When William Lightfoot Price bought 80 acres from the estate of Antrim Osborne in 1901 in the name of the Rose Valley Association, it was with the aim of creating a home for artists and craftsmen.
Our historical shelter today came to our attention thanks to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and sits in what became known as Rose Valley, Pennsylvania. Once home to some of the founders of the town, Rose Valley has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Interior as a historic district.
After purchasing the land, and with the backing of well-heeled Philadelphia liberals, Price set about creating a haven for the Arts and Crafts movement — with the help of several founding families, including Herbert Lightfoot Walton — a relative of Price.
Herbert, an artist, sculptor, stonemason, iron craftsman, and builder, was entrenched as an integral part of the town when he constructed his cottage and forge in 1924.
“In his forge on Price’s Lane, he forged beautiful fireplace tools and screens, lamps, tables, and decorative articles,” said the Rose Valley Museum. “His best-known works, still seen today, are the Rose Valley street signs and the lamps at Hedgerow Theatre.”
In addition to his own home, Walton built many of the early buildings built in Rose Valley between 1910 and 1930, including five Arts & Crafts spec houses for Will Price.
“They say, if you see a storybook cottage in Rose Valley, it was likely designed by Will Walton and constructed by Herbert Walton!” said listing agent Scott Laughlin.
Walton’s cottage and forge are now up for sale, and the next owner will be only the fifth in the property’s history.
The main home — the cottage — is surrounded by trees, shrubs, and perennials, and sits high on the banks above Vernon Run. Built of stone and stucco, it provides views of the woods and creek below.
“The craftsmanship of Herbert Walton is evident everywhere, from the exceptional masonry work to the intricate slate roof, dormers, and a most delightful and diminutive front door tucked into a corner of the building,” Laughlin said.
The four-bedroom, two-bath home has more than 3,000 square feet of living space upstairs, and two rooms in the basement.
The first floor boasts a large den, a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and three fireplaces.
“The first of three fireplaces are in the dining room, and it’s just adorable — likely one of the smallest fireplaces I have seen, it is surrounded with original Mercer tile,” said Laughlin. “An entire bank of windows line the South wall and the original joists are exposed in the ceiling.”
“There is a French door to the 4-season sunroom with two complete walls of windows overlooking Vernon Run.”
The master bedroom is in the front wing of the second floor, and boasts a gorgeous en-suite with artisan tiles.
And that basement? Laughlin said it’s a must-see.
“I don’t normally go crazy over basement spaces, but the most beautiful surprise awaits those that make it downstairs!” he said. “Under the dining room, Herbert Walton designed an amazing garden room that has an entire floor of Mercer tiles, the third wood-burning fireplace and a beamed ceiling.”
But the property also boasts a second home — what was formerly Walton’s forge has been turned into a one-bedroom cottage.
Since it was originally built for Walton’s ironwork, the home still boasts the massive fireplace that served as his forge. The home may be small but it’s full of light thanks to a two-story window.
“Walton created a large loft area above the forge and enclosed the space with a hand-crafted, leaded window wall and embedded it with stained glass of his own creation,” Laughlin said.
The cottage has a dining room, kitchen, living area, and bedroom, as well as its own private patio area.
Herbert Walton’s Rose Valley home is listed for $639,900. Want to see more? Click here.