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Love of Nature and Love of the Past Combine in Julian Home

Standing at the end of Daley Flat Road in Julian is an otherworldly experience. The serene, untamed landscape overlooks mountain ranges and valleys, stands of majestic old oaks and fields of wildflowers. Just more than an hour from the heart of downtown San Diego, there is no din from a distant city, no other structures are within view — nothing but silence and vast open spaces.

It was just this feeling that captivated the owners of 2901 Daley Flat Road in the Hoskings Ranch development in Julian and inspired them to build their dream vacation home 25 years ago. What resulted was a meticulously researched and painstakingly constructed home that provided a welcome retreat for the family for decades.

Tammy Tidmore, a Realtor with Willis Allen Real Estate in its Rancho Santa Fe office, has the listing on the 4,500-square-foot home with four bedrooms, four baths, a loft, wrap-around decks and a separate caretaker’s home. The property has a hay shed, horse corrals and riding rink on 46 acres. It is priced in a value range from $2.2 million to $2.5 million.

“The owners literally went up to Julian for a slice of pie,” Tidmore said. “They walked around the charming town, looked at properties in windows, walked into the real estate office and found this piece of land.”

Tidmore said this is what began a wonderful odyssey for the couple and their family. They really wanted it to be something different and spent a few years traveling and researching to get precisely what they wanted.

What they wanted, Tidmore said, was a house that would look and feel as if it had been there since the 1800s.

“They did huge research on this; it was something they read voraciously about,” Tidmore said. “Remember, it was in the days before the home computer, so they did tours back East of historic neighborhoods and homes. That’s how they got their passion and figured out the direction they wanted it to go.”

In a document about the construction process, the owner describes a tour through Mount Vernon, President George Washington’s estate in Virginia. He was curious about the stairs leading to the second floor and asked the docent how often they had to replace them given the tourist traffic. The docent told him these were the original stairs.

Mount Vernon was built in 1758.

The material was Long Leaf Yellow Heart pine, known for its durability and strength and much in demand during the early expansion of the U.S. As a result, the Long Leaf Yellow Heart pine forest once covering nearly 70 million acres is all but extinct. The owner was working with a specialty barn wood and hand-hewn beams company in Pennsylvania that had a source for the wood from a guy in Louisiana who dredged old logging rivers to find it.

He was able to get enough for the first-floor kitchen, pantry, great room and sitting area.

Tidmore said that the same attention to detail and fierce desire to get precisely what they wanted with authentic materials also drove the choices for every other detail, including the interior walls.

“Back in the day, you used to be able to go to different lumber companies where they would have bundles of dismantled 1800s barns,” Tidmore said. “But you would have to buy all of the lumber in the bundle, because no two pieces from the different barns were alike; they all weathered at different times.”

But that isn’t what they wanted she said.

“They wanted to handpick lumber that had character, different characteristics and different patinas,” Tidmore said. “The lumberyard owner let them literally go through and choose from different bundles the specific pieces of wood that they wanted. It took months.”

A distinctive feature of the home is the four, 12-foot-high, triple-hung windows that open up as doors. The owner showed pictures of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to Custom Window and Door Design Inc. of Oceanside and they agreed to manufacture them.

“These windows literally fold up like old-fashioned garage doors that are all glass,” Tidmore said. “So you roll them up and now your living room is out onto the back patio overlooking the pasture and the barn.”

All of the custom-wrought iron work throughout the house was done by Dexter Mugford of Iron Mountain Forge in Julian. Mugford has since gained a worldwide reputation for his one-of-a-kind “Art-of Iron” creations. Palembas Hardwood Floors Inc. in Escondido installed the flooring and the general contractor was Sumac Development Inc. in Rancho Santa Fe, which features the home on the front page of its website.

Tidmore said the home is absolutely a labor of love. It’s all invisible tongue and groove, it looks like skilled artisans were there from years ago and did the installations, she said.

“This house is for someone who wants a signature piece, and this property is a signature piece,” Tidmore said. “The topography of the land, the wildflowers, …the views, then just the sheer integrity of the house and how solidly it’s built; it’s something special.”

Send luxury real estate items to sglidden@sdbj.com.

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