On the Market: Historic landmark with stately architecture
Published 12:00 am, Monday, June 19, 2017
WILTON — The updated antique colonial house at 274 Ridgefield Road gives prospective homeowners a chance to own a piece of Wilton history, with all its New England charm and unique architectural details. The Betts-Middlebrook House is the ninth-oldest house in Wilton. It remained in the Middlebrook family for six generations. Its thoughtful updates preserved its past, while moving this house forward for the lifestyle of today’s families.
The local landmark has stood since the early 18th century. Extensive additions were made to the southeast side and the back of the house. According to the Wilton Historical Society website, British troops passed quickly through Wilton on April 28, 1777, coming south on Ridgefield Road after their raid in Danbury. “Samuel Middlebrook of Middlebrook Farm fled from his house (274 Ridgefield Road) with his wife and children, but the British entered, broke a large mirror and drained a hogshead of rum,” the website says.
One portion of the house served as the town tavern from 1734-1739. The white clapboard Federal-style colonial house with black shutters sits on a level property of 2.1 acres at the corner of Ridgefield and Middlebrook Farm roads. It enjoys many updates, making it ideal for 21st century living. Many past and present features combine in this 5,028-square-foot house to create a timeless treasure.
Modern features include an elevator, open floor plan, gourmet kitchen with custom Klaff’s cabinetry, banquet-size formal dining room, a large stone patio, and beautifully landscaped grounds. Vintage features include three original fireplaces. The one in the dining room, which was the kitchen when the house was first built, has a working beehive oven the current owners use to make wood-fired pizza. There are five Rumford fireplaces in this house, four of them functional.
A long stone wall topped with a white picket fence stands along the front of the property. The circular driveway goes past the covered formal front entrance with built-in benches and ends by the casual side entrance, which has a covered porch, and the attached two-car garage. The entrance foyer has a decorative wood floor and provides access to the formal living room to the right and the dining room to the left. On the fireplace of the front-to-back living room there is a hand-painted rendering of the house on the white ceramic tile surround, although the trees are taller now and the side porch has since been enclosed. It now houses an office with a coffered ceiling, cherry wood paneled walls, and a fireplace flanked by built-in bookshelves.
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A pass-through with a barrel ceiling and built-in shelves goes from the office to the family room, although both rooms can also be accessed from two sets of French doors in the living room. The family room has a tall and wide fireplace, paneled walls, coffered ceiling, and a door to the side yard. The back of the living room has a long window seat flanked by built-in bookshelves. From here, enter a back hall where the elevator is located. It travels to the second floor. There is also a door to the gardens, yard and patio, which has stacked stone walls.
The dining room fireplace has a mantel with dentil molding and above it is a preacher’s closet, also known as a parson’s cabinet or a liquor cupboard. When the original kitchen was converted to the dining room, the floor was extended to cover a well that stood outside the door. The kitchen features a large porcelain farm sink, a cherry wood center island, honed black granite counters, and chef's grade appliances including a Blue Star six-burner cook top, two Gaggenau wall ovens and two Miele dishwashers. Off the kitchen is a breakfast room and mudroom with a door to the patio. It is framed by a “wreath” of wisteria vines. The mudroom is also accessed by the side entrance door, which opens into a greeting or receiving room.
On the second floor there are six bedrooms, two of which are en suite. One wing could serve as an in-law or au pair suite. One bedroom has one of the three original fireplaces, as well as an alcove with French doors to a large balcony/deck that can also be accessed in the master suite. The vestibule into the master has a stained glass window depicting a tree with pink blossoms, offering a hint as to the beauty of the grounds.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
The property offers a serene setting with beautiful flower gardens — including roses, peonies, allium, astilbe and other perennial and specimen plantings. It also has heirloom apple trees, cherry trees, and a bucolic meadow. Although it seems remote, this house is a short distance to the town, train station and highly-ranked schools.
For information or to make an appointment to see the house, contact Julie Vanderblue and Floria Polverari of the Vanderblue Team/Higgins Group Real Estate, Vanderblue at 203-257-6994 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and Polverari at 203-615-3170 or email@example.com.