MY HISTORY OF ROSE HILL
When I first toured Rose Hill with my real estate agent I was told that she was built in 1914 (I have since learned that it was 1910) and she looked it. I was enchanted by her stately pillars and a bit leery of her rotting porch. I was excited to see the grand pocket doors from foyer to parlor and parlor to dining room. I just wished that they would open and close so that I could get the full impact. The floor had settled so much in some areas that a walk down the hall was reminiscent of a carnival fun house. Her walls had been sprayed with texture coat that she was attempting to shed at every seam. I could tell that she had good bones. She just had a touch of osteoporosis. I couldn't wait to call her mine.
The house was built on part of an old farming tract belonging to the Gish family. The original Gish farmhouse still stands as part of Highland Park and is home to Old Southwest, Inc., a historic preservation neighborhood group and other non-profit associations. As far as I can tell from city records, she was a single-family home for many decades. Then, in the 1960's, the owner opened her home to elderly veterans. I understand that there were cots on every floor and in every nook and cranny. The city demanded that the owner put in a fire sprinkler system that still exists today. Perhaps not terribly aesthetic but still part of the history of the house.
In the 80's Rose Hill was again a private home, then an insurance office, apartments and again a single-family home when I bought her in January of 2006. If you would like to hear more about the renovation and restoration of Rose Hill, sit back, grab a cup of tea and read on as I will share with you the adventures I chronicled in emails back home to family and friends in California. Then, come and pay her a visit and see how it all turned out. I think Rose is proud of her new finery and she can't wait to show it off. In the soft snow of winter, or while the landscape dons the vibrant colors of spring's blossoming promise, or when the summer breeze fills with the scent of new-mown grass, or as the surrounding hills burn with the fire of a thousand colors, Rose Hill is ready to open her doors--yes they do open now--and welcome you to the enchantments I have found in the Roanoke Valley.