Sunday, April 14, 2024

Where We Live: From Civil War hospital to colonial getaway

Though the house at Cedar Grove is well over 200 years old, it looks as solid and strong as the day it was built thanks to careful preservation efforts from some of its many owners over the centuries.

Catherine and Sidney Stanley are the most recent homeowners. They purchased the New Kent house to manage as a rental after identifying a need for lodging in the area.

“New Kent has become quite the wedding destination due to the wineries and plantations that are providing those services, not to mention the number of golfers that come to use the four courses in the area,” Catherine said.  

Catherine saw the potential in the home and knew that retaining its history was critical. It was originally built in 1773 at a location in James City County and later used as a hospital for Union soldiers during the Civil War. In 1996, the house was moved to its current location in New Kent and went through a series of renovations and additions.

Fortunately, the house retained many original features such as some of the brickwork, pine flooring, interior doors and the pine ceiling beams.

“One of the original bricks actually has the footprint of a dog from when it was made in the 1700s,” Catherine said.

There were a number of things that needed to be improved or updated in the home when the couple took ownership, but Catherine says they were committed to “maintaining the relaxed, crude, colonial charm.”

“I am a realtor as well as an interior designer and my husband has a home improvement business, so we used our experience and skills collaboratively to convert the cottage into what it is today,” she said.

The couple’s goal was to create a comfortable, charming, enchanting, and authentic retreat for guests.

“Nothing in the home is too precious that you don’t feel you cannot kick your feet up, yet the place is filled with old family antiques as well as newer modern pieces,” she said. “The entire experience for my husband and I was a true labor of love.”

One of the most special features of the property is the tavern-style basement, which houses the kitchen, dining and one of the living spaces.  

“I love the open fireplace, pine ceiling beams, and brick floors,” Catherine said. “The large bar and kitchen has hosted many casual gatherings. There is just something about that space that makes the colonial experience authentic.”

To learn more about this home, click here. 

Where We Live is a weekly feature looking at homes in the Historic Triangle. Do you have a home, on or off the market, that our readers may be interested in seeing? Let us know at


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