Griswold Gave Family Solid Foundation
By Gretchen A. Peck
20 Walter Drive in Griswold is a home that balances colonial and contemporary architecture. The three-bedroom house has two full baths, one partial bath and 2,762 square feet of living space. It’s sited on a 1-acre lot in the neighborhood of Pachaug Pond. Owning this home has the added perk of deeded water rights to the pond.
Lea Borgne, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker’s East Lyme brokerage, is the listing agent, working on behalf of the sellers, Frank Quinn and Marie Quinn.
Construction on the house began in 1989, and the Quinns acquired it in 1991, when the builder was close to completing the property. When they saw the house and the setting, the view of the pond sealed the deal. At the time, there was a deck off the main level of the home (which they later expanded), but the view demanded a second-story deck, too. The builder concurred with the idea and added another deck of the second level.
“We have a great view of the pond and of the sunsets in that direction, too. We loved it. We loved it,” Frank Quinn recalled his family’s time living at the home. “The lower back deck is much larger than what you might normally see in a wooden deck, but we like to entertain outside. We sit back there and enjoy the sunset and evening meals. We’ve really lived out there.”
The heart of the house is the 21-by-21-foot great room, which has flooring made of sustainable bamboo. The Quinns created the space by reclaiming a former attached one-car garage.
“When the kids were growing up, we thought it would be a nice place to play with their friends,” he explained. “It’s an enormous room, as you can see in the photos, and it was where they’d go to watch movies.” Mom and Dad were known for supplying pizza and wings for those occasions, Quinn fondly recalled.
There is no garage on the property today, though the Quinns haven’t missed having one.
Back inside the home, there’s also a living room on the main level, with skylights and a cozy gas fireplace.
Quinn said that they always approached improving the home as if it would be their “forever home.” For example, in the kitchen, they added a custom-designed backsplash behind the gas range, sourced from an artist in Arizona.
When the Quinns moved in back in the early 1990s, there was carpeting throughout most of the interiors. “We love hardwood floors,” Quinn said. “We had all that carpeting taken up on the first floor, and we installed white oak hardwood flooring, instead.”
Upstairs, there’s a home office that could be leveraged as a fourth bedroom, if needed, the listing agent points out to interested buyers. It’s the room with the private balcony deck.
The primary bedroom has an ensuite bath. It is on the first floor, where there’s also a convenient laundry nearby.
For outdoor living, dining and entertaining, there’s both a paved patio—another addition the Quinns made to the property—and the spacious main deck.
“It’s a very charming house,” the seller said. “It’s the only house in the neighborhood with a front porch that doesn’t directly face the street. The way the house is situated, we have sun on usable parts of the house—the stone patio and the deck—all day long, from early morning to late afternoon.”
The Quinns have an affinity for flowers, and over time, Frank added perennials to the landscaping. Just recently, a landscaping contractor built a raised planting bed on the grounds, which might be a great spot for the next owner to grow and harvest herbs, vegetables, or to add pollinator pathway plants.
“In the springtime, everything is so luscious, green and flowering,” the homeowner said.
Pachaug Pond is within walking distance of the home. It’s an 841-acre body of freshwater, with a boat ramp at the north end of the pond, where local residents are known to launch fishing boats.
Quinn described the setting as rural and spoke about Griswold as a town: “Griswold has a great educational system—K through 12 all at the same campus, the elementary, junior high and high school. My wife served on the Board of Education at one time, so we know it’s a great place to raise kids. We raised two boys here, and I have to credit the town with the success they have found in life. They started off here, and went on to be very successful young men.”
Property: 20 Walter Dr., Griswold
Square Footage: 2,762
Asking Price: $479,000
Seller’s Agent: Lea Borgne, Coldwell Banker Realty, East Lyme brokerage; Mobile: (860) 334-0671; Office: (860) 334-0671; firstname.lastname@example.org