WESTPORT — So many homebuyers today are looking for new construction or turn-key houses that require no renovating or updating.

It may be convenient, but how much more exciting is it to live in a home full of history and character, to walk in the footsteps of people from generations past.

While the antique colonial house at 79 Coleytown Road could benefit from some updating, it has undergone renovation projects throughout its long history, and it would be a mistake for anyone to overlook this vintage gem.

It was built in the early 19th century and enjoys “amazing value.” Listing agent Pat Prenderville also said this house provides a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a home with provenance and privacy; an undeniably storied history beginning with Westport’s founding families and passed on to scions of business and industry.”

The Warburg Estate, as it is called, is a private retreat in the Coleytown section of Westport. The 4,946-square-foot house sits on a 2.11-acre level and secluded property with 100-feet of direct waterfrontage along the Aspetuck River, although the property does not require flood insurance. The property includes a tennis court and in-ground swimming pool.

According to the agent, town records indicate the property was originally 18 acres and was deeded to the Gray family in 1785. The house was completed in 1820, meaning it pre-dates the official incorporation of Westport, which occurred in 1835. A Westport Historical Society plaque at the front entrance identifies this residence as the John Gray House.

John Gray is a descendant of Henry Gray (1613-1658), one of the five men known as the Bankside Farmers who are credited with the founding of Westport.

In an article on the Westport Historical Society’s website by Bob Weingarten, the society’s house historian, a historical document between the Bankside Farmers and the town of Fairfield in November 1684 says it was “agreed that Thomas Newton, Henry Gray and John Green shall have liberty to sit down and inhabit at Machamux.” Information on the Friends of Sherwood Island website says Machamux was the name given to the “remote area” of Fairfield by Indians that, translated, means The Beautiful Land.

Real Estate Listings

Despite its vintage, this house features spacious rooms, tall ceilings, an open floor plan, a wet bar, modern bathrooms, and an impressive renovated kitchen with high-end appliances including a gas range and a Sub-Zero refrigerator.

The master suite features a walk-in closet and a spa bath with a jetted tub and steam shower. All the while the house has maintained its vintage integrity and charm. It has wide-planked antique floors in a honey hue, plaster walls, and the eat-in kitchen features a vaulted barn wood ceiling.

The family room, library and formal dining room have fireplaces. Some rooms have beamed ceilings. The office has a bay/bow window, vaulted ceiling, and wall-to-wall carpeting. The library on the main floor and the theater on the walk-out lower level have built-ins. Off the theater there is a pool house/dressing room. This level also has an au pair suite with a full bath. Several rooms have doors to the grounds.

Outside, this enchanting property features attractive gardens with red brick paths and fieldstone walls.

ABOUT THIS HOUSE

STYLE: Colonial

ADDRESS: 79 Coleytown Road, Westport

PRICE: $1,475,000

ROOMS: 12

FEATURES: 2.11-acre level property, direct frontage on the Aspetuck River, water views, tennis court, in-ground swimming pool, hot tub, patio, red brick paths, terrace, exterior lighting, deck, covered porch, stone walls, gardens, pergola, easy walking distance to the Newman-Poses Preserve, balcony, wide-planked antique floors, wet bar, au pair suite, three fireplaces, skylights, detached three-car garage, attic, full partially finished walk-out basement, zoned central air conditioning, oil heat, five bedrooms and five full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Coleytown Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High School

ASSESSMENT: $1,150,200

MILL RATE: 16.86 mills

TAXES: $19,392

The agent says of this property, “The residence offers expansion potential and is not subject to historic district regulations.” She calls it “an incomparable compound for year round enjoyment, or a perfect weekend retreat.”

For more information or make an appointment to see the house contact Pat Prenderville of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty at 203-984-9423 or pprenderville@williampitt.com.