Dempwolf’s Ashcombe Mansion in Cumberland County: ‘I spent a fortune on this house. It’s crazy’
Ashcombe, built in 1891 near Mechanicsburg, served as summer home for the wife of legislator and railroad exec Henry Moser. Its exterior of limestone, sandstone and wood frame is covered by shingles, stucco and half-timbering. Ashcombe is near the market complex that resembles Brown’s Orchards Farm Market in Loganville. It was featured in Spaces magazine, published for several years in the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Background posts: The real big York County house that little false teeth built, ‘You cannot stay stressed here for long’.
The venerable Dempwolf architectural firm was everywhere in York city 100-125 years ago.
They firm even were associated with Spring Grove and Hanover, having designed the high schools in those towns.
But their buildings were found outside county borders in large numbers. As I wrote in “Never to be Forgotten,” the Dempwolf firm was synonymous with architecture in southcentral Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
Cumberland County’s Ashcombe Mansion is one such example.
An article in the October issue of Spaces magazine tells a bit about this area landmark:
Mira Stankovic looks down from the Ashcombe Mansion’s curved staircase, with stained glass windows in the background. The mansion’s Web address: www.ashcombemansion.com.
In the mid-1980s, Mira Stankovic and her husband, Ljubisa, were looking to move out of their Camp Hill home and into someplace special.
When her husband set eyes on the Ashcombe Mansion near Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County, it was love at first sight.
The Stankovics have lived in the house since then, but it also serves as a bed-and-breakfast and as a setting for weddings and other gatherings.
Before you even set foot inside, it’s easy to see why.
The wraparound porch is hugged by beds of wild flowers. The mansion, surrounded by 23 acres, is just minutes from busy Route 15, yet it feels a world away.
Inside, Mira furnished each room with items she fancies, most of which come from Europe. “I met an auctioneer who imports old European furniture, and we were his best customers,” she said. “I spent a fortune on this house. It’s crazy.”
Mira also used to be crazy about running the mansion as a business — even rescheduling planned vacations to accommodate rentals and guests. In recent months, she has stopped advertising, renting only to those who seek out the place.
“I was working day and night, killing myself,” she said. “Now, I just want to live my life.”
Still, she’ll gladly show off the parquet floors with different designs in each room, the breakfast nooks with curved glass windows and the dining room wallpaper hand painted with a hunting scene.
Then there are the custom-painted ceilings, done in 1997 when the place was featured as a designer’s show house and opened for tours to benefit the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.
The grand piano, fireplace and empire-style scroll couch in the living room are still favorite spots for brides to be photographed.
Others enjoy spending the night at a place with so much history. Mira said, “It is a landmark.”