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I’m a sucker for small towns. When faced with Main Street U.S.A., my knees go weak like a girl who’s met her Prince Charming. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in one, or maybe it’s just a plain old preference, like beach vs. mountains. But maybe it has something to do with the fact that rural, quaint spots are where I tend to find my favorite houses. Many are old, rambling farmhouses painted white long ago, ranging in size from a couple rooms and a porch to sizeable affairs with wings that look to have been added as families grew. Some are grander dames with columns and stately entrances, but most have roofs of metal and screened doors on all sides, swung open several times a day. A yard big or small works fine for me, as long as it has at least one lazy, draping tree to help keep things cool (and for climbing, when the mood strikes). Given the rural setting, windows stay open for most of the night, particularly during summer.

I can’t say that these old gals are the most up-to-date or efficient domains, but I can live with that. It’s the romance in them that I like, so crooked floors and a drafty window or two are okay, even expected.

A few weeks ago, I had to head out to McClellanville to scout a house. With a population just shy of 500, it’s a town with its own identity, generations of families, and a charm in its simplicity. After my house visit, I drove around the dirt roads and waterfront lots that snake through the little village. I couldn’t resist taking some shots of favorite views and old dwellings—check out the attached photo gallery. Some are a bit grander than the modest American farmhouse, but that day, it was whatever caught my eye.

As for the house I was scouting? Stay tuned: it appears in the August issue of Charleston magazine, due out in a week or so.