Maybe the best part, says owner Paula Van Alstine, is that her King George property sits on a peninsula that juts out just enough into Machodoc Creek so that the sun rises and sets on the water.
“The beauty of its location on the water is so unique,” she said. “It’s just a magical place.”
This magical place is also known as 16085 Little Ferry Road, and despite her love for the estate, Van Alstine, who co-owns it with Dan Van Alstine, said it’s time to turn it over to the next fortunate owner. She has listed it with Eric Nelson of Coldwell Banker Elite in Colonial Beach with an asking price of $2.6 million. Almost all of the furniture will convey and is included in the price.
For many reasons, the real estate mantra “Location, location, location” is about as applicable to this property as it gets. Sitting on 25 acres that make the rest of the world seem a world away, it is its own little corner of paradise.
Just a few miles from U.S. 301, it is 35 miles from Fredericksburg, and only 15 minutes from the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren. And if you’re a history buff, the property is within a modest radius of the birthplaces of three of the first five U.S. presidents: George Washington, James Madison and James Monroe. Not too much farther out on the Northern Neck is Stratford Hall, the Westmoreland County home of the family of Robert E. Lee.
Little Ferry, Van Alstine notes, references a ferry based in the area that plied the nearby Potomac River from Alexandria to the Chesapeake Bay, and is said to have carried George and Martha Washington between Williamsburg and Mount Vernon.
The long lane that leads to the home from Little Ferry Road leaves no doubt that this is a special place. Vast green fields and an avenue of trees usher visitors to a circular driveway with a fountain at the center. Van Alstine’s green thumb is evident in the landscaping and garden areas that surround the home.
“There is always something of interest, something in bloom during every season,” Van Alstine said. “There are trees and spaces named for each of my grandchildren.”
The property also includes three nominees to the National Tree Register, each thought to be about 300 years old, representing a rare oak subspecies.
The home offers 2,000 feet of frontage on Machodoc Creek. A dock with covered boat mooring reaches into the creek, which is 5 to 6 feet deep at mean low tide and holds an abundance of fish, crabs and oysters. An assortment of large birds spend their time in the area.
Built by Chris Kohlhaas of Fredericksburg Custom Homes, the home is angled to follow the contour of the driveway out front, and the shoreline out back. Beige brick and pediment windows with red shutters provide a distinctive look, and a wide front porch offers cover for arriving guests. Beaded siding is used on the back and a hip roof covers the sprawling residence.
Completed in 1998, the house won a Best in Show award that year for Kohlhaas in the Fredericksburg Area Builders Association Parade of Homes category for homes over $500,000.
The house is listed with four bedrooms, four full bathrooms and a half bath, offering 5,265 square feet of living space on three levels. Two additional rooms on the main level could serve as bedrooms if desired.
The main entry of heavy, double oak doors with sidelights opens to a foyer that spills into a large dining area with a vaulted, two-story ceiling. Windows and glass doors flank a fireplace and fill the angled back wall, providing panoramic views of the creek and shoreline. The forested land across the creek is owned by Dahlgren and will never be developed.
To the right of the dining area, through a pair of arched openings, is a wing that includes the eat-in kitchen and family room. The kitchen is large and functional, with granite covering the island and counters. Both the island and a peninsula counter have stool seating for casual meals and conversation. A pressed tin ceiling, medium cherry cabinetry, black appliances and a tile floor complete the handsome look. Other granite-covered kitchen features include a separate wet bar area and a computer nook.
The breakfast area is surrounded by a bay window that overlooks the creek. Access to the multilevel rear deck, hot tub and fire pit in the back yard is here as well.
Two doorways and a wide, arched pass-through link the kitchen and family room, which is at the front of the house. Windows flank the family room’s fireplace.
To the left of the center dining area is a series of rooms with creek views. They include a cozy Florida room with walls that borrow the exterior brick, an office with coffered ceiling and richly finished built-in shelves and cabinets, plus a sunroom with large, arched transom windows on three sides. The sun room, with full bathroom nearby, is currently arranged as a guest suite.
From the foyer, a gracefully curved staircase rises to the upper level, where three bedrooms are located. The luxurious master suite has a wide window with creek views. A hallway with walk-in closets leading to the master bath with freestanding tub and separate tile shower.
Across the balcony that overlooks the lower level are two secondary bedrooms, each with its own bathroom.
The finished basement has exterior access and is set up as a self-sufficient suite. It features a large living or recreation area, bedroom, full bathroom and small kitchen. There’s significant unfinished storage space down here as well.
An oversized two-car garage has space for a workbench and storage in addition to vehicles. A large, detached garden and equipment shed elsewhere on the property has overhead doors for tractors.
In addition to offering it as a private residence or weekend getaway, Realtor Nelson said he’s marketing the property also as a corporate retreat or bed and breakfast. He said the acreage is eligible for subdividing since the county zoning is for 2-acre lots.