granville Charmer
Written by Amelia Jeffers Photography by James Henthorn
In 1805, a group of businessmen in Granville, Massachusetts jumped on the opportunity to acquire a large tract of military land in the new state of Ohio. Forming the Licking Land Company, the group purchased 29,000 acres of rolling forests and fields in the valley of the Licking River for $48,000 – a little over $1,000,000 today. With precision and thought, they planned a sister town for their growing community and invited the adventurous among them to head west to make their way in Granville, Ohio.
More than 200 years later, one of the most unique historic residences in this charming community is on the market for just a little more than those speculators paid for the entire town (in today’s dollars, of course). An expansive, authentic log cabin sits at 4072 Goose Lane, surrounded by nearly 800 acres of privately-owned undeveloped land – much of which is in a conservation easement. The private retreat has been stewarded by only a handful of people across its history. Like many old houses, it has seen multiple additions over the years, but fortunately the current owner had an eye and heart for preserving the historic character and integrity of design.
The tree-lined drive on Goose Lane winds through rolling terrain until guests are greeted by an unassuming gated entrance and restored guest house. The "Enchanted Cabin," has not only an inviting front porch but also a viewing deck overlooking a perfectly-groomed semi-professional riding arena. Inside, an open layout includes a magical and cozy living space complete with a sitting room, a full bath, and a lofted sleeping room perfect for kids. The relaxed but well-appointed cabin is an ideal respite for guests who want a weekend getaway to hike, hunt, or ride through paths etching the surrounding hills which are often utilized by the local fox chasing club.
Outside, the grounds blend seamlessly with the natural landscape: the warm wood and natural stone exteriors nestle into a lush yard accessible by pea gravel walkways set with large fieldstone pavers. The stables sit just behind the main home, providing a serene view of split-rail fenced paddocks and animal shelters that look like a scene straight from the English countryside.
Beyond equestrian sports, the property has provided the family a framework for enjoying all manner of animal husbandry. Chickens and guinea hens enjoy a large outdoor running area where they are protected from local wildlife. The adjacent goat shed most recently held a small herd of alpacas, the shaved coats of which have been used to spin handmade yarn. Even the barn cats are afforded an extravagant existence, with heated beds inside neat little individual tents. The animals are well-loved, and the woodlands around the property have been etched with riding and hiking paths, which are often utilized by the local fox-chasing club.
The centerpiece of this stunning property is the main cabin, encompassing more than 5500 square feet of old and new structures blended seamlessly into a smart and stunning residence thanks to a recent renovation designed by John Behal of the acclaimed Behal, Sampson and Dietz architecture firm. In the entry, Brazilian slate helps to create a cool and earthy canvas that showcases a vast collection of intriguing furnishings and fixtures – reflecting the varied interests resulting from a marriage of a polo-enthusiast former money manager and a part-time equestrian with a passion for art, antiques, and anthropology. Decades of searching stateside and abroad in auctions, estate sales, and antique shops have paid off, and the home is chock full of unique touches like vintage light fixtures, estate game mounts, and an Electrola music box converted to a bathroom vanity.
Hand-fired Italian tile and copper fixtures add the perfect European touch, reflective of the couples’ Francophile bent. Artwork covers the walls, and the home itself is both impressive in its enormity and touching in its details, from impressive wooden beams on the soaring ceiling to delicate elements in built-in curio cases. Function has not been sacrificed in favor of design: the large living room flows seamlessly into the kitchen, wrapping around to the dining and rec rooms – with mudroom, potting room, dog station, and catering pantry all well-concealed but accessible. Large railless wooden decks extend the interiors, offering breath-taking views.
Down a short and private hallway, the primary suite is nothing short of jaw-dropping, complete with matching private stacked offices with a dedicated stairwell providing discreet access to the walk-out lower level featuring a living area, kitchenette and a guest suite – each space with beautiful french doors that access a quiet patio. For the next lucky owner, this covetable country charmer is a rare opportunity to live the ultimate modern farmhouse experience authentically.