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Boydville to be sold to Martinsburg landlord

Berkeley County Farmland Protection Board voted 3-1 Thursday to accept purchase agreement

December 06, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • Boydville is shown in this 2002 file photo.
File photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The 200-year-old Boydville estate in Martinsburg, once spared from burning by direct order of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, is on track to be sold to a Martinsburg landlord for $500,000.

The Berkeley County Farmland Protection Board voted 3-1 Thursday to accept a purchase agreement with Jonathon T. Mann and his wife, Meagan, pending review with legal counsel for any possible amendments or other changes.

Under terms of the agreement, Mann will be allowed to make $1,500 monthly payments over five years before paying off the remaining balance. Mann is expected to make a $5,000 down payment.

Newly appointed board member Matthew Barney voted against the sale.

Barney said he felt the 13.6-acre property at 601 S. Queen St. should have been marketed more extensively to possibly attract more interested buyers.

“I talked to everybody on the board and expressed that only having two advertisements placed in the local newspaper requesting proposals did not cut it for me,” Barney said.

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Mann told the farmland board in a special meeting Tuesday that he intended to move his family into the property and operate a bed and breakfast.

“I wish him all the luck in the world,” Barney said.

The property’s sale, if ultimately completed, will result in a conservation easement being placed on the acreage surrounding the circa-1812 mansion.

Board members also noted Thursday that Mann will be expected to comply with a 25-page preservation easement, which specifies conservation of the mansion’s “original fabric,” and other structures on the estate. Specific items mentioned in the preservation easement stipulate protection of the interior plaster walls, millwork, a mural and original, hand-painted wallpaper that was imported from England.  

On Tuesday, Mann told the board that he planned to sell some of the 10 properties he already owns in Martinsburg to devote more attention to Boydville. In addition to his real estate business, Mann said he also works for the Internal Revenue Service.

Mann said he intended to rent the law office on the property for commercial use to generate revenue. He also indicated he would allow a caretaker who lives in a tenant house to continue maintaining the grounds, but that arrangement is not part of the proposed sale agreement.

The farmland board acquired the property for $2.25 million in 2005 to protect it from a proposed residential project. The board’s purchase was backed by $750,000 from the city of Martinsburg.

Boydville once part of a 300-acre farm owned by Gen. Elisha Boyd, who served in the War of 1812. It was later home to the Charles J. Faulkner, the nation’s minister to France under President James Buchanan. His son, Charles J. Faulker Jr., who served in the U.S. Senate, also resided there.

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