Moorefields, a house and grounds on the National Register of Historic Places. Moorefields was built in 1785 by Alfred Moore, a Revolutionary War soldier and eventual U.S. Supreme Court justice. Located southwest of Hillsborough, NC, the house and 84 associated acres are owned by a private foundation. Moorefields is maintained as a wildlife refuge and is open by appointment to the public.
I did flowers for a wedding at this location back in the 90's. They have a Victorian knot garden in the back yard, and the interior of the house is set up in the way that houses were in the late 1700's. I love the big front porch.
Front porches were a great invention, especially in towns where the houses sat fairly close to the street. You could sit on your porch and keep an eye on the comings and goings of your neighbors, as well as delivery men. When it was raining, unless it was very windy, you could sit on your porch and revel in the fresh, clean air of a summer rain. My mom sat on her porch at every home they owned. It was a place to have the first cup of coffee in the mornings, dessert after dinner and a place to run to in the winter when a hot-flash began snaking it's way up her body. She did that a lot in the late 50's, fanning her house dress to let the cooler air into the nooks and crannies.
When I still lived at home, I sat on the porch a lot too. It was a great place for reading and homework, and if friends happened to drive by, they might stop if you were outside and easily accessible. The last house I lived in with my parents was close to the neighbors, so we could sit on our porches and talk to our heart's content. If you got tired of talking, you could always go inside, pretending you had something to see about.
One of the best things about the porches in those days was the location of the mailbox. We had only to step out onto the porch with one foot to retrieve the day's mail. That didn't matter in the summer, but in the winter, it meant you didn't have to put on a coat and walk outside to the curb, or the end of the driveway, as we do now. If you put your dog outside to go to the bathroom, he had the perfect shelter from the hot sun, until you opened the door again.
I was always certain that I would live in a house with a front porch. I knew just what kind of furniture I would put there, and how I would place the many plants I expected to have. There would be bamboo blinds on the sides to block the late day sun, and a welcoming sisal rug, preferably hand-painted. That was a pipe-dream, apparently. Since moving away from my parents, I have never lived in a house with a sittable [sic] front porch, and I have lived in 8 different places since I left them in 1963. At this point in my life, I know it will never happen, but I still think about it and I decorate it in my mind. Maybe in my next life.......