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Posted April 17, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Two centuries of style featured in Warren County


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By Josette Keelor -- jkeelor@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Upcoming garden tours of the Northern Shenandoah Valley will take place in Winchester and Front Royal, spotlighting many newer, more modern houses among some older homes to offer a variety of local treasures inspired by creative residents.

Though in Winchester new homes make a rare appearance in the spotlight normally reserved for more historic houses, in Front Royal this year's spotlight is the home of Bill and Billie Simpson, Bon Air, the main portion of which dates back to 1755. Wings were added later, says Elsie Upchurch, co-chairwoman of the Garden Club of Warren County, which planned this year's tour of Warren County for Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

According to promotional materials from the garden club, the home, at 124 Luray Ave. in Front Royal, has been in the Simpson family since 1904, when purchased by Bill Simpson's grandfather. Large structure log homes from that era, like this one, were rare, and, according to Upchurch, the home has never before been opened to the public, making it a much-anticipated stop along this year's tour.

The 6,000-square-foot home features an indoor swimming pool with a waterfall cascading down the wall on one end, and a Jacuzzi on the other end. French doors lead to the outdoors, where visitors will find a fish pond with 16 coy fish, says Upchurch.

Other houses on the tour are much more modern, having been built in 1993, 2001 and 2007.

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