Historic Stone House c.1800
Also known as the “Benchoof Homestead”, this historically significant stone house on 16 beautiful acres with manicured, professionally landscaped grounds & lush forest is located on Blue Ridge Summit in Pennsylvania just one mile from the Maryland line. History tells us that General Robert E. Lee stopped at this farm on his retreat from Gettysburg in 1863.
One approaches the house down a private driveway, through a small wooded area that opens to reveal the expansive secluded estate, with a gorgeous “storybook” restored stone house, numerous log out-buildings and 2 spring-fed ponds with cascading falls. Further down the driveway & past the house, is a large over-sized 3 car garage with a spacious, 2 story studio/workshop and a one bedroom apartment – perfect for the craftsman, artist or woodworker.
The current owners have taken pride in their ownership tenure, preserving the home’s historic detailing, including the original heart of pine wood floors & 2 story porches, while tastefully enhancing its modern amenities that include a charming country kitchen, a finished family room in the walkout basement & a new over-size garage constructed on the original footprint of the old barn. The house features 2 bedrooms & 1.5 bathrooms, while the garage features 1 bedroom, a kitchenette & a full bathroom. The heating systems have been updated and the property is cable ready.
The landscaping has been thoughtfully designed and the grounds are ideal for the avid gardener and for the outdoor enthusiast. There are beautifully maintained trails that meander through the estate’s wooded areas that are rich with wildlife, including deer, wild turkey & a full complement of birds and plant life.
This beautifully restored historic stone home is truly unique in the marketplace. The property’s versatility is unmatched and its uses may include a wonderful weekend retreat, B&B, or perhaps simply a beautiful, restful private estate where the owner can enjoy the many South Mountain hiking trails and Civil War historic sites, like Gettysburg (only 20 minutes by car). For winter distraction, this property is just minutes from Ski Liberty Resort & 40 minutes from Whitetail Ski Resort, two of the east coast’s premiere winter sport’s destinations. Fine restaurants & shopping can be found 30 minutes away in Hagerstown and Frederick.
This is a historic estate of rare and beautiful distinction, close to DC and Baltimore, yet a world away.
Foyer 14′ x 8′ – Wood floor, clothes pegs, staircase, chair rail, transom, door to covered porch.
Living Room 19′ x 15′ – Wood floor, built-in bookcase & cabinets, chair rail, door to covered porch, 2 windows.
*One Living Room wall has a small section with vintage signatures of past owners displayed.
Dining Room 14′ x 9′ – Wood floor, fireplace with gas insert, chair rail, 1 window.
Kitchen 9′ x 9′ – Wood floor, double sink, gas range, door to yard, 2 windows.
*Unique Kitchen features –
recessed glass cabinets allow full window view
built-in wood cutting board
slide-out trash & recycling bins
two corner round shelves
Secret kitchen cabinet, near living room – push corner
Powder Room 4′ x 4′ – Wood floor.
*Unique Powder Room features –
exposed stone wall displayed inside medicine cabinet
Covered Porch 30′ x 10′ – Offering extraordinary views of the grounds.
Landing/Study – Wood floor, built-in desk & shelf, 1 window.
Bedroom 1 12′ x 11′ – Wood floor, walk-in closet, clothes pegs, 1 window.
Bedroom 2 17′ x 12′ – Wood floor, clothes pegs, 1 window.
Hall Bathroom 11′ x 8′ – Wood floor, claw foot bathtub, 1 window.
Family Room 21′ x 15′ – Ceramic tile floor, brick fireplace, exposed beam ceiling, closet, track lighting, door to lower covered porch, 2 windows.
Laundry Room 12′ x 17′ – Ceramic tile floor.
Utility Room 10′ x 6′ – Concrete floor.
Covered Porch 30′ x 10′ – Concrete floor with railing.
Garage 45′ x 28′ – Concrete floor, 3 bays, cinder block walls, sink, 2 windows.
Utility Room 10′ x 8′ – Concrete floor, propane furnace.
Studio/Workshop 30′ x 22′ – Wood floor, elevated 2 story ceiling, 2 skylights, 4 ceiling fans, closet, wood stove, door to porch, door to patio, 7 windows.
Loft 16′ x 16′ – Wood floor, skylight, 1 window.
Dining Area 9′ x 9′ – Wood floor, hanging lamp, 2 windows.
Kitchenette/Living Room 15′ x 10′ – Wood floor, sink, no stove, 2 windows.
Bedroom 15′ x 9′ – Wood floor, built-in bookcase, 3 windows.
Covered Porch – Full width of the garage & offering extraordinary views of the grounds.
Log Spring House – Wood floor, ladder to loft, 1 window.
*Suitable for storage or play house.
Original Log Smoke House – Concrete floor.
*Suitable for storage.
Also known as the “Benchoof Homestead”, this home was built by John Benchoof (1790-1874), a German immigrant, and his wife Sarah Ann Miller. Their son, William F. Benchoof (1826-1896) was a farmer, entrepreneur, land developer and hotel keeper, keeping the Montana Springs Hotel once located on this same farm. During the Civil War William served as Provost Marshall for the 126th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (Union Army).
