2019 Historic Garden Week Homes


In 1778 Daniel Smith, a friend of George Washington, moved to Rockingham County and established his home.  Though the original plantation is gone, the house built in 1840 by his grandson Edward Smith stands strong and majestic.  Smithland was purchased by the Graves family in 1945 for use as a nursing home.  It closed in 1963; seven years later, the present owners remodeled the structure, returning it to a private residence.  The Graves moved into the home in 1971, but have continued to upgrade and “modernize” ever since.  Paquet floors, interior woodwork, fireplace surrounds, window bays and ornamental lead-glass windows remain from the 1880s.  The owners enclosed outdoor porches to create more functional living spaces and re-purposed basement storage rooms into a home office and sitting room.  The kitchen was enlarged in 2006.  antique and reproduction furniture mix with contemporary pieces to create dignified yet comfortable ambiance.  Extensive perennial gardens wrap the exterior in color and elegance.  Still a working cattle farm, several outbuildings from its earlier history remain.  Two barns, the previous slave house, an old farm office and a jail-turned-smokehouse attest to the long history and many transformations of this home.   Glenna and Wes Graves, owners.


Follow the driveway past a copse of trees and the view opens onto a Craftsman home perched upon a hillside with sweeping mountain view.  After the owners created a layout they liked, they tried to imagine how the outside would look.  With the help of an architect who worked with their builder, they have created an exterior flanked with masonry that is just as stunning as the interior.  A timber portico sets the stage for a clean aesthetic.  Large open areas showcase architectural elements such as the stone fireplace cube, windows that frame the view, unusual ceiling angles and a bridge dividing the upstairs, creating living spaces that flow together seamlessly.  Furnishings and colors blend with and highlight the natural materials used in the construction.  Rooms were designed to maximize convenience and create plenty of storage space.  Having tow main-floor master bedroom suites was important so that older family members could visit for extended periods of time.  All the children’s bedrooms include a second built-in daybed to accommodate sleepovers and holiday visitors.  A three-seasons room, deck and patio all allow opportunities to enjoy the vista.  The landscape includes a vegetable garden and a small Christmas tree nursery.  Erin and Jim Johnson, owners.


A home is a marriage of family histories, occupations, personalities and passions.  Both from rural backgrounds, the owners wanted to live and raise their children in open spaces, but they also wanted to be close to the advantages of town living.  Nine years ago they found an ideal property and started looking for a house plan, but the designs failed to take advantage of the views of the surrounding farmland.  They also wanted a casual atmosphere, a studio for Heidi’s home-based drapery business, and versatile spaces in which to entertain.  They sketched a layout of their ideas and took it to a local architect.  The result is an artistic blend of timber, metal, air and light.  The exterior is reminiscent of barns seen off country roads, befitting a rural landscape.  The interior spaces feel open, yet intimate and cozy.  All are filled with inherited pieces, as well as tool finds from the yard and field that have been re-purposed into usable art such as the fire pit and firewood rack.  Note architectural details like the open structural timberwork and the rounded balcony overlooking the living room.  Brent designed the iron and wood circular staircase that leads into a cupola, where the family loves to gather to watch sunsets or oncoming storms.  Heidi and Brent Yoder, owners


Who would dare to paint their dining room royal purple?  Armed with a painting by her artist mother, Kathleen Waid did just that.  With two children getting older, the owners needed a more teen-friendly home, but they didn’t want to leave their school district.  After a long search, they decided to build instead.  Working with an architect, a custom home builder, and their wish list, they have created a home that matches their family’s needs.  The modern exterior opens into an inviting interior with an open floor plan which includes a chef’s kitchen and an extra-large island with eye catching veining in the countertop.  There is ample room to cook while family friends keep company or help with prep.   This area is open to the great room that looks out on the outdoor living area and pool.  A window allows food to be sent from the kitchen directly to the build-in grill outside.  Retractable screens and outdoor heaters extend the porch season by several months.  The purple dining room also opens into the great room.  Making it appear separate and more formal, a coffered ceiling adds distinction to the space.  The basement level provides a home office as well as guest bedrooms, storage areas and an entertainment room.  The home is versatile so that rooms and spaces can adapt as the family grows and changes.  Kathleen and Ryan Waid, owners



3 thoughts on “2019 Historic Garden Week Homes

  1. What a huge undertaking: to arrange the perfect flowers, in the perfect vase, in the proper setting in each home being shown. The arrangements were gorgeous and so fitting for each room. The members of your garden club did an outstanding job arranging the flowers and being such welcoming guides through the lovely homes. We love seeing the arrangements on line. Thank you for a lovely day in Harrisonburg!

  2. THIS was the most outstanding yet!! The use of color, etc. I MUST GET TO HARRISONBURG next year…WELL DONE!! franki

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