You might see it as a simple country house, just dressed up a bit. Or as a minimalist Queen Anne or Gothic Revival that has gone easy on the ornament. The Victorian-era farmhouse, built as the main residence on agricultural lands, blends the plain vernacular, or folk, house forms of the rural landscape with decorative finishes and pared-down design elements found elsewhere on city dwellings.
As railroads stretched into small towns and agrarian areas in the mid- to late-1800s, they brought with them affordable, ready-to-install, factory-made wood trim. Elaborate spindlework, swirling brackets, and turned balusters, previously crafted by hand, were being produced by sawmills and widely dispersed, winding up on farmhouse facades countrywide. Most were indigenous L- and T-shaped houses wrapped in clapboards; some were quiet versions of their fussier cousins, with a bay window here, a pointed arch there.
Overlook a 10-acre farm—and its barn, workshop, and chicken coop—from the master balcony of this Carlinville, IL, five-bedroom house built in 1867. With 4,124 square feet of living space, it has original pine floors, a new steel roof, and all new systems. Listed at $469,000.
Contact: Molly Rosentreter, 217-204-5600