Offered by Walter Bering of Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty.
In 2000, Harley and Jayme Ponder were planning to tear down and burn an old structure on the edge of their property near Burton in Washington County. However, good friends Dr. William C. Welch, noted author and Texas A&M horticulturist, and his wife, Diane, rescued the 1860s farmhouse and ultimately turned it into their country getaway — and ultimately a Burton showplace.
Now on the market, the 1,846-square-foot historic house sits on 4 acres atop a hill overlooking the neighboring pastures and ponds. Its perch offers unobstructed vistas and sunsets.
The house was in such delicate condition that Diane named it “Fragilee.”
During the rehabilitation, cypress beams, which were harvested and milled from the Welch’s family farm in Louisiana, were utilized inside and on the 10 foot by 40 foot porch. With three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the vintage home features ship lap walls, original wood floors and six over six pane windows. The kitchen has a vaulted ceiling with tongue-and-groove boards and the beautiful stone walls and chimney were hand-crafted by a local, highly-regarded stone mason.
“The inside of the house is adorable, but you are drawn to the large covered front porch to take in the breathtaking view,” says Walter Bering of Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty.
Burton Showplace Garden Showstopper
Heading out the back gate, a large cottage garden, which was designed by Dr. Welch, is filled with heirloom roses and native flowering plants given to him by friends over the years. One bush, “the Peggy Martin Rose,” is a hardy, thorn-less, pink, climbing rose removed from the original mother plant in Plaquemine Parish, La. Dr. Welch was one of the founders of The Rose Emporium in nearby Independence.
“The original mother plant was one of only two plants that survived 20 feet of saltwater for two weeks following Hurricane Katrina,” Bering said. “Talk about hardy.”
The entire property is abundant with native, southern plants. Oranges, tangerines, grapes, figs, peaches, pomegranates and pecans are all harvested on a regular basis. Virtually all year long, something is in bloom. Butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and bluebirds also call Fragilee home.
The property is just 90 miles from both Houston and Austin. Taxes for 2015 were $3,208. It has electricity, propane, well water and septic systems. There are no deed restrictions. Price is $585,000.
Editor’s note: Article sponsored by Walter Bering, Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty.