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Home of historic ham magnate to be auctioned

The Virginia Victorian home that has been in the family of a ham magnate for a century is scheduled to be auctioned July 5. Photo courtesy commons.wikimedia.org

The Virginia Victorian home that has been in the family of a ham magnate for a century is scheduled to be auctioned July 5. Photo courtesy commons.wikimedia.org

NORFOLK, Va. – A historic home built by a ham magnate in the early 1900s will go on the auction block July 5 in the town of Smithfield, which is about 45 minutes outside Norfolk.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the suggested starting bid will begin at $450,000. Property records put the home’s value at more than $880,000.

The 5,000-square-foot home was built with North Carolina granite, Indiana limestone, plate-glass windows from Pittsburgh and custom woodwork from Richmond. It is believed that P.D. Gwaltney Jr. built the house for his wife.

Gwaltney’s company later became part of Smithfield Foods. The home’s current owner is Gwaltney’s granddaughter, 80-year-old Henrietta Gwaltney, who has lived in New York City for decades. She says it’s time for the house to start a new chapter.

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