On the Market: Home once belonged to America's wealthiest woman

WESTON -- In 1918, Alice Antoinette DeLamar (1895-1983) was one of America’s wealthiest women, according to a recent presentation from Nona Footz, a former Weston resident and historian.

In 1930, 12 years after the death of her father, Joseph Raphael DeLamar, the richest “bachelor girl” in the nation built a European Arts and Crafts-style fieldstone manor house at 5 Norfield Road in Lower Weston. She named her 8.4-acre pastoral country estate Stonebrook.

The listing agent, Susan Seath, said Stonebrook was a full working farm complete with a menagerie of animals, an apple orchard and vegetable gardens. “She maintained a saw mill and forge across the road on Newtown Turnpike where all the (wrought iron) hardware (and shutter hinges) for the main house and outbuildings was created,” Seath said.

The trappings of DeLamar’s agrarian, yet luxurious lifestyle, await the next owner of Stonebrook, including her Olympic-size in-ground swimming pool complete with a 50-foot swim tunnel. “Ms. DeLamar had the oversized pool built with a tunnel leading from the basement. It was rumored that this was done so she could swim in the nude without fear of being seen or the need to walk outside,” Seath said.

Perhaps it was also to impress her impressive list of world-renowned visitors who included artist Salvatore Dali, choreographer George Balanchine, author Laura Ingalls Wilder, musician/composer Dave Brubeck, and actress Eva Le Gallienne. DeLamar was not only appreciative of arts and culture, as evidenced by the company she kept, she also was a life-long patron of the arts, until her death in August 1983.

“What is less known about DeLamar was her financial contribution and societal impact on arts and culture,” according to the Weston Historical Society, which also mentions the 7,000-book bequest she made to the Weston Public Library.

Today, Stonebrook still offers peaceful privacy as well as the opportunity to live an opulent lifestyle or one of simplicity and sustainability; a chance for “living and entertaining on any scale,” from casual to lavish, Seath said.

This “enchanting retreat” features the 10-room main house, as well as a cottage with antique hemlock flooring, an attached greenhouse and potting shed, and its own address at 35 Newtown Turnpike. There's also a horse barn with two stalls, a hayloft and attached studio cottage, a three-room storage building with a temperature-controlled workshop, a utility barn for storage of equipment and tractors, and a stone pump house. There is also a three-car garage with a half bath that served as the “pay station” for DeLamar’s farm hands, gardeners, chefs, housekeepers, and handymen. The cottage can accommodate in-laws, guests or an au pair, or it can be rented out.

The English gardens include four levels of perennial plantings and mature specimen trees. Original millstone wheels from the Cobb’s Mill Inn – which DeLamar once owned -- are inlaid in the fieldstone trellises, which are covered in wisteria vines.

ABOUT THIS HOUSE

STYLE: English country-style Fieldstone Manor House

ADDRESS: 5 Norfield Road

PRICE: $2,595,000

ROOMS: 11

FEATURES: 8.4-acre level and gated property, Gunite in-ground swimming pool and swim tunnel, horse barn with two stalls, storage barn with full workshop, greenhouse; three bedroom, two bath guest cottage; one bedroom studio, raised bed English gardens, professionally landscaped, exterior lighting, patio, porch, electric deer fencing, water frontage along a brook, water views, 1,000-bottle wine cellar, balcony; proximity to the centers of Weston, Westport and Wilton; pre-wired for cable, five fireplaces, stone wall, detached three-car garage, full partially finished walk-out basement, attic, zoned central air conditioning and oil heat, private well, septic system, five bedrooms, five full and two half baths

SCHOOLS: Hurlbutt Elementary, Weston Middle, Weston High

ASSESSMENT: $1,111,350

MILL RATE: 32.37 mills

TAXES: $35,974

Inside, the house features 4,783-square feet of living space and casual elegance, incorporating antique beams, original brick and pine flooring, detailed woodwork and five fireplaces into the architectural design. There is also a 1,000-bottle wine cellar.

Highlights include a dining room that can easily accommodate 16 or more for a formal dinner and a family room reminiscent of an English Pub, although it was imported from France, with a stone fireplace, full antique pewter bar and refrigerator drawers. Three sets of French doors lead to the fieldstone patios and terraces for relaxation and al fresco dining. The gourmet eat-in kitchen was designed by bespoke kitchen designers Smallbone of London with marble and granite counters, a farm sink, center island, and Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances.

In the second floor master bedroom suite there is a sitting room with a fireplace, its surround comprising Delft tiles. French doors access two balconies. There are two walk-in closets and two baths, one with a steam shower and heated floor. One of the other bedrooms features a fireplace and built-in English chestnut cabinetry.

The loft can serve as an office or homework station. It provides access to the attic entrance and is a possible area for expansion.

Weston Center, Wilton Town Center, and the public schools are close by. The Westport Metro North Railroad train station is only 6.4 miles or 14 minutes away. Main Street in Westport is just over four miles away and Compo Beach is eight miles away.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Susan Seath of Compass Connecticut, LLC at 203-984-0143 or susan.seath@compass.com.

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