The Federal house reworked in the Colonial Revival style at 66 Compo Road North holds at least one mystery about its origin, one interesting fact involving an iconic television comedy, and one secret regarding a feature in the earliest part of the structure.

According to historical records, the Samuel Gorham II House was built on land given to him by his father, Samuel Gorham Sr. The younger Gorham, a farmer, eventually accumulated 200 acres. The house dates to 1820, but rumor has it one part was actually built almost a century earlier. Information transcribed from the state of Connecticut, Connecticut Historical Commission Historic Resources Inventory, prepared by Mary E. McCahon in June 1988, mentions that a previous owner believed the house was built in 1740 and the south wing was added in 1820.

"The north addition was an old grain shed which was moved up to the house. Out back, a shed attached to the garage was allegedly an old slave cabin," the document reads in part. That cabin is now used as a potting shed in service to the attractive gardens with peonies, irises, white roses, daffodils, a blackberry bush and dozens more perennials that augment the one-acre parcel not far from downtown yet seemingly worlds away.

Although the house was updated with modern amenities and is quite suitable for the lifestyle of the 21st century, it maintains many of historic features, including a wide red-brick fireplace with a wood mantel, storage area and one giant slab of slate for the hearth. This fireplace, and the kitchen where it's located, attracted the attention of producers for the "I Love Lucy" show starring Lucille Ball. Both inspired a scene in the popular 1950s show. The fireplace in this kitchen was replicated on the set of the episode in which Lucy moved to the suburbs and raised chickens. Another episode of the classic comedy featured the comedienne portraying Westport's Minute Man Monument.

"It's fun to know that episodes of `I Love Lucy' were filmed in a model of our kitchen at Universal Studios. Writers of the show visited friends in Westport in the late 1950s, and created Lucy's Westport house from a combination of Westport homes, including ours," one of the current homeowners said.

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This house was also featured in Country Home magazine in May 2006, and the front door is one of the featured portals on a poster of doors of Westport -- appropriately, since the house serves as a portal to both the past and the present.

A major renovation preserved historic architectural elements, including exposed beams on ceilings and some walls and wide-planked chestnut and pine floors, which are found throughout the house. Through the renovation the contractor served as a custodian of the past while nudging the house into the modern era. The owner said he took such care in the details of the job that he even traveled to New Hampshire to find antique wood for the master bedroom beams to match the antique beams in the family room.

"His thoughtful touches made the master suite a haven, and the family room a bright and open space where we feel like we're part of the outdoors," the owner said.

More Information

ABOUT THIS HOUSE
STYLE: Antique Colonial
ADDRESS: 66 Compo Road North
PRICE: $1,999,000
ROOMS: 13
FEATURES: heavy-duty generator, heated in-ground Gunite swimming pool redone in 2012, spa, bluestone patio, terraced gardens, one-acre fenced property, close to the Merritt Parkway, proximity to downtown Westport, stone walls, five fireplaces, two wet bars, deck, porch, retractable porch screens, balconies, insulated windows, some window treatments, sound system, front and rear staircases, full walk-out basement, new 500-gallon propane tank, wood shingle roof, six bedrooms and five full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Saugatuck Elementary, Bedford Middle, Staples High
ASSESSMENT: $1,589,800
MILL RATE: 17.94 mills
TAXES: $28,521

Other historical details include the house has a five-bay central chimney and 12-over-12 windows on the second level.

Modern elements of the 5,500-square-foot house include the open floor plan, high ceilings and a gourmet kitchen. It features a restaurant-grade Wolf range with a four-burner cook top, griddle, enormous oven and indoor grill. There is a separate convection oven. Other kitchen features include soapstone counters, center island, Sub-Zero refrigerator, Miele dishwasher, built-in bookshelves for a library of cookbooks and a wet bar.

The added grain shed, which some think was an onion barn, contains two rooms with a handicapped-accessible bath where a wheelchair can be rolled into the shower. This section of the house could be an in-law or au pair suite. These rooms were once rented out to performers who came to town to work at the Westport Country Playhouse.

On the second floor, the master suite has a dressing room with a fireplace, two built-in window seats with storage drawers and French doors to a balcony that runs the length of the house. It can also be accessed from another bedroom and a door in the hallway.

The third floor houses the "ultimate teenage suite" with three rooms and a full bath. One bedroom has a door to a small balcony. Another has a Murphy bed. The main room has a wet bar.

The heated Gunite in-ground pool is an oasis in the summer; private and surrounded by roses and hydrangeas. Enjoyment of spring and fall evenings is extended by ceiling heaters on the screened porch.

As for the secret? It's a hidden staircase that the current owners will share with prospective buyers.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house, contact Pat Shea of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 203-895-0280 or email her at pat.shea@cbmoves.com.

 

ABOUT THIS HOUSE

STYLE: Antique Colonial

ADDRESS: 66 Compo Road North

PRICE: $1,999,000

ROOMS: 13

FEATURES: heavy-duty generator, heated in-ground Gunite swimming pool redone in 2012, spa, bluestone patio, terraced gardens, one-acre fenced property, close to the Merritt Parkway, proximity to downtown Westport, stone walls, five fireplaces, two wet bars, deck, porch, retractable porch screens, balconies, insulated windows, some window treatments, sound system, front and rear staircases, full walk-out basement, new 500-gallon propane tank, wood shingle roof, six bedrooms and five full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Saugatuck Elementary, Bedford Middle, Staples High

ASSESSMENT: $1,589,800

MILL RATE: 17.94 mills

TAXES: $28,521