The first house built in 1880 was a for a friend of architect Harold Wick. It was a modest cottage with a simple color scheme. Soon after it was finished, a neighbor moved in across the street and constructed an ornate town house. Rumor has it that the owner of the cottage became angry because the new house blocked the sunrise. To compensate for the lack of warmth on his house, he decided to paint the cottage yellow.
The new resident, following a verbal argument, interpreted this to be a display of dominance and painted his home a new color that would attract as much attention. A rivalry began and expanded with each new resident, leading to a progression of more colorful and unique buildings.
Comprised of Victorian era architecture, visitors will find a mixture of Gothic, Romanesque, and classical elements on Candy Lane with rich colors—a stark contrast to the Jefferson style red brick and white trim architecture for which Autumn and most of Virginia are known. It has become a popular location for photographers.
One of the houses includes a tragic story. The last lot to be purchased was in 1901 near the east end of the street. The resident was a wealthy businessman who was charmed by the neighborhood and built a house on Llolman Rd. as a summer retreat. His son inherited the family fortune and house after the father passed away, but lost all of it after the stock market crash of 1929.
He was reported to have taken a train from New York to Autumn, walked home to his house on Llolman Rd. and hung himself in the upstairs stairwell, facing the stained glass window that looked east. The house has had trouble keeping tenants over the years and is currently vacant.