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(updates; auction canceled) BOWLING GREEN – Today’s scheduled foreclosure auction of Historic Bowling Green Farm was canceled.
The auction was to be held on the steps of the Caroline County courthouse at 10 a.m.
No further details were immediately available.
The home, located on the south end of the town’s Main Street, was built in 1741, making it one of the oldest original homes in Virginia. Situated on 126 acres, it is designated a Virginia Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Steve Nicklin purchased the property in 2003 and began living in it and restoring it the following year; it has been completely preserved.
A few years later, Nicklin put the property up for sale. It originally was listed for sale at $2.9 million in 2008. The price was reduced several times, and last year it was on the market for $1.9 million. Nicklin arranged to sell the property at an auction that attracted six bidders, but he rejected an offer that resulted from the auction and put the property back on the market.
The foreclosure sale notice indicates that that original principal amount of Nicklin’s deed of trust was $1 million.
Nicklin, 53, could not be reached for comment.
When he discussed the property in 2011, Nicklin said he commuted to work in Washington, D.C. and was interested in “downsizing,” selling the historic property, and moving to the District of Columbia.
The home is a pre-Georgian brick and clapboard Tidewater colonial farmhouse. The original structure was 2,100 square feet, and an addition in 1791 added another 2,100 square feet. The house has five bedrooms and four bathrooms. The property includes a one-acre vineyard planted in Cabernet Franc varietals with an additional 25 acres under cultivation.
Bowling Green Farm is zoned to allow for special events uses, including a bed-and-breakfast facility, with an easement accommodating the construction of a swimming pool and multiple structures.
Originally patented in 1667, the then-3,000-acre plantation was named ‘The Bowling Green’ for the two-acre grassy area fronting the manor house. The owners, the Hoomes family, also operated the stage line and owned the nearby New Hope tavern, later known as the Bowling Green tavern, after a small town grew up around the tavern and took the name of the surrounding plantation. George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette visited the home, according to journal entries and other documents in their hand.
Colonel John Hoomes launched the family’s famous legacy in horse breeding and racing, transforming The Bowling Green to a prominent breeding stable and the site of one of the region’s first horse racing tracks.