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Custom home evokes older charm

FEATURED HOME: 5,100-square-foot Hancock home sits on more than 12 acres

A beautiful Colonial Gambrel Reproduction rests on an almost silent hill in Hancock. Its wood beams came from an old barn in Hancock, the bricks in the Rumford fireplaces came from an abandoned school house in Harrisville and all the dark, old-looking wood was hand paneled by the owner and builder himself.

The owner, Tony Brown, began building in 1966, a time when Brown had to work as a house builder and took over his father’s construction business in Keene. When he built his own home he was able to apply all the tricks he learned from working under his father and grandfather. Maple pegs in the floor boards and hand paneled wood, which makes the grain of the wood stand out, all added crucial old-fashioned textures that make the well-kept house still looking old and unique.

Brown said he made the house to look old but it is not a house that is expected to age any time soon. The house still has its original windows, he recently replaced the shingled roof, and the kiln-dried fir wood used throughout the house doesn’t rot as easily as other wood does.

The house is also well insulated and heats easily. The Rumford fireplaces in the house are built to throw all the heat from the fire back into the room. The fireplace on the first floor is even the first thing you see when you walk through the front door.

The Browns’ screened in patio also heats up very well when the sun hits it for most of the morning and keeps that room warm all day. The house is air-conditioned but as the road name suggests, this windy row gives plenty of breezes throughout the house and yard.

The goal when building the 5,100-square-foot house was to make a great place to raise a family. He personally designed the three bedrooms for each of his children, one master bedroom and a guest bedroom. He had horses, gardens and even two small vineyards at the house throughout the years. Beyond the surrounding yard with hand-planted bushes and trees, the Brown’s property includes 12.2 acres of land. Personal property aside, Brown and his wife, Peg, agreed that the town they built in is a great one for raising a family with its very low crime rate and safe atmosphere.

Finding the time to build the house was the biggest struggle for Brown. He said it took about seven to 10 years working only weeknights and weekends to finish the house. Before he began building, he spent two to three years designing and making sketches of the house. His inspiration for the outer design of the house came from the Salem Meeting House he saw one day on a drive.

The Browns are asking for $499,000 for their home and said they would love to see someone raise a family there. Or as Brown described the property, it’s for anyone who wants to feel like they are in “their own little kingdom.”

This property is co-listed with Barbara Quinlan and Cathy Cambal-Hayward of the Masiello Group.

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