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Karlan Mansion (Elydale)
Built for wealthy landowner Robert M. Ely, this house is one of Lee County's showplaces. It is a two-story, hipped-roof, brick house situated at the head of an oval drive flanked by mature maple trees. In the early twentieth century, the house received a two-story, three-bay pedimented Doric portico with symmetrical, yet uneven, spacing between its columns. A late-nineteenth-century photograph of the house, though, shows a five-bay two-story wooden porch with decorative sawnwork extending across the front. The house's eaves are adorned with brackets and scalloped wooden trim. Karl Harris purchased and renovated the house in the 1950s and renamed it Karlan. The house was later sold to the state and since 1993 it has served as the center of Wilderness Road State Park. The three-hundred-and-ten-acre park includes Martin's Station, a replica of a colonial frontier fort that was on this site in 1775.
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