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For Perrow family, Lynchburg house was a happy home

For Perrow family, Lynchburg house was a happy home

The sound of lightning crackling down the street sent former Lynchburg City Councilmember Turner Perrow rushing back to his home one street over from the 1940s house he and his wife, Holly Perrow, had just made an offer on the day before.

As he reached home and the storm set it, Turner realized the sound hadn’t been lightning, it had been trees breaking as the derecho of 2012 pummeled parts of Lynchburg, toppling trees and damaging buildings with its straight-line winds.

Built in 1949, the house on Manton Drive is one of two houses on the street built in the late 1940s, and narrowly remained intact following the derecho.

Turner said the house next door was damaged when a tree fell through the bedroom roof — no one was hurt — while his only loss was several trees on the property.

“We put the offer in [June 28, 2012] and on [June 29] the derecho came through,” Turner said. “The only reason I remember that is because my son was born the same day.”

Since 2012, the Perrows have called the house on Manton Drive home.

With its circular driveway and original hardwood floors, walking through the front door feels like a step back in time. All the major changes to the house, including a large sunroom overlooking gardens full of azaleas, were made before the Perrows moved in so the couple only needed to make minor changes such as roof maintenance, repainting, and restoring the large columns framing the front porch of the house.

“We just worked on the skin of the house,” Turner said. “[Working on the house] gave me a real appreciation for how things were constructed in the late ’40s, early ’50s. [There’s] a bit of a sense of timelessness in the house …”

The sprawling first floor opens into an airy entryway, with living space on either side and the large, bright sunroom directly ahead. The kitchen still holds many features original to the house such as a painted brick fireplace, hardwood floors and many of the crisp white cabinets.

On the far side of the first floor is what Turner refers to as his “Jeffersonian Suite,” a collection of rooms allowing for privacy from the rest of the house, including a study, large bedroom, and bathroom.

“I didn’t know about this until visiting Monticello a couple years ago,” Turner said. “They talked about how Jefferson had his suite of rooms, his kind of private area … [I thought] ah! I’ve got a Jeffersonian suite!”

The suite formerly was the house’s garage and had been renovated into the master bedroom suite by the previous owners.

Turner said he and Holly were drawn to the house for several reasons. At the time the Perrow family began looking for new houses, Turner was serving on Lynchburg City Council and needed to find a home within his ward. The look and style of the house also grabbed their attention, but most importantly, they needed more space for their growing family.

Some of Holly and Turner Perrow’s best memories of living on Manton Drive are family centered, saying the children have spent a lot of good childhood years there.

“It’s just a happy place,” he said

Holly recalls sitting in the sunroom, watching the snow fall in the backyard and their children sledding down the hill behind the house, and in the warmer weather seeing the children riding bicycles through the neighborhood and playing in the hot tub on the back patio.

“Large family gatherings were a big part of our holiday and birthday celebrations,” Holly said. “On Christmas, our kids would sit patiently at the top of the stairs, eagerly waiting to see if Santa came to our house.”

Now that they’ve put their white brick home on the market, Holly and Turner said they hope to see another family purchase it and enjoy the quiet, family-friendly neighborhood.

Turner said he grew up with friends in this neighborhood and spent much of his time riding his bike and playing baseball in the middle of the street, adding the neighborhood still is quiet enough for children to play baseball in the street.

“We’ll miss 3620 Manton Drive and can’t wait to welcome it to another family to make their special memories there,” Holly said.

As much as they love the house and the family time they’ve spent there over the years, Turner said they put the house on the market so they could move to the Perrow family farm in Amherst County, a place with even stronger connections than this neighborhood where Turner grew up.

“We absolutely love this house and we’d still be here if we weren’t going to the farm,” Turner said. “…That’s just where I grew up and I want my kids to grow up there so they love the [farm] like I do.”

PHOTOS: For Perrow family, Lynchburg house was a happy home

The sound of lightning crackling down the street sent former Lynchburg City Councilmember Turner Perrow rushing back to his home one street over from the 1940s house he and his wife, Holly Perrow, had just made an offer on the day before.

As he reached home and the storm set it, Turner realized the sound hadn’t been lightning, it had been trees breaking as the derecho of 2012 pummeled parts of Lynchburg, toppling trees and damaging buildings with its straight-line winds.

Built in 1949, the house on Manton Drive is one of two houses on the street built in the late 1940s, and narrowly remained intact following the derecho.

Steenburgh is a freelance writer and former reporter for the Amherst New Era Progress. She lives in Lynchburg.

Steenburgh is a freelance writer and former reporter for the Amherst New Era Progress. She lives in Lynchburg.

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