When Carolyn Lewis came across the house at 5196 Jacks Creek Pike in Lexington, she was determined to move in, with or without her husband.
The couple lived in Virginia most of their married life, where Carolyn taught nursing research at Bluefield College and started its RN to BSN program. They moved to Kentucky in 2000, and Carolyn chose the house because it reminded her of where she grew up.
“I was reared in southern Virginia on a farm on 100-plus acres in a house like this, an old farmhouse. I absolutely love old houses. I just fall in love with every old house that I see,” she said.
It’s a French country Victorian, she said, and former Lexington contractor Peyton Roberts was in the process of renovating it when Carolyn looked to buy it.
“When I saw this, as a matter of fact, it was in the renovation stage, and my husband did not want to come to the country. He wanted to move to the city,” she said. “I said, ‘Jack…I’m moving in this house, and if you’d like to join me, you’re welcome.’ He (eventually) fell in love with it too.”
The house was built in 1894 by Charles Land, who owned thousands of surrounding acres. The property, called Fairview Farm, was in the Land family until 1999, Carolyn said. Roberts purchased the 10 acres and the house from the Lands, and he began restoring the home.
“He did an excellent job,” she said.
He kept most of its old charm intact, though. The words “Fairview Farm” are shaped in the rock entranceway of the home, and the year 1894 is still scribed in the front porch step. Old hardwood floors and exposed brick going up the stairs remain, as does the original pocket doors to the right of the foyer.
“The house I grew up in had pocket doors that went into the formal living room. It’s probably why I fell in love with it,” she said.”
Many of Roberts’ renovations included new features that were reminiscent of the original, like the home’s transom windows, windows above the doorway, and the kitchen cabinets. Carolyn said many visitors notice the smaller details, like the restored crown molding.
One of Carolyn and Jack’s favorite areas in the house is just to the right of the foyer through the formal living room: the library reading room.
“We are certainly avid readers. Those book shelves go from the ceiling to the floor. Believe it or not, they’re full of books,” she said. “We have an 8-year-old grandson that loves to come over and take the books out to read to him. We really have enjoyed the reading room.”
Another of Carolyn’s favorite areas is the kitchen.
“I love to cook and entertain and love to have family and friends in. This is the perfect place for that,” she said. “I can fit about 50 or 60 people comfortably (in the home).”
Extending from the kitchen is a back stairwell to the second floor, something else Carolyn loves that was common in houses of the era.
“It is fairly narrow and pretty steep, but I just love the back staircase,” she said.
To the left of the kitchen is a laundry room and half bath, and to the kitchen’s right are some of the Lewis’ additions: an office and a master suite with a large walk-in closet and bathroom. They also added a three-car garage.
The basement, which can be accessed from the kitchen or the back deck, is made of limestone and separated into two rooms.
On the second floor are two suites with an adjoining bathroom, a full bathroom in the hallway and two more bedrooms. There are four fireplaces throughout the home, which Carolyn said they’ve thoroughly enjoyed.
In the back yard is what Carolyn calls a root cellar or ice house.
“It’s still in very good shape, which is most unusual to find with houses today, especially in the country,” she said.
She also said the house is the perfect place to raise children.
“(Our grandson) loves to come in and go in all the rooms. One of his favorite things that just touched my heart so much, and it breaks my heart in selling it, is that he loves the 10 acres,” she said. “He was getting ready to go home. He said, ‘Just a minute, Granny. I have to do something.’ He waved his hand and said, ‘Goodbye, land. I’ll see you soon.’ He loves it. This is such a wonderful place for children.”
Their picturesque property has also served as the backdrop for a wedding.
Something she’s most enjoyed while in the house is sitting on her back deck in the summertime, watching the sunrise.
“It is breathtaking,” she said.
This week’s featured home is co-listed with Realtors Bob Sophiea and Blake Adams at Keller Williams Realty Greater Lexington.