October 2017 Fall Edition

Norfolk, Virginia

358 W Freemason Street
Norfolk, VA 23510 — FREEMASON, Norfolk County
5 beds & 4.5 baths
6,262 sqft


Mixed-Use Commercial/Residential Property in the Heart of Historic Downtown Norfolk. Built in 1870, the Cary-Weston House is on the National Register of Historic Places per the United States Department of the Interior. Luxurious Victorian style home with historic value and charm. Use as single-family home while collecting income from the commercial space. Third floor apartment historically brings in ~$1,200/mo. A separate Carriage House has traditionally leased for ~$950/mo. The home is wrapped on 3 Sides with a porch featuring ornate custom wrought iron railings. A full fenced shaded courtyard. Fireplace in masted suite. A Victorian treasure with too many features to list. Schedule a Private Showing.

Listing courtesy of REIN / Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty

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This Month - Real Estate, Halloween, Music, Poetry, Gourmet & Victorian Marketplace






For many of us today, Halloween is a commercial tradition made popular in America, where pumpkin-head lanterns in front of doors lure children to come and Trick-or-Treat while dressed as skeletons, witches, or ghosts – and sometimes even Dracula.


But the supernatural or ‘Undead’ do have historical relevance to the origins of Halloween. Once known as Samain or ‘Sow in’, this ancient Celtic festival signified the beginning of the New Year when the harvest had been gathered in and the dread dark winter lay ahead. On its eve, October 31st, the divisions between the living and dead were said to draw back like a curtain, allowing supernatural folk and the souls of the dead to re-enter the world. Bonfires and fancy dress parades might drive the risen dead away. If not, they were placated with food, left in bowls outside locked doors.


The advent of Christianity then appropriated those customs, with ‘All- Hallowmas’ or ‘All Saint’s Day’ revering saints and martyrs instead of ghouls. And yet, as so often when cultures merge, remnants of both traditions remained. The gifts of food became ‘soul cakes’ left out for the homeless and hungry, in return for which they prayed for the dead. (Would our Trick-or-Treaters agree to that?)


Many other old superstitions persisted. American Irish émigrés replaced the carving of turnip heads with pumpkin Jack-o-Lanterns – Jack being the folklore rogue who offended both the Devil and God, thereafter excluded from Heaven and Hell and walking the earth till Judgment Day. 

Other Celtic customs were described in Rabbie Burns’ poem, Halloween – in which fairies dance on a moonlit night while youths go out to the countryside, singing songs, telling spooky tales and jokes, or partaking in fortune-telling games; such as eating apples while looking in mirrors and that way creating a magic spell to reveal the face of a future love.


Whether Queen Victoria ever peered into such a mirror, she certainly entered the spirit of things when joining the annual fire-lit procession that took place at Balmoral castle. However, back in England, the rise of the Protestant Church meant that Halloween rituals had fallen away – perhaps explaining Charles Dickens’ shock when he travelled to America and witnessed the general festivities there. But what really piqued his interest, rather than the parties and popular games (such a Pin the Tail on the Donkey, or Blind Man’s Buff, or Bobbing for Apples – when the winner would be the next to wed) was the morbid fascination with ghosts.

It is surely no coincidence that after returning to England he wrote Christmas Carol, in which spirits and future predictions abound. Other established authors went on to peel back age-old layers of myth to reimagine ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ – the genre soon very popular in poetry, art and literature; with tales of children stolen by fairies, or mirrors exposing some ghastly event, or women who wailed by misty graves – and all rendered yet more sinister when

.read by flickering candlelight to provide an eerie atmosphere.


The Victorians reveled in frightening tales. More than that, they embraced the culture of death, many visiting spiritualist mediums, or commissioning spirit photographers; the living duped into the belief that crudely exposed double negatives had captured some vision of their dead: all those veiled apparitions that lingered in shadows, and no longer just at Halloween. The image above is somewhat tongue in cheek, although others were taken more seriously - and the night of October 31st still holds a particular allure. Whether linked to innocent children’s games, or the horror films we view on screens there is nothing quite like a Halloween thrill.



