If Downton Abbey Crossed with Little House on the Prairie…
Owner Ann Johnson modestly calls her Leipers Fork property “a slice of hillbilly heaven.” But aside from the rolling hills lined with split-rail fencing, the thatched roof over the pond-side gazebo, and the reproduction log cabin at the top of the property, you’ll be hard pressed to find any resemblance to the usual definition of hillbilly.
A sprawling hillside property tucked into a remote stretch of Tennessee’s Natchez Trace highway, Moonshine Hill combines the palatial with the rustic. The main building is a stone-and-timber edifice that is built in the style of a cabin, but has the proportions of a country lodge. Step inside to find a vaulting fireplace roaring with hickory logs, surrounded by overstuffed leather and brocade furniture flanked enticingly by footstools and fur blankets.
The cook’s kitchen is flanked by a set of cheery red Dutch doors that look out onto the flagstone-paved patio, which boasts two (yes, two!) fire rings, both positioned under oak trees strung with café lights. Follow the lights up the hill, and you’ll reach the treehouse – an open loft built around an old tree that Ann couldn’t bear to cut down. Go a little farther, and you reach the gazebo, a shady retreat with cushy seating that overlooks the koi pond below. Whether you’re just a pair looking for a romantic retreat, a family with children and pets in tow, or a large party, Moonshine Hill’s grassy acreage is a historically rooted wonderland that plays powerfully on the imagination.
There are three beds in the main house, the best of which is the one built into the east wall. It’s hard to know what to be more awed by: the custom beveled oak panel construction or the 1000-thread count silk sheets. However, for daytime lounging purposes, the sweetheart-shaped bathtub and the light-flooded window seat vie for the title of the most comfortable place in the house.
Ann Johnson is a consummate hostess, seeing to a thousand little details that give Moonshine Hill all its incomparable homey elegance: outdoor seating areas stocked with candles and cushions, bathroom cabinets stocked with perfumed bath salts and locally made soap and lotion, cupboards and drawers filled with everything you could want, from parlor games to picnic blankets to stationery. What’s more, being a guest of Moonshine Hill means a personal introduction to the wonderful community of Leipers Fork. Ann will point out (if not personally introduce) the town local luminaries – artists, musicians, shopkeepers, historians, all of whom are natural storytellers proud to welcome strangers to their perfectly preserved little piece of history.
For the truest experience of what makes the Nashville area legendary, eschew the bright city lights for the warm country charms of Leipers Fork. Enjoy the famous Puckett’s Grocery open mic night, eat a farm-to-table lunch at Joe’s, and relax into the sweet, simple routine of life at Moonshine Hill.
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