Paradise Found – Prepper-Perfect Virginia Mountain Retreat

Situated between two Appalachian Mountain ranges in southwest Virginia, this homestead is in an area surrounded by numerous sites’ “safest places to live in Virginia” – Narrows, Pearisburg, Bluefield, Blacksburg, and Christiansburg. Newport is simply too small to be noticed by these sites, but is just over two mountain ranges in either direction from shopping, restaurants, and other emenities. Adjacent to Jefferson National Forest and close to the New River, Newport is well beyond a tank of gas from any significant population center, but many job opportunities exist in Blacskburg. The main house at 3200 square feet of living space could accommodate several people. This structure is a contributing structure to the National Rural Historic District of Newport and has been continuously inhabited since the mid-1800’s. It is a sturdy mostly frame structure of hand hewn post and beam over stone foundation that has been fully and carefuly renovated over the past 25 years. It could accommodate an extended family or group of co-housing friends to live in community.

A back wing of the house is a concrete former root cellar most recently used as a rental bedroom, and could be altered to be a safe or panic room. The eat-in kitchen is large and includes a raised stone heat storing hearth with a new Jotul woodstove. Adjacent is a concrete springbox plumbed with gravity fed springwater which historically was used for refrigeration of the dairy farm’s milk. The remainder of the house is served by Giles county water but could easily be converted back to the springwater throughout. An outside hydrant provides gravity fed spring water for garden use.

Three full bathrooms and six bedrooms – some of which could be put to other uses, a great room, wide upper and downstairs front halls, laundry room, and pantry complete the living space. Almost all floors are hardwood, with vinyl flooring in 2 bathrooms, and tile in the third bathroom, laundry room and back concrete-walled room. Roof is standing seam metal. The downstairs south-facing porch runs the entire width of the house and has screens and removable plexiglass panels for passive solar gain, as does the narrower upstairs south-facing porch. Propane gas logs and heaters provide zone heating and the Jotul woodstove provides the base heat for the entire home. Given the southern orientation of the house, solar power could definitely be an option to make the homestead fully off the grid.

The acreage is 12-1/4 acres in pasture and woodland. The south-facing bowl that comprises the lay of the land has contributed to outstanding soil fertility and quality and is the source of at least 4 robust springs. A small pond is stocked with koi, sunfish and bass. A ½ acre field adjacent to the house is suitable for goats being fenced with small-opening welded wire, and includes a hog pen that could house goats, a henhouse and two wood frame tiny houses, one of which is currently in use as an art studio, the other as very secure storage – each is 12’ x 22.’ Neither is plumbed at this time and electricity is provided via extension cords as needed. An outhouse is also in the field, two apple trees, three paw paw trees, two Japanese heartnut trees, and two pear trees, all mature and bearing fruit/nuts. Native game is plentiful here.

A larger former tractor shed houses a one car garage/storage space and a 2800 gallon therapeutic warm pool. Above the space is unfinished space that could be made into two apartments. The building has its own electric service and 200 amp breaker box. Other structures include an oak and chestnut dairy and hay storage barn, a corn crib with walk-through and tack room, and an additional larger hen house. Fields are fenced and cross-fenced to allow rotation of grazing. The nut grove has mature butternut, English walnut, and hardy pecan trees, highbush cranberries, plum, and raspberries. Other areas of the property have more raspberries, blueberries, hazelnuts, asparagus, and a 20’ x 70” 7’high deer fenced organic garden space. Terraced garden space adjoins the garage/pool structure area. There are numerous established perennial medicinal and culinary herbs and ornamentals. Strategically planted evergreens provide acoustic and visual privacy from the road.

It is unclear how many families could be supported agriculturally on the property, but possibly 20 people. A knowledgeable expert has said that the two primary springs on the property could serve all of the small town of Newport, and the water now serves three households; previously additional homes were served as well, but they have changed to county water. Neighbors are good people – the ones who own 88 acres of the original full farm raise draft horses and have cattle on a property a short distance away.

Though this is an attempt to give a full picture of the property it really must be seen to be appreciated.