How often do I get to say, “I spent three wonderful hours touring and photographing a 226 year old house that was part of the Underground Railroad”?  This historic 1780s farmhouse in Hampton, 15 minutes from Lawrenceville, is for sale. It’s offered by Coldwell Banker agent Debbie Platts.  Also for sale are the contents – buyer gets first dibs of course.  If you ask me, it’s a steal.  I’ve been daydreaming about the possibility of living here myself – not likely at this juncture, but one can dream.  The original structure was the homestead of John Walter, a Revolutionary War veteran who was buried on the farm before it was parceled out to make room for more homes.  The house was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.  The current owners, Jo-Ann & Andy Travis, have lived there for 15 years and are selling in order to downsize.  Jo-Ann is a local antiques dealer who owns Farm Fresh Antiques in Wexford.  She clearly loves the home and has outfitted it perfectly – which is why her design selections should stay with the house if possible.  I am asking you, the reader, to buy this house and what’s inside, and invite me over for Christmas.  Please?

sketch of the farm from a 1995 Hampton Magazine

This spear was found in the cellar walls and is believed to have been left there by slaves from the Underground Railroad.  Jo-Ann explains that homeowners would hang quilts with a particular pattern on the outside of a house, so the home could be recognized as a safe house.

vintage Pittsburgh area bus boards – these are available for anyone to purchase via Farm Fresh Antiques – I was lucky to leave with the one on the bottom left

the current living room was the original log cabin made from 12″ hand-hewn logs

low stone wall around the property originally used to keep farm animals in

photos below by owner Andy Travis, showing the property during all seasons

photos – Kelly Carter
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TJ Stauffer has worked in interior design in Pittsburgh in various capacities for 20 years.  As a vocal performance major at West Chester University, he dreamt of being an architect and ended up steering his way into the interior design field, starting with a key position managing the high-end bedding store Feathers in Shadyside.  In 2000, Feathers was asked to design a bedroom in the Junior League Show House at the corner of South Aiken & Westminster Place.  TJ was charged with leading the project, and so began his career in interior design.  In 2005 he made the move from mostly soft goods (bedding, window treatments) to more furniture based projects and full room design, working for three years as a designer for Stickley Furniture.  He currently specializes in both residential and commercial design work.  His most recent commercial project was the renovation of the outdoor courtyard area at Plum Kitchen.  When he’s not working in design, he’s singing with the Pittsburgh Opera Company, performing one or two shows a year.  He lives in Allison Park with his husband (as of October 4 – congrats!), 2 dogs and 2 cats.

I had the chance to photograph his current project in Shadyside – a temporary residence for a client whose permanent home is being reconstructed.  TJ’s challenge was to fit 7,000 square feet of furnishings and artwork into 5,200 square feet of space.  The family’s renovated home will be completed next year and I hope to share that project here!

sofas – Artifacts
butterfly prints – Roxanne’s, The Strip
chandelier – Royal York auction, Pittsburgh
coffee table – Baker

painting – Hot Haute Hot, The Strip
onyx lamp – Roxanne’s, The Strip
bowl – Millefiori

table & chairs - Antiquarian
table – Wright Table Company
chairs – Baker
chandelier – Typhoon, Regent Square

Italian secretary – Royal York auction, Pittsburgh

table – Bausman
chairs – Milling Road
chandelier was original to the house – used to be in the sun/piano room
sunken powder room – tile was found underneath wool carpeting

1911 Steinway piano – Mark Evers Antiques, Oakland

stripe fabric – Beacon Hill silk – Loom, The Strip
chests – Antiquarian
chandelier – Typhoon
bed – Artifacts
bedding – Anichini NevadaFeathers, Shadyside

settee – Constantine & Pletcher Auction

bedding – Feathers, Shadyside

designer – tjs416 at me.com
photos – Kelly Carter
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