On the Market: Antique colonial house straddles past and present
WESTPORT — The house that gracefully straddles past and present at 50 Turkey Hill Road N. has many names, according to several historic documents.
In one, the updated antique colonial house is referred to as the Redfield House for its original owners in the early 18th century. In another it is “The Burrow,” after the Burr family, who owned the house at a later time.
In the Connecticut Historical Commission’s Historic Resources Inventory of buildings and structures, dating back to 1988, the house is listed as the Burr-Banks House. With its combination of local history and modern amenities — including a heated Gunite in-ground swimming pool and custom fire pit — it would be wise for someone to simply call this house “home, sweet home.”
For a brief time interest in vintage houses seemed to wane, but suddenly there is a resurgence of interest as people begin to value the past again and realize the importance of protecting and preserving these “Grand Dames.” With the purchase of this house, the next owners are purchasing a piece of Westport history.
In graceful and neat cursive writing, a document dating back to July 16, 1913, offers some history about this house: “Jonathan Burr married Sarah Redfield and in 1799 the house was reconstructed for their occupancy (reconstructed and expanded by Daniel Burr Jr. for his son, Jonathan Burr, as a wedding gift). ... An iron latch on the kitchen door bears the date 1799.”
The document continues: “The house is said to have been an inn before it came into the hands of Jonathan Burr. There is a platform in one of the upper rooms, which has always been called “The Fiddler’s Bench” as tradition says that the larger part of the second floor was open for dancing and that the musicians sat on a bench on this platform.” The handwriting and the historical information were from Helen Ward Banks, a 20-year resident of the house in the early 20th century.
The Cliffside Gray-colored house in the Long Lots neighborhood was originally built as an inn, “about the time of the Revolutionary War on the farm of one of the Burr family,” according to handwritten material from the Westport Historical Society Study of Old Houses, dated June 1963. This same document claims that, at one time, the terraced gardens on this 1.11-acre level property were “one of the show places of the community.”
The corner lot, which shares one side with Long Lots Road, is still a show place, as is the house, which features 5,224 square feet of living space on three levels.
Its professional landscaping is augmented by a large gardening shed. Inside, the house features 12-over-12 double-hung windows, three fireplaces, period details, original rough-hewn beams, and refinished wide-planked wood flooring throughout. Handwrought nails were used to secure the shingles to the exterior facade, which was recently painted, as was the interior.
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Several rooms have built-ins, and the spacious eat-in kitchen features a large butler’s pantry with glass-front cabinetry. The kitchen also has a large farm sink, ample cabinets and counter space, and high-end appliances including a Sub-Zero refrigerator. A private screened-in porch with a bluestone floor is accessed from the formal dining room.
On the second floor there are five bedrooms. The master suite has a sunny sitting room. The finished third floor comprises two flexible rooms and a full bath — ideal as a nanny suite, gym, playroom, art studio or home office.
A separate 19th-century barn with loft contains two vehicle bays.
STYLE: Antique Colonial
ADDRESS: 50 Turkey Hill Road N.
FEATURES: 1.11-acre level and partially fenced property, corner lot, 19th century detached barn/two-car garage with loft, heated Shotcrete in-ground swimming pool, professional landscaping, garden area, large gardening shed, exterior lighting, patio, terracing custom fire pit, screened porch, underground sprinkler, rough-hewn exposed beams, refinished wide-planked wood floors, twelve-over-twelve double-hung windows, three fireplaces, period details, freshly painted interior and exterior, flag pole, ceiling fans; easy traveling distance to Post Road (Route 1), shops, beaches, public schools and Greens Farms Metro North train station; walking distance to Staples High, Bedford Middle and Long Lots Elementary schools; walk-up attic, attic fan, full basement, stone wall, zoned central air conditioning and natural gas heat, public water and sewer connections, owner/agent, seven bedrooms, four full and two half baths
SCHOOLS: Long Lots Elementary, Bedford Middle, Staples High School
MILL RATE: 16.86 mills
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Michael Mombello of KMS Partners and Compass Connecticut, LLC at 203-505-4477 or Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.