Delaware Home and Garden: Ellen Passman of Washington, D.C., renovates a Victorian house in Milton, Sussex County
A D.C. transplant rescues a Victorian in Milton.
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Love at First Sight
In its century and a quarter of existence, the Victorian house with twin peaks in Milton had served, variously, as a family residence, a funeral home, a boarding house and, briefly, an antiques shop.
At the turn of the 21st century, the property was a work in progress—with a long way to go on its way to being restored to any semblance of its original grandeur.
A tired old house in sleepy Milton, population 2,576, was an unlikely destination for Ellen Passman, who had lived in various cities and preferred the conveniences of renting to the responsibilities of homeownership.
“I had only owned one place in my entire life—and I had never fixed up anything,” she recalls.
She was living in suburban Washington, D.C., and managing catering at the legendary Watergate Hotel when she discovered Milton through friends who owned a vacation home in Sussex County. Passman decided to devote a single day to house hunting, more as a tire kicker than a serious buyer.
“As crazy as it sounds, I knew I wanted to buy this house one minute after I walked in the door,” she recalls.
And, so, she did.
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