According to the local historian John Howard McClellan in his book “A River To Cross”, the Confederate Army’s retreat from Gettysburg to Virginia, brought troops through Monterey Pass on Furnace Road and this included General Robert E. Lee, General Longstreet and members of their staff.
McClellan relates a story of Sarah and her friends were having a Sunday morning get together at the farm with refreshments, when Confederate officers appeared on horseback near the barn (now the garage). Sarah invited the Generals & their staff to join the party for tea & biscuits, which they did, and they watered their horses in the open spring, which still exists today.
*By this time, the horsemen had arrived in front of the house and the other ladies were by Granny’s (Sarah’s) side. There was no mistaking the eldest officer on the iron grey horse. It was undoubtedly General Robert E. Lee. His uniform was well worn but not shoddy. He looked extremely dignified, neat and clean compared to his companions. After he dismounted, he raised his hat as a greeting of respect to all the ladies and they crowded around him in a small circle. As an introduction, he said, “General Lee, Army of Norther Virginia. May I present General Longstreet and members of my staff?” The ladies were awestruck. When they regained their composure, they smiled, bowed and curtsied and called for tea for the visitors. “Bring the big tea pot.” someone called. (note…the “big tea pot” remains in the Benchoff family collection)…The horses drank at the spring by the large stone. (the stone is still to the left of the house and is reported be where Lee rested and drank his tea) The officers feasted on handfuls of pastry and drank the tea…
General Lee and his officers found their wagon train bogged down in the mud on Furnace Road and decided to take a side road
…this by-road was actually a Benchoof farm lane that brought them to tea and biscuits with the ladies. While they refreshed themselves and the mounts were grazing, a dispatch rider galloped up and dismounted. He presented General Lee with a message…the General read the dispatch with care and handed it to Longstreet…he courteously thanked the ladies for their generosity, probably bowed, started to Traveller, slowly and carefully mounted and with that small ceremony, he and his little troop were gone…almost as quickly as they had appeared.
* A River To Cross by John Howard McClellan
Appalachian Trail – Brief history and information
Camp David – Brief history of the presidential retreat
Cunningham Falls State Park – Outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, hunting & fishing
Ski Liberty Resort – Premiere east coast resort
Pen Mar Park – Picnics, playgrounds, beautiful views & cool breezes
High Rock Overlook – View of 4 states & 18 counties
South Mountain State Park – Wildlife & American history
Gettysburg Battlefield – Gettysburg Foundation
Historic Fairfield, PA – Nearby historic town and on the retreat from Gettysburg
The Historic Monterey Country Club is located in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, an area steeped in Civil War history; the community is best known for being the birthplace – adjacent to the first tee — of Wallis Simpson, who married King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom). Built before 1885, on the site of a Civil War battle called The Fight at Monterey Pass, the Historic Monterey Golf Course is one of the 5 oldest golf courses in the United States and the oldest in southwest Pennsylvania.
The course was originally built as part of the Monterey Inn; in 1903 the Monterey Country Club was established as a summer resort retreat by a group of prominent businessmen from Baltimore and Washington, D. C. One of the distinguishing features of Monterey is its classic shingle style club house. American Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Dwight D. Eisenhower have all played the Monterey Country Club course.
*the golf course is open to the public while, membership is required for access to pool, snack bar and tennis courts.
The Pen Mar area became prominent in the late 19th century with the development of a formal resort there in 1877. Colonel John Mifflin Hood rightly believed that a resort area in the Blue Ridge Mountains would encourage the public to use his trains from the Western Maryland Railroad to travel to the area. Not only did the Western Maryland Railroad develop a resort but also an amusement park that included a scenic lookout, roller coaster, movie theater, dance pavilion, picnic shelter, miniature train, photo studio, concession stand, carousel with a penny arcade, dining hall and children’s playground. The park was a huge success with thousands of visitors taking the 71 mile trip from Baltimore to Pen Mar. The single day park attendance reached close to 20,000 visitors.
The growth of the park naturally led to the growth of the village of Pen Mar. The town of Pen Mar was officially incorporated in 1920 with an act to add new sections to Article 22 of the code of public laws of Maryland. The town had a post office, many hotels and over 100 boarding houses during this time of growth…
The end of the 1920’s started the demise of the once glorious park. By the end of the decade “virtually no one traveled here by train. By 1929 the park was not turning a profit for the Western Maryland Railroad. The park was subsequently leased to a private investor who was able to keep the park going until 1943.
Monterey Country Club – Nearby club with one of the oldest golf courses in the USA.
Pen Mar Park – WikiPedia.com
Greetings From Pen Mar – Story of Historic Pen Mar Park and the Area
My Pen Mar Story – A historical account by Judith A Schlotterbeck, Jan 1, 1977
A River To Cross by John Howard McClellan (features Stone House)
All information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.
Certified Historic Properties Specialist
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
13210 Fountain Head Plaza
Hagerstown, MD 21742