REAL ESTATE

A True Fairy Tale: This Missouri Cabin Offers a Storybook Setting

  • Hobbit main room

    Hobbit main room

  • front

    front

  • hobbit bed

    hobbit bed

Some houses appear as though they belong in fairy tales. Take this Hobbit-like cottage located about 30 minutes south of Springfield in Highlandville, MO. It's on the market for $250,000.

The 476-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom trapper's cabin is believed to have been built in the 1950s. It sits on 10 acres of land with three stocked ponds and has its own source of spring water.

Inside, the cozy bedroom sports Egyptian hieroglyphics, their origins a mystery. There's also another mysterious perk with the purchase: large stone sharpening wheels sit outside the cabin somewhat incongruously next to its central air unit.

Despite the unknowns, or maybe because of them, "the cottage is extremely charming," says listing agent Susan Stowe. She adds that the homeowners bought it from a doctor who used it as a weekend getaway from his normal routine. Beyond the doctor's ownership, the home's origin and evolution are murky, as befits a home that looks like it emerged from the mists of Brigadoon.

Because the gravel road leading to it can flood during heavy rains, and because it has no laundry facilities, Stowe says the cabin is more of a "weekend getaway" rather than a year-round residence.

But that's not to say it's all rough and rustic. The home has central air conditioning and a fireplace insert for heat. It's also equipped with a surround-sound system. "It's definitely a dude place," Stowe says.

The main room features a wood-beamed, cathedral ceiling, the fireplace, and room for a small table and chairs. The kitchen area features a stove, sink, and full-size refrigerator. The main room is encircled with windows, and the snug bathroom has a walk-in shower.

The property, which sits next to a pond, has a private dock. There's also a bluff with a cave from which its spring originates.

Highlandville is about three-and-a-half hours southwest of St. Louis and three hours southeast of Kansas City, so it could be a getaway for residents of either metro, as it can be from Springfield itself.

"It's getting a ton of attention," Stowe says of the showings she's had so far. It's as if people sense they have to act fast before the cabin fades into the mist.