Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in one of LandVest’s properties? We invite our owners to tell us a bit about their experience, a bit of their history, and most of all – what they love about their homes. The owner of Heminway Hill shares her story about a childhood smitten by the GMHA/West Windsor/South Woodstock area and how she bought this hilltop retreat from photos sent to her in Asia.
LV: How did you come about owning Heminway Hill, and when?
-BG: In 1969, when I was a kid, my parents bought a 75-acre farm around the corner from Heminway Hill, and I grew up there.
My best memories are from Vermont
- As a kid – riding, roaming the woods, bicycling on the dirt and paved roads, walking down to the General Store for penny candy, swimming in the neighbor’s pond, learning to ski at Suicide Six, Mt Tom and Ascutney, graduating to Bear Mountain at Killington
- As a teen and young adult – bringing friends for weekends of leaf peeping, more riding, hiking, antiquing, sight-seeing, long leisurely dinners
- As an adult – having a ten-year tradition of hosting a New Year’s Eve party – one I started again at Heminway Hill – with the same friends plus new ones
When Mom decided to sell the house, I decided to buy – but I wanted something turnkey-ready, easy to maintain and, most of all, with sweeping views of the mountains and the beautiful Vermont countryside.
-LV: What attracted you to Heminway Hill?
- The first thing that grabbed me was the rolling meadows – with horse pastures! I dreamed of my niece and nephew falling in love with riding (that didn’t happen) and getting them a horse
- The second thing was the incredibly cute barn with the horse weather vane poking up as you crest the long driveway
- The third was the leisurely, iconic, stone walls gracefully framing the run up to the house
- And then there’s the view – I don’t know if there’s a better one in all of Vermont. While there might be a couple that can match, I doubt there’s a better one
- And, finally, the house was perfect for me because it was modern with lots of little touches and thought put into it by the original owners/designers/builders (who I bought it from). Besides, it was move-in ready – except for the boiler but I replaced that the next year
-LV: Please describe any recent, significant improvements.
-BG: The previous owners invested a ton in many areas and are justly proud of what they built. I love what they did, but I also added a bunch of upgrades and improvements plus design changes to make it more classically Vermont:
Upgrades and improvements
- Re-graded driveway
- Replaced boiler and water heater
- Installed toilets (for good flushing)
- Put in new washer/dryer
- Added new refrigerator, range, microwave
- All downstairs wallpaper stripped (except kitchen), walls smoothed and reprimed, etc., painted several coats
Indoor design/decorative/Vermont improvements
- Gorgeous granite stone chimney facings – each piece hand cut to fit, work of art
- Smooth, solid Emtek door knobs, locks, hinges in oiled bronze
- Sconces and lights in oiled bronze throughout the house
- Unique piece of driftwood set into the chimney as a mantelpiece, secured by wrought iron joists
- Energy efficient lights, flush with the ceiling
- Tore down the old picket fencing and installed high end split rail fencing, increased pasture size to be able to feed up to 5-6 horses
- Removed dozens of trees and opened up the view
Next up is to update the kitchen. I have everything picked out and would be happy to share it with you.
- Distressed wood for the cabinets to continue the Vermont feel and match the mantelpiece
- Continuing the granite into the kitchen – I bought enough granite to do that, and it comes with the house!
- Gorgeous granite for new countertops – there’s a sample in the garage
- Move the sink over to under the window
- These updates can all be done in about 1-2 months for around $35k and I can put you in touch with the exceptional craftsman who has done all the other work to date
-LV: Tell us about some of the property’s most noteworthy features
- Peace and quiet
- Fabulous place to bring friends, have parties or just for quiet time
- Far away from the road
- Can ride (or walk) right onto hundreds of miles of trails
- Incredibly wonderful neighbors, always willing to lend a hand, keep an eye out; true community feel
- Great for kids to toboggan or play all kinds of games
- Perfect for horses
- Open, airy, light, sunny – great place to curl up with a book in the kitchen area and look at the view, birds, occasional fox or deer
- Easy-peasy to maintain, everything works
-LV: What is your favorite room in the house and why?
-BG: Master bedroom because you can wake up to the sunrise, go to sleep to the moonrise and stars for the soundest sleep in the world.
-LV: Do you have a favorite spot on the property?
-BG: Wherever the horses are, especially when they are “free range”, grazing around the house and eating the apples off the trees.
-LV: What do you love about the design of the house and farm?
-BG: The house is just so relaxed and open. The light is wonderful as it crosses the bedroom and kitchen at sunrise to late afternoons and evenings across the view and the sunsets to the west. The barn was also really nicely set up to take advantage of the breezes and to be sheltered. It’s smart and easy to maintain. I’ve really appreciated that as a second home owner, I have to say.
-LV: In conclusion, can you tell us why you have decided to sell?
-BG: Work has unexpectedly taken me to California, and I’m now living in the Bay Area.
– B Gilson
For more information about Hemingway Hill click here.
Visit our Woodstock page for more information on the community and other great Woodstock, Vermont area real estate, from lovely country houses to farms and forestland for sale in Bridgewater, Hartland, West Windsor, Barnard, Pomfret, South Woodstock and Woodstock.