The Andersons were looking for another home to fix up when the notification popped up on the phone.

Avantine Hall, a historic Luray home, was in their price range, and the Edinburg couple jumped at the opportunity. The hall is on the state and national registers of historic places.

Dan and his wife Sara Anderson, who are in their 40s, bought the home on South Court Street in December 2019 and have been restoring it since.

"I've logged hundreds of hours researching the home," Dan Anderson said.

He said the home was first built in the 1850s in the Greek Revival style and once stood on the hilltop where the Mimslyn Inn is now located.

The man who built the home, Peter Bock Borst, was a lawyer from the North who served as Page County commonwealth's attorney in 1868 and 1870. He helped found the Shenandoah Valley Railway, which became the Chesapeake Western Railway, according to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources documents.

The hall also served as the main building for Luray College, which existed for two years between 1925 and 1927, according to the documents.

In 1930, the hall was moved before the original Mimslyn Inn was built, Anderson said.

"Legend has it, the hall was taken apart board by board," Anderson said, and then rebuilt on South Court Street, where it stands today.

The Andersons found proof to bolster this claim with boards numbered and coded for how the pieces fit back together in the attic.

The hall, which is 5,100 square feet, was also built without nails, he said.

The family is restoring the home, not renovating it, Anderson said. The difference is key but brings challenges.

"The size is a challenge, the nature of the restoration is a challenge, and the piece that comes with a restoration is, to do it right ... you're not permanently doing anything [to alter] the home," he said.

Much of the work over the last two years on the hall has been peeling back changes made to the structure since its original form and fixing or replacing parts that have fallen into disrepair, such as the roof, according to Anderson.

"Almost all the work we've done to date is taking off the old, bad stuff and preparing to fix it up again," he said.

Though it is unlikely they will move into the hall full time in the near future, Anderson said the family is not trying to "flip" the property with the restoration.

The family is not sure about plans for the hall in the long run as their kids are in Shenandoah County schools, and their parents do not want to make them change school districts by moving into the home in Page County, Anderson said.

It will also take another two years before all the restoration work will be complete, Anderson estimates.

"We want to make sure we do it right," he said.

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