The Walter Thomas House: An 1850 Restoration Project in Caswell County, $149,000

One of the happier developments among historic houses recently is that the Walter Thomas House in Leasburg has gone under contract. It’s a great restoration opportunity, and it’s been for sale for a year and a half. Leasburg is somewhat out of the way, 10 miles from Yanceyville or Roxboro.

Some of the work has been done — a restored staircase, new septic system, plumbing, electrical upgrades, new insulation and reinforced chimneys. The metal roof is less than 15 years old. Add in five chandeliers, seven fireplaces (one with a Thomas Day mantel — this is all according to the listing), the columns out front and the upstairs balcony, and you’ve really got something special.

The house, at 7435 U.S. Highway 158, is priced at $149,000, an appropriately modest $46 per square foot. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The lot is 1.7 acres; like the house, it’s spacious without being huge.

Serious work still needs to be done. The house has no central air conditioning. The only heat is from gas logs in some of the fireplaces. The kitchen is not in good condition. The hardwood floors look intact (the ones in the photos, at least) but need refinishing. I wonder whether the all photos with the listing reflect the current condition of the house (including the lovely snow picture above; the photos below probably are relatively current).

Caswell County is home to some of the Piedmont’s finest 18th- and 19th-century homes — Clarendon Hall in Yanceyville; and the Moore-Gwyn-Ewalt House in Locust Hill and Longwood near Milton, both on the National Register, to name a few. The Walter Thomas House could be a great addition to that group.


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