In 1988, with alone three months to backpack from Fort Monmouth, N.J., to Aberdeen, Stephen Hoffman and his wife, Sharon, set out to acquisition a abode in Maryland.
The brace started their chase with a celebrated abode in Harford County that had been recorded in the Aberdeen Heritage Trust. According to the entry, the “Cole House” was originally a baby log house, congenital in the mid-1700s on a bindle of some 100 acreage that had been deeded to Col. James Cole.
For the Hoffmans, it was a abode with potential.
“This was the aboriginal abode we looked at,” said Stephen Hoffman, a 58-year-old salesman for a bartering beam articles manufacturer. “I adulation history, and I saw the house’s potential, and I kept attractive at where, and how, it could be expanded.”
He was awash on the Colonial farmhouse complete of white oak logs.
“As a courtesy, he showed me two added houses,” said Sharon Hoffman, 51, who works at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center,
The brace paid $132,000 for the farmhouse and the two acreage it sits on. They confused to the abode in December 1988, and back that time, the Hoffmans accept been alive to advance every bend of the ellipsoidal Colonial, while administering a few additions — including two now-grown daughters.
Over two decades, the brace estimates, they spent $150,000 on actualization that accommodate a new driveway, a cooling and heating system, a kitchen acclimate and a new abundant allowance that opens assimilate a patio and landscaped backyard, which is the aggregate of the 2-acre property. With the accession of the abundant room, the autogenous of the abode was broadcast to 3,000 aboveboard feet.
The abundant room, congenital of baffling pine, has a basilica beam and ample windows, including a four-paned accomplished window that looks out on the backyard. The adornment actuality is adequate acceptable with an overstuffed, tan covering apartment of furniture, a wide-screen television, and copious abridged plants basking in accustomed aurora cloudburst in from the windows. A country bathroom, additionally in the addition, actualization Italian tiles. French doors of besom copse and bottle abutting off the abundant allowance and its antechamber from the blow of the home.
Both the kitchen and dining allowance are laid with Brazilian tiger copse flooring. In the kitchen, atramentous accessories adverse with warm, anesthetized maple cabinetry. Granite countertops accompany backsplashes of aloof adumbration granite tiles.
“I was so allergic to horse hair, I anticipation I would accept to leave the abode back the kitchen was broken apart,” Sharon Hoffman said of the actual acclimated to allowance up the openings in the logs 250 years ago.
A kitchen bank bears a affected antiquity that was begin while during the advance — a Baltimore American bi-weekly anachronous Nov. 24, 1909. Beautifully intact, the broadsheet featured an commodity about befitting the abbey out of politics, and accession account a appointment to the basic by Chinese admiral acquisitive to acquisition out how business diplomacy are conducted in a big country.
The Hoffmans had the bank amid the dining and active allowance broken out and replaced with a bisected wall, acceptance for a abundant larger, accessible amplitude at the advanced of the house, area an oak access climbs to four bedrooms on the additional level. One is acclimated as Steve Hoffman’s office. In a bend of the bedchamber office, a attenuated aperture opens assimilate a access that, at one time, led to the third-floor attic and servants’ quarters.
It will be a difficult accommodation for the brace back it comes time to anticipate about affective on.
“This home has the memories of my youth; I caked my adulation and activity in [it,]” said Sharon Hoffman of the accomplished 23 years. “This abode is our legacy.”
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Making the dream
Dream element: The Harford County farmhouse sits on about two acreage of acreage off a active bounded road. “This is apparently the best-kept abstruse in Aberdeen,” said Sharon Hoffman. “No one would assumption that two acreage are here.”
Dream design: The three-story Colonial actualization a affable advanced balustrade in the centermost of the balanced façade. A steeply pitched roof adds to its farmhouse actualization forth with a bow-shaped advanced driveway. A airing abaft the aboriginal abode reveals its L-shaped accession and admirable exoteric landscaping. “We alarm this Paradise Grove,” said Stephen Hoffman of a backyard abounding with red maple trees, willows, oaks and a blooming tree. “Many of the copse are civil and nurtured,” Sharon Hoffman acicular out. “Every time we lose a tree, we bulb a new one. Seems like I annoyance a corrupt all summer long, — I feel like a fireman.”
Dream interior: The farmhouse itself has dictated the autogenous decor, area adequate and commonsensical antiques and adipose acceptable appliance allotment amplitude with the avant-garde amenities of electronics and kitchen appliances. An agreeable dining allowance actualization an ellipsoidal dining table of oak amidst by bow-back chairs on a ample absorbed rug over Brazilian balk flooring. The home is abounding with calm affected art that includes pieces purchased from the anniversary Coconut Grove, Fla., art show, address prints, and cityscapes purchased back the brace lived in Heidelberg, Germany.
Dream exterior: A accurate claimed blow that Stephen Hoffman congenital is a backyard pond and bubbler area baptize lilies coast on the apparent and the granite ledges are amidst by miniature beloved copse and bushes.
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