Antique Ledyard Home Harmonizes Old and New
By Gretchen A. Peck
Newly listed in mid-March, 76 Church Hill Road in Ledyard is offered to the market for $825,000.
Coldwell Banker Realtor Susan Johnson is the listing agent, and Jessica Geren and her husband are the homeowners. Geren spoke with Welcome Home about the property, which the couple acquired in 2017. They’d moved from New York City with their five children, returning to Connecticut, where they’d previously lived when her husband served in the U.S. Navy. “When we went to have the fifth baby, we felt we needed to get out of the city and go somewhere that felt like home,” Geren said.
The original part of this 3,743-square-foot Cape-style home is a true Colonial, built in 1737. It has six bedrooms, four baths, hardwood floors, an updated kitchen, three fireplaces and an attached two-car garage. Though updates and additions have been made to the house over the course of centuries, there is a balance of period character and modern comforts.
“This house casts a spell on you,” Geren said.
“When we first came here, it was like magic. You’d stand at a window and look out to see deer walking through the woods in the distance. It was like a Norman Rockwell painting,” the homeowner recalled.
The antique home is known as “the James Allyn House,” according to town records. Allyn was born in 1699 in Groton and as a young man married Althea Avery. The couple had three sons and nine daughters. Mr. Allyn died in Ledyard in 1776 at the age of 77, according to FamilySearch.org genealogy records.
Naturally, in all the years since, the house has been appended and redesigned, each era and owner leaving their imprint on the home.
Looking at the front exterior of the house, the original circa-1737 Cape-style structure is to the far left. The center part of the house was added in the 1800s, the owner estimates, and the right side of the home was added in 1999. That final addition created an attached two-car garage, with living space overhead.
Green explained that a previous owner had done significant renovation and restoration work on the home.
“She spent a lot of time restoring parts of the home but also keeping it suited to modern life,” the seller said. “For example, in the kitchen, which was her design, she told us she’d found forged nails from the 1700s for the floorboards, so they would match.”
The kitchen is designed with timeless white cabinets, cherry hardwood and granite countertops, and high-end appliances from Sub-Zero and Dacor.
One of the six bedrooms is an in-law suite, which became not only a source of revenue but a wellspring of new friends from around the world. “For three years, we hosted Airbnb guests there from time to time. It was very successful. When you live in the city, you have so many opportunities to meet people, so here, we brought people and culture to us! We hosted people from all over the world—government officials, people from as far away as Egypt and Australia. They got to experience the house, and I feel like those have always been the best moments here, when there are people here, laughing and enjoying it. It's such a special place,” the owner said.
There’s an adorable Klotter Farms-built shed on the 13.31-acre property, which has electric service. There’s also a barn on the property, which the family used to keep small animals on the property—sheep, pigs, chickens and miniature ponies over the years.
Green described the acreage as mostly wooded, with a creek that trickles through the property and some rock outcroppings. The lot backs up to another property with more than 20 acres of undeveloped land, so it’s quite private and serene, she said.
“This house affords a privacy that I think is very hard to get right now,” she suggested. And yet, it’s just a 15-minute drive to destinations like Mystic and Norwich.
“Ledyard has a true hometown feel,” Geren said.
Ledyard is named for Colonel William Ledyard, a Colonial-era patriot during the Revolutionary War, who fought and died during the Battle of Groton Heights. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Ledyard’s population was 15,413. Part of the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation is in the northeast corner of town.
Ledyard has a town center, three elementary schools, a middle school and a central high school, which create a community. The Green family leveraged public, private and homeschooling for their children, noting that Ledyard