Leased until May 10, 2018
Historic Hunt Country Cottage For Rent
Maple Springs (c.1741) was put on the National Register of Historic Places and
Virginia Landmarks Register in 1997 and restored by its present owners, Bob and Susie Ashcom.
It sits in the middle of 113 acres of beef cattle, horse pastures, and creeks.
The rental can be partially furnished with twin beds & a bureau upstairs,
laundry with washer & dryer, kitchen with table & chairs, and two living rooms,
each with a stone wood-burning fireplace. There used to be a Queen sized bed
in one which became a Master bedroom. There are several couches and occasional
chairs scattered throughout these two rooms.
Furniture can be removed.
The cottage is centrally air conditioned and the heat is propane fired hot air .
Directv provides television for an additional fee.
Dogs are welcome on a case by case basis.
Horses may be boarded and ride out is particularly wonderful!! Warrenton Hunt meets in this neighborhood Sept.-March.
|Pets on a case by case basis|
Maple Springs is one hour from the Kennedy Center in DC; one hour from Charlottesville, VA;
20 minutes from Warrenton, VA or Culpepper, VA;
and an easy drive to 10 foxhunts.
HISTORY: Early history of Maple Springs is uncertain,
owing to the loss of key court records pertaining to the property,
and the likelihood the house was assembled from two earlier dwellings
of uncertain provenance. However, sufficient documentary and architectural
evidence survives to piece together a coherent hypothesis about the property's development,
a hypothesis that should become more obvious as restoration progresses.
In 1815, Culpeper Co. resident Thomas McDonald I (1776-1850) purchased 216.75 acres from
James Ross of Fredericksburg for $1.00. Described as "Corbin's Lott",
it was subject to a lease claimed by a certain John Corbin.
Tax records are unclear as to how Ross acquired the land,
but a deed made two years earlier for nearby acreage sold by Ross to Thomas
McDonald's brother Lott provides some clues.
The deed describes it as part of a greater tract lying in the Little Fork
of the Rappahannock River... purchased by Ross from Munford Beverley.
This Beverley inherited large tracts from Robert Beverley of Blandfield,
Essex County, upon his death in 1800.
The Beverley family had begun to acquire land in this Little Fork area in 1719 and patented
2,500 acres in 1722.
Beverley is known to have divided this tract into 100-acre leaseholds,
known as "lots", and leased by the absentee owner to small farmers...
common in Virginia in the 18thC.
Written by Dan Pezzoni
For application for the National Register of Historic Places
Thomas McDonald Sr., was the 6th child of John & Suzannah Edger McDonald.
In 1815 he purchased 216 acres from James Ross.
The farm is known as Maple Springs and is located in Lakota, VA.
The farm is still in the family today (Ashcom note: written before Ashcom's purchase in 1995);
it is smaller in size due to some of it having been sold.
The log house with three rooms, two fireplaces and a loft still stands.
The exterior is covered over with pit-sawn lumber.
The stairs to the loft are steep, narrow and winding;
the mantels are made of very wide boards attached to the walls as shelves.
This house had the first windowpanes in the area;
many people came to see the windowpanes.
There are only four windows in the house, there is a door from the outside to each
room, they are called "battened" and made of wide boards.
The floorboards are from 8-10 inches wide.
At first there was only the middle part of the house, the other two rooms were
added on a different times, no one knows when the house was built
(Ashcom note: today we have found the carved date of Dec, 1741) or who built it.
Thomas Sr. made his will in 1850 leaving the place to three of his children:
France, Ellen, and Thomas, Jr. Thomas Jr.'s children received it by will in 1899.
Jeter McDonald purchased the place in 1937, his brother Geroge bought it from him
in 1940 (Ashcom note:George put the metal roof on it then, which architectural
historians say saved the structure) and is the owner today.
Four of Thomas Sr.'s children left the area and went west to Kentucky because they
were in some kind of trouble.
Written by Ruth McDonald Wamstad in "History of the McDonald Family"
Once on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places,
the structure was deemed deserving of being restored, if possible.
Timothy Robinson, of Heartland Millwork & Restoration,
had just finished a mid 18th C. house in Culpeper for the City of Culpeper
as their Visitors Center. He agreed to take on the restoration of Maple Springs,
though it was "the worst termite-eaten building" he had ever tried to restore.
The decision was made to tear off the poorly constructed 19thC. wing and reuse
the heart pine planking from the loft floor…everything else was rotten.
A kitchen/bath wing with a "Cat Slide" porch roof was added to the north side
using an exterior door as an entrance to it. This wing used the 19thC.
planking as flooring, & old chestnut beams in its post & beam construction.
Antique windowpanes were found and new doors and windows made from heart pine.
An effort was made to blend the functional "new" with the older building.
During the two year restoration process Timothy Robinson was able to determine
that two houses had been joined in the 18thC.; one of hand hewn plank logs
and the other timber frame. The log side still had its corner boxed-in staircase,
but the stair in the post and beam side had been removed and the hole to the
loft filled in after the joining of the houses. The beams had been given
a beveled edging and the general joinery & carpentry was that of a skilled
craftsman. Timothy found the date "Dec 1741" cut in the underside of the exterior
beam after the 19thC. wing and its chimney had been removed from the log building.
The chimney attached to the post & beam side was definitely 18thC.
The mystery slowly unraveled, to the excitement of all.
The two houses were jacked up separately to lay foundations under them
and at one point 2x4s and crossed fingers were all that held the structures together
since the termites had eaten so much of it. Old floor joists were laid
on the new foundations and much of the first three feet of all the walls were replaced.
All the ceilings were in fine shape due to Mr. McDonalds metal roof in 1940 and were sanded
and sealed. The walls, due to termites, did not fare so well: some of the battens in the
keeping room were duplicated in heart pine and three walls of the paneling in the
second room (today a bedroom) had to be duplicated.
The floors of those two rooms were completely rotten and were replaced in heart pine.
After the 19thC. Wing and chimney were torn off one could see the "shadow"
of the original chimney and Mark Wenger, an architectural historian with
Colonial Williamsburg, was called to the site.
Mr. Wenger found the large foundation stone deep in the ground that supported
a large cooking/bread oven 18thC. fireplace, and he drew the plans for
the one our stone mason, Darrell, built by eye.
Darrell used an old photo (c.1901) to replicate the look of the large
flat stones at its flange & he used large flat stones that were
in the old pile found at the site; so we hope they were even the “same” stones.
CEMETERY: Thomas,Sr., many of his descendents,
and some Civil War soldiers are buried on the farm.
VIRGINIA OUTDOORS FOUNDATION GIFT OF EASEMENT:
258 years after someone carved the date Dec1741 under the beam,
the Ashcoms gifted the development rights for Maple Springs
"an opportunity to spit into the wind of the future and get away with it"
and know that the fields seen from Maple Springs cottage will never be strewn
with new houses.