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Venerable Dick house long a city landmark
City's historic Charles Dick House on the market

 A barrel ceiling follows the contour of a half-round window in the master suite.
REBECCA SELL/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 5/29/2009

BY RICHARD AMRHINE

Houses are historic not merely because they are old, but also because of the people who lived in them.

The Charles Dick House, at 1107 Princess Anne St., not only has the old part sewn up, dating to around 1750, but it was also originally owned by notable resident Charles Dick, a key member of a circle of friends that included Fielding Lewis and George Washington.

After 259 years, a variety of additions and several changes in ownership, the house remains a Fredericksburg landmark and one of its oldest surviving homes.

Now, after four years of ownership, Reine-Marie and Robert Wojciechowski have listed the property for sale with Bill Smith of Sun Realty of Virginia. The asking price is $1.85 million.

Since 2006, the Wojciechowskis have operated a two-bedroom bed-and-breakfast at the property under a special-use permit that new owners would need to reapply for, according to city officials.

The house remains a solid structure full of original features. Utilities have been updated over time to what is now a six-zone central heating and air-conditioning system.

Features such as odd-sized doors and original foyer flooring that alternates heart pine and mahogany boards are among the home's many endearing qualities, Reine-Marie Wojciechowski said.

"The house has many quirks, but that's what makes it so much fun to live in," she said.

MAKING RENOVATIONS

The couple has been investing in renovations for the house since moving in, but such houses are always a work in progress.

The house is listed with six bedrooms, four bathrooms and two half-baths. There are nine fireplaces, putting one in nearly every room. All are working and wood-burning. Finished living space is about 5,000 square feet. The house sits on an L-shaped lot of nearly a half-acre.

All of the rooms are large, and even the original portion of the house has ample closet space--seldom seen in 18th-century homes.

The house includes a separate cottage believed to date to the mid-19th century that is currently renter-occupied. When the Wojciechowskis bought the property, the cottage roof had collapsed, allowing interior water damage. It has been completely repaired and given a new roof. The second-story living space is above a two-car garage.

HISTORIC ROOTS

The Charles Dick House's history reaches back to Fredericksburg's earliest days. Local historian and author Paula Felder has written and researched extensively on the property.


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