The United States of America got along just fine without a federal income tax for 85 years. But money was needed to help fund the Civil War, and the Revenue Act of 1861 was passed for that purpose.
That same year, in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, Henry Taylor completed work on a farmhouse that he had built entirely by hand. Taylor erected the house to stand the test of time and the elements, and it has done just that. As this story details, it’s made primarily of hemlock and hickory, and remains “impressively sound.”
In 2004, Valle Crucis was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009, the farmhouse was purchased by Steve and Alison Garrett, who spent the next two years restoring it to its original grandeur—uncovering beautiful bricks that had been hidden by drywall, plaster, wallpaper and such. You can view the restoration process in this photo gallery.
On Memorial Day 2011, what had been known as the Hard Taylor House opened its doors to the public with a new persona: The 1861 Farmhouse Restaurant and Winery. The name pretty much says it all, although since the opening, a market (featuring jams, jellies and other taste-tempting treats) has been added.
The wine room is in the oldest part of the house, where much of the original exposed brick can be viewed. Other rooms are dedicated to dining, as is the farmhouse’s back deck during the mild-weather months.
The 1861 Farmhouse does not maintain its own vineyards. Instead, grapes are purchased from neighboring growers and then fermented and aged on site. Oak barrels line several walls of the house.
The farmhouse has withstood the test of time and so, too, has the federal income tax (although it has been repealed, readopted and even held unconstitutional at one point).
This being Tax Day 2013, you have a decision to make. If you’ve learned that you’ll be receiving a generous refund this year, perhaps a trip to The 1861 Farmhouse Restaurant and Winery is in order this summer. On the other hand, if you had to write a check this year, you may want to stay at home tonight and ease your pain with a nice glass of wine.
Either way, don’t forget to file. No matter how painful the process, it’s always better to deal with taxes now than later.