The text of this article was first published in The Independent newspaper.


Ridgewood, New Jersey

448 Spring Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450 — BERGEN County
7 beds & 6 baths


This Queen Anne/Colonial Revival combination on 1.165 acres & 4,973 sq.ft,is one of the most elaborate residences in the Village.Situated on a terrace above the west bank of the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook. Expansive rocking chair wrap-around front porch. 11' high ceilings. 1st Floor Chestnut paneled foyer. Inlaid parquet floors. Banquet size dining room w/fireplace and coffered ceiling. Gourmet Kitchen with high-end appliances & granite counters. Family room w/fireplace, vaulted ceiling, built-in components for whole house sound system. Second floor offers 4 generous bedrooms & 3 full baths. 3rd floor with sewing room & 2 additional bedrooms. Lower level with wine tasting room and 645 bottle wine cellar. Carriage house with 1 bedroom apartment; studio doubles as exercise room. 5 car heated garage. Heated pool & cabana with kitchen. Professional putting green and bocce court. Close to all schools, NY Transportation and center of Village and Award Winning School System.

Listing courtesy of NJMLS / William F. Gilsenan Jr / Gilsenan & Co.

Petaluma, California

325 Post Street
Petaluma, CA 94952 — Sonoma County
4 beds & 2 baths
2,636 sqft


1890 Classic Queen Anne Victorian built by Frank H. Denman is perched atop Post Street overlooking Petaluma. Vintage 19th century details will capture you. Enter through the intricate stick style wrap-around front portico and you are greeted by the centerpiece, a commanding hand carved 2-story staircase at the entry foyer. Stunning bay windows, 11' ceilings, and stained glass windows. 11,000 sf lot provides an open canvas for all you can imagine.

Listing courtesy of BAREIS / Rob Sullivan / Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Lodi, Wisconsin

205 Lodi Street
Lodi, WI 53555


205 Lodi Street,  Lodi , WI 53555 - HISTORY COMES ALIVE IN THIS LATE 1800's QUEEN ANNE VICTORIAN. From wrap around porch to amazing turret you will be enthralled with the attention to detail & beauty. One owner last 37 years maintains this property keep it always on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed & built by C.C. Menes in 1897 for E.E.SEVILLE. Leaded & stained glass windows appraised over $100,000. Natural hardwood floors, gorgeous natural woodwork and 11' ceilings. Besides the 3680 finished above grade SF. on half acre corner lot, there is a 2 1/2 car, two story Carriage House.

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. 


Enjoy this beautiful AUTUMN inspired music for both relaxation and meditation.  Very tranquil and pleasant.


Autumn Spiced Nuts & Cranberries


  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 cup salted cashews

  • 1 cup pecan halves

  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk egg white; add nuts and cranberries. Sprinkle with sugar mixture and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 300° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. Cool. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3-1/2 cups.

Originally published as Sugar 'n' Spice Nuts in Simple & Delicious November/December 200


The Art of Milled Woodwork in Photos

The warmth and glow of milled oak, walnut and cherry adds to the ambiance of the Victorian era.  Nothing is more lovely than preserved woodwork from centuries past.


Victorian Antique Marketplace

Unusual pair of Victorian walnut armchairs with a knight head and various appropriate weapons in an open carved crest.  There are carved finials on the top of the turned side posts and open carvings around the upholstered back.  The arms have fully carved griffen heads.  An applied carving decorates the skirt and the front legs are turned.  The upholstery has some age but is generally in good condition.  These large chairs are beautifully carved in a very different motif!   Circa:  1870.   Dimensions:  52″H  x  26″W   x   29″D.     Condition:  Some small normal wear nicks in the turnings and carvings.  Good original finish with  a lovely old patina.    


Price:  $3250 for the pair!   


SPECIAL SALE PRICE:  $1450 for pair!

Link for Information: 

Southampton Antiques

The Beauty Of The Season

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