Sunday, February 04, 2007

Moorefields




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.......

26 comments:

Anna said...

Oh how I would love a big, NC front porch right now! Judy, you are killing me here! :)

Raggedy said...

You brought back some beautiful memories for me. I remember the porches we had when I was growing up. My dad has a beautiful screened in porch at his house and I just loved sitting there to read. I have not been back east to visit him in over 4 and 1/2 years. We don't have a porch here.
Lovely post.
*sits on your virtual porch with you as we some tea and chat. Oh I just love what you have done with your porch! The plants are fabulous.
Have a wonderful day!
*^_^
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Sarch said...

What a great post to read first thing on a Sunday morning!

Judy you've got my mind racing back to the house I was in at a very young age that had a front porch. By that time people weren't sitting on them as much but I can picture EXACTLY what you are talking about.

Thank you for this treat.

Michelle says hi.

Angie said...

You can come sit on my front porch! I loved my grandmother's front porch with all of the hanging plants and pots and cool shade...

raehan said...

What a lovely post. We need people to start hanging out on front porches again.

Anna said...

Can you bring me some sweet tea too???

MareDog said...

I grew up in the heart of Chicago -- lots were only 30 ft. wide -- our porches were better than present-day patios because they brought us out front where we could talk with our neighbors. Parents watched their children playing (safely) in the street. Many eyes were there in case anyone had any ideas about breaking into houses.
I had to Google to find what a "Victorian knot garden" is. Thanks for enlarging my world.

Cravey said...

I remember standing on the front porch of my house the day the real estate agent showed it to me - she was fiddling with the lock box and I was standing on the porch, looking at the swing, and the view from it.. and I remember saying to myself before we ever walked in the door.. I'll take it.
You are welcome on my front porch any day.

rashbre said...

The nearest I've got to that experience is trying the rocking chairs at Cracker Barrell before some breakfast fixin's!

I can understand the fun of being able to see the coming and goings, but here in the UK its almost unheard of to have such a thing!

Rocking here from Michele today! Hiya!

rashbre

Blond Girl said...

Hey Judy. Still here.

You know, when I first saw the photo, I thought it looked pretty "modern" for a house built in 1790. Just goes to show you that a good house style never goes out of, well, style!

Like you, I love a front porch. Coming from the north, they are not all that common. Most of the time, they are three-season porches that arn't really usuable space at all. They cut you off from passers-by. Since they are unheated, they're unbearably hot in the summer and cold in the winter, making them good only for an ante-room for your guests, and a confusing one at that. Do they stand outside at the first door and knock, knowing you can't hear them, or do they go through the "almost inside" to the inside door and knock, knowing that they are "kinda" trespassing? No, I want a real porch, the kind that wraps around and gives some protection from the elements yet is still part of the yard.

I wish I had added that to my "dream house" list last week. Oh well, it's there anyway. Always has been, only you reminded me and confirmed it. Thank you.

kenju said...

This is a test.

Ginnie said...

I've never heard of "Moorefields", but living this close I will be sure to check it out. I wonder if that is the same Moore family that named the county I live in (Moore)?

Mr. Althouse said...

I love my house. It's a "western ranch style" like it seems are all of the other suburban homes in California. But in the sticks there are homes like you pictured. All I can say is... someday.

Michele sent me,

Mike

srp said...

Well, I did it. I waited too long to switch to the new blogger and now I am in the middle of a post and it won't let me save it until I switch.... isn't that a bummer! If I lose that post there will be total gnashing of teeth.

Porches, yes, my grandparents had one with a big swing that hung from the ceiling and it was great. She would get her big pan and my little pan and we would sit on the porch and pit cherries or shell peas and watch the lambs play in the barnyard across the drive. Great memories.

Shephard said...

We had a similar porch, and we were only in the house 4 months, so I never got to do much with it sadly. I loved it though.
~S

rosemary said...

I used to sit on our front porch as well...mainly on the steps and lean against the house itself and read. We had a wooden bench but I could see all of the happenings along the street from the steps. I don't have a porch either...I always wanted to live in a turn of the century house that creeked.

Kentucky Gal said...

I have a nice front porch...finally it had been 2 years since I lived in a house with a front porch...right now Hubby uses it for a smoke when it's not too cold...7º right now, so he's not smoking too much...hehe!!
I can't wait till the spring to do a few things to it!!
:-D

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Porches are wonderful Judy, for all the reasons you mentioned...And add a Glidder or even a Rocking Chair and you've got it made! I hope you get your porch someday Judy...and you never know, maybe you just will!

rosemary said...

Yes, my house is durable...metal siding and roof, can withstand the winter snow load, low maintenance and in the winter it looks like an airplane hanger.

Chancy said...

Oh Yes Judy, I also grew up in a house with a big front porch with the mailbox on the wall just outside the front door. We also had a porch swing where I spent many happy hours

margalit said...

We have a big front porch on our house. Part of it is screened in, the other part is open. I love the screened porch and often sit out there to read in the afternoon when the sun is not coming in full throttle. It's cool and the breeze blows softly through the screens. Our porch looks out on the expanse of front lawn that is a mega hill, and then down to the street. From the porch I can see anyone that walks by, but we're so high up they can't see me!

The biggest plus of having a porch is being able to hear the kids at recess on the playground right down the street. I love living by an elementary school just found the sounds of kids playing. It's so life affirming!

Here via Michele

Jamie Dawn said...

We have a small front porch and a larger back porch. I envision myself on the back porch this spring (as soon as it warms up) with some ice tea in hand, sitting in a rocker. I like the rockers for sale at Cracker Barrell.

I wish we had neighborhoods like those in years gone by where people sat on their front porches and watched the kids play outside. I'm sure those still exist in some places. We don't have any neighbors right next to us yet. The house behind us is empty and there's no other houses nearby us at all.

Ahhh, I'm longing for summer porch weather.

Biff Spiffy said...

Very nice, and I for one refuse to give up hope. I don't care what time of life you're at, if you really want a porch you can trade something for it.

My current house has a 'decorative porch' - it looks nice, but not much for the social. I like to park in my rocking chair and read in the summery twilight, or hand out halloween candy from there. Other than that, it's as useful as a wet sack of leaves.

kenju said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

No front porches but we have balconies which are great for sitting out on especially if it is raining.

kenju said...
This comment has been removed by the author.