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Boydville estate in Martinsburg has a new owner

April 13, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • 200-year-old Boydville estate in Martinsburg
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The sale of the 200-year-old Boydville estate in Martinsburg, once spared from burning by direct order of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, has been finalized, the Berkeley County Farmland Protection Board announced Friday.

The ownership of the property was transferred April 4 to Jonathon T. Mann and his wife, Meagan, who agreed to purchase the 13.6-acre property along South Queen Street for $500,000.

The Berkeley County Farmland Protection Board voted 3-1 in December to accept a purchase agreement.

Under terms of the agreement that allows the new owners 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. 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.

Farmland Board Protection board member Matthew Barney, who voted against the sale, had said he felt the property should have been marketed more extensively to possibly attract more interested buyers.

Mann has said he intends to make the estate his primary residence, which must be available to the public at least twice per year, according to a separate set of conditions that were placed on the property upon its transfer.

A conservation easement restricting new development on the leafy estate and a detailed preservation easement concerning structures on the property were instituted as part of the transfer and now will be annually monitored by the Farmland Protection Board.

Boydville once was 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. Faulkner Jr., who served in the U.S. Senate, also resided there.

Mann has said he first toured the property nearly two years ago while attending the 17th West Virginia Wine and Arts Festival, which is annually held there in May and will again be staged on the property again this year on May 25-26.

Martinsburg City Council voted Thursday to approve The Arts Centre’s request to hold the festival and approved sending a letter of endorsement for the event to the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration.

The festival is the nonprofit art educational organization’s largest fundraiser.

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