Habitat: After about three centuries, stories abound about Oxford home
OXFORD — There are a lot of stories about the house at 251 Quaker Farms Road. The property’s listing agent, Marge Yonika, said she’s heard that it was blacksmith shop at one time and also a stagecoach stop between New Haven and Waterbury.
Today, the 4,521-square-foot Cape Cod-style home — listed at $399,900 — sits on roughly three acres of property, but Yonika said “it was once part of a 140-acre dairy farm.”
She said other stories she’s heard is that the property was home to a “treaty tree,” where important agreements might have been signed, and a hanging tree, though she had few details on either.
The varied stories around the property make sense given that the home is roughly 300 years old. Yonika said town records state the house was built in 1704, but the current owner has told her that some of the features on the home might place its “birthdate” a little later, to around 1740.
At least one other source placed its date of construction as vaguely “in the 1700s” — “Early Houses of Oxford,” published in 1976 by the Historic House Committee of the Bicentennial Commission.
The book states that the house is referred to as the Nichols Homestead on an 1868 map of Oxford, and that the home is “unusual for its exceptionally wide cornice and overhang.”
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In 2019, the house maintains many of its classic features, including its antique post and beam construction. The house also has much of its original wide-plank wood floors. There are four fireplaces, one of which has an adjoining brick oven that could be used to bake bread or pizza.
Yonika said despite its long history the house has been brought up to date.
“When the current owner bought it, he gutted it and put in new electrical and plumbing and windows, insulated exterior walls, etc.,” she said in an email.
Other modern touches include an outdoor in-ground pool and a 943-square-foot cobblestone patio. The house has four bedrooms, five full baths, two half baths and a game room with room for a pool table. Yonika said the house has multiple fruit trees on its property, including peach, pear and apple trees.
With three centuries of history behind it, Yonika said, the home is ready for its next chapter.
“It’s a really interesting house,” she said.
Do you know of a house or apartment building with an interesting story? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and the home could be featured in an upcoming installment of Habitat.