Dodie Smith started her book I Capture The Castle with this ingenious first line: "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink." My life is not so dramatic—or startling. I live with my husband, Cliff, in this 4 story gray granite home set amid 12 acres. We have lots of squirrels and rabbits and deer who traverse the lawns like they own the place. Of course, we have the occasional fox—slinky creatures, and ground hogs—so destructive. It is a pleasant place, private and serene. Our home was built in 1880 by renowned architect Walter Cope. It was built as a wedding present for Joshua Smith's daughter. No relation. And what a present! I remember getting a toaster! It used to have a widow's walk at its peak, but we closed it in making what we called "The Glass Room". However, our children called it, "The Moon Room" and the name has stuck. Right down to the next generation of grandchildren.
Roscrea built 1880 Fern & Cliff in front of Roscrea
The family who built the house gave it the name Roscrea, which was where they came from in Roscrea, Ireland. Our sign at the end of the drive still says Roscrea, even though throughout the years I have wanted to change it, but was always outnumbered by husband and 3 sons. What did I want to call it? Braethorn. I just love the sound of that word. Eventually, I used Braethorn in a novel. That helped to get the longing out of my system.
The house was built from the granite pilings of an old covered bridge in our area that collapsed when cattle were driven across it. The ingenious Joshua Smith purchased the stone and had it hauled by mule team up through Darlington's rutted dirt (and often muddy) roads to the site he planned have the house built. It stands four stories tall (not counting the basement) and has long been a focal point in the town. My school bus traversed that route when I went to high school. Actually, it was just one mile up the road from where we lived. I used to tell my friends, "Someday I'm going to own that house!" Lordy! Little did I know that a dream such as that would one day come true.
We raised our three sons here with their laughter and voices filling the rooms and hallways. Even our resident ghost, whom we call Jonathan, is a unique part of our home. He is a perfect gentleman and doesn't make a nuisance of himself.
(NOTE: I will continue to add to this and will get the pictures of "Book Theme Bed Chambers" up as soon as we get this addition completed.)
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