DIY Historic Abandoned Homes For Sale!


7th Sep, 2012

We look at a lot of abandoned places here on MessyNessyChic; we take a look around the empty shells, wonder why such wonderful places could be left abandoned and then go about our day. But what about going a step further and actually entertaining the idea, the possibility, the dream of buying a forgotten historical property and giving it a second chance with the restoration project of a lifetime?

An absolute treasure of a website lists properties throughout North America including anything old homes to commercial buildings, antique structures, fine old estates, mansions and hotels that are in need of new owners. Some of the historical properties listed have already been wonderfully restored but about 20% are amazing renovation projects waiting to happen. The restored gentlemen’s club in Alabama we saw in yesterday’s article was found and purchased by the new owner via this very website. It can be done! I carefully combed through the site looking for the most interesting fixer-uppers and this is what I found …

[Bare in mind, some links to property pages listed may expire depending on sale status]


Miah Maull Lighthouse, Downe Township, New Jersey

To be sold at auction, bid deposite: $10,000



I think I could get used to waking up with the sea air on my little red lighthouse every morning; jumping in a dingy to pick up some breakfast on the mainland. Miah Maull Light Station is located offshore in Cumberland County, New Jersey in Delaware Bay. The closest town is Downe Township, New Jersey. It marks one of a series of shoals along the eastern side of the shipping channel between Cross Ledge Light and Brandywine Shoal Light, and is located 55 miles Southwest of Egg Island Point and 18.5 miles Northwest of Cape May, New Jersey.
The light station was constructed in 1913 and is a cast iron, 45-foot conical red tower with a black lantern, topped with a cornice. The foundation is a concrete and cast iron caisson, 40 feet in diameter. The three-story interior is lined with brick.



SO much potential!







For more information on this property and more lighthouses up for auction, visit GSA Auctions.



1857 US Marine Hospital, Galena illinois



Situated high on a hill on 11 mostly wooded acres with river frontage, the 6300 sq.ft property boasts a magnificent detailed heavy cast iron staircase that winds to the belvedere. The building is extremely sound structurally with brick ceilings throughout but would need total restoration. Large rooms, high ceilings, very private. Five block walk to town.


The nation’s Marine Hospital system was created to care for ailing men of the seafaring business. Construction on Galena’s Marine Hospital, authorized by an act of congress, began in 1857 and was completed in 1860. The hospital cost $43,430 to build. The structure was all brick with walls two foot thick. The third floor originally contained two large wards, the apothecary shop, and two full baths. The main floor had a parlor, bedroom, office, sitting room and a full bath. The basement had the kitchen, laundry room, fruit and vegetable storage room, furnace room, dining room, closets,and a full bath.





The hospital was closed in 1865, deemed to costly to operate. Patient costs were $3.00 a week, physician fees ran $1.75 a week, and medicine costs ran $.70 a week.
In later years, the hospital was home to the German English Normal school. It also has had many private owners through the years. This is one of the few remaining Marine hospitals left in the country.



This old postcard shows two boats about to pass each other on the Galena river. It is a dark and stormy night. Half-way up the hill is a mansion with lights on. This is the Marine Hospital.


Website & info: US Marine Hospital



Thomas Benton Jacob Farmhouse, Jeffersonville, Indiana



Thomas Benton Jacobs farmhouse is a significant example of an I-house building type that was constructed around 1864. And it’s available for $1!!! Okay, okay so there’s a little catch: it’s available for $1 on the condition that it be moved. There are two available lots within close proximity of the house that are available for purchase, including a 1.2 acre tract immediately to the east that is listed for $89,900. The estimated cost to move the structure next door is $30,000. The approximately 3,430 square foot structure contains 9 rooms, including two baths. Many original architectural features remain, including original woodwork, open staircase to the second floor, and hardwood floors.

Indiana Landmarks has until August 24th to find a party willing to undertake the move. If a suitable party is not found, this important piece of Jeffersonville/Clark County history will be lost!

Property listing here



The Tivoli Theater, Spencer, Indiana

$55,000. Circa 1928.


Imagine converting old cinema converted into a home?! The Tivoli Theater stands as one of Owen County’s most recognizable landmarks. Constructed in 1928 by E.M. Viquesney, famed artist of “The American Doughboy” sculpture, the Tivoli is the only example of Mission Revival architecture in the county. Original exterior elements include stucco, stylized parapet, clay tile pent roofs, and second-floor balconies and arched windows. Original theater space elements include the stage, wood seats, and decorative plaster moldings, architectural features and sculptural figures. Small street-level commercial space and second-floor apartment provide additional income potential. The approximate square footage is 5500. Extensive roof repairs completed in 2008.








The property will be sold with preservation covenants held by Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. Potential buyers must demonstrate financial capacity to undertake the necessary rehabilitation and make substantial progress within a two-year period.


For more information, click here



Martinique, Edmonton north carolina

$80,000. Circa 1750s


This classic two-story coastal cottage home was handed down through the same family for seven generations. A house of this age and distinction rarely become becomes available for restoration.  The core of the home was built in the 18th century, possibly as early as the 1750s, for John Wallace on the land grant he received in 1752.

Early features include double-shoulder chimneys, beaded weatherboards, and some Georgian woodwork. The engaged, two-tier front porch, a traditional feature of coastal North Carolina, also dates from the mid-19th century.



One outbuilding, a doctor’s office, is intact; three others (including a smokehouse) have been dismantled and carefully stored for the future rebuilding.

It has been home to a chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court (John Wallace Winborne, 1884-1966) and to Allen Parker (1838-1906). One of the Winborne slaves, Parker wrote Recollections of Slavery Time, published in 1895, about his experiences at Martinique until his escape on a Union gunboat in 1862.


Only the structure is for sale however. Owned by the Edenton Historical Commission, the house has been moved to a temporary location near its original site. It must be moved again to a new setting and will require a complete rehabilitation.

Two possibilities for re-siting home are available on Dillard’s Mill Road, on land that was originally Winborne property. Each of the lots is 1–2 acres. Lot 1: $30,000/acre, roadfront; or Lot 2: $100,000/acre, on millpond. Property prices are in addition to house-moving costs.


For more information, click here



The New Colonial Hotel, Meyersdale, Pennsylvania 

$59,500, circa 1903


Thinking of getting into the hotel business and taking on a great renovation project at the same time?! Or if you have deep enough pockets perhaps turn it into your own personal mansion! For 100 years the Colonial Hotel has been a major landmark in downtown Meyersdale, a small community tucked into the rolling mountains of Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands. Opened in January 1904 the Colonial Hotel was by far the largest and most elegant of southern Somerset County’s hotels. Dripping in graceful elements of the Colonial Revival style, the inn hosted everyone from coal miners coming to town for the weekend to world-renowned performers traveling on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The hotel served the region until the 1970s.





The hotel’s old lobby.


A dinner menu from the hotel circa 1910.





Approximate square footage is 12750 and New Colonial Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Additional information can be found here.

Property listing here.



Former Jones Memorial Library, Lynchburg, Virginia

$429,000, Circa 1906


This would certainly be a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a neo-classical style town landmark.  The former town library has over 17,000 interior square feet and stands vacant, waiting for someone to turn it into something great– why not a grand Gatsby style residence?!


 Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the building is constructed in the Neo-Classical Revival Style in 1906.  With anoramic views of historic Downtown Lynchburg, it’s located on 1.4 acres od land with extensive terraces and landscaping. The two-story portico extends across the facade of the building and contains a frieze that bears the inscription oratory, history, discovery, science, and poetry.









Property listing here

Should I say, Happy House Hunting!?

Have a browse through the Historic Properties website for some incredible homes, restored and unrestored. In fact I insist you do!! I could spend hours…





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