Saturday, March 7, 2015

Lichgate A Dream Preserved

1401 High Road
Tallahassee, Florida
There is a charmingly secluded location that could very easily be missed if you did not have an exact address,  and if someone had not told you previously about the exact location.  We were scheduled to have our February Garden Club meeting in this old preserved home that in 2006 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

After our Garden Club meeting, even though it was an extremely cold day outside, our guide took all of us around the property and told us some very interesting facts about this very quaint Historical location:

Laura Jepsen, a Shakespearean scholar and professor at Florida State University here in Tallahassee from 1946 until 1978,  had a wish to find a beautiful location and build a little dream cottage.  She loved the 16th century and Shakespeare.  She was searching for a spot where she could be transported back in time to this period she loved.

Her search was over the minute she drove past a three-acre cow pasture with the biggest Oak tree she had ever seen.  This was the spot she had been looking for ... A place to build her dream home.

This was a place where she could leave the outside, modern world where she worked and volunteered and return back to a period of time she loved.

This amazingly beautiful Oak tree is what convinced Miss Jepsen to purchase the property.  

During her lifetime Miss Jepsen lived a simple life.  She was not interested in material wealth.   She never married.  She walked to work at Florida State University where she taught literature, humanities and creative writing.  

We were also told that many local couples have chosen to be married under this old sprawling Oak tree, which is a perfect symbol for  growth and abundance for their future.

You can see a person walking toward the tree in the below photo.  The person in the photo gives some perspective as to the size of this tree.  As we toured this beautiful location, our guide told us this tree is probably about 500 years old.  

As you can see in the below photo Miss Jepsen's cottage was small and very charming.  Some would say it is an English-style Tutor cottage that may remind one of something from a fairytale.

We were told that nothing was trivial in Miss Jepsen's life.  They say the simplest decisions she made were full of meaning. She chose the white-pine flooring for the inside of the cottage from an old house in Vermont, built in 1762. 

A stone path leading around the property.

 Some pretty floral bushes at the front entrance of Lichgate.

Pretty flowers in the garden.

And a Japanese Magnolia tree just beginning to bloom on the side of the property.

The cottage is constructed from tidewater red cypress, cedar, and redwood.  The granite used for her fireplace and foundation came from a Georgia quarry.  Miss Jepsen chose this stone because it is among the oldest rocks on the planet,  and for her,  a symbol of long-lasting durability.

The inside of the little cottage was very simple.  As you walk up the stairs, you step inside to the main living area.  There is  a very large fireplace on the left wall which is the main focal point of the entire room.  Then on the extreme right is a bathroom, a tiny kitchen and stairs leading up to what looked like a loft or a bedroom.

Miss Jepsen lived here in this secluded spot until her death in the year 1955.   The property is privately owned and is open to the public from early morning until sunset.  It is available for weddings, parties, small meetings and showers.

I'm so glad you came along with us as we enjoyed walking through someone's dream come true!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend wherever you may be.

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