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Intrepid Inventor's Pastoral Pile Kissed by Amish Craftsmen

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Location: Foxburg, Penn.
Price: $24,000,000
The Skinny: In 1998, Dr. Arthur Steffee sold his Cleveland-based spinal implant concern for a hefty $325M. Left with no day job, Steffee decided to focus his attentions on updating this 1,200-acre estate, particularly the 1828 stone manor house, which had fallen into disrepair. Once he rolled up his sleeves, Steffee didn't button back up for 11 years, resulting in a spectacular transformation of nearly every structure on the rambling property. The good doctor labored alongside the army of artisans, while also tending to the working farm on the property. Local Amish craftsmen carved intricate woodwork for the project, but probably wouldn't approve of the private basement pub, with it's billiards table, jukebox, and 500 bottle wine cellar. The stonemason spent so much time toiling on the property that he now lives in one of the estate's outbuildings, ever ready with his mortar and trowel.

Stunning as it is, this property might be doomed to a good price chopping: $24M for an estate seven hours from NYC, an hour and a half outside Pittsburgh. But it better not see too much of a chop, as a less well-endowed new owner might struggle to replicate the local largesse of the Steffees. Arthur built an inn, a winery, and a pizza joint, while his wife, Patricia, apparently helps struggling local businesses pay the bills. For once, dropping an obscene sum on a house comes with a little responsibility.

· 615 River Stone Lane [Howard Hanna]
· Clarion County mansion and its 1,500 acres are on the market for $24 million [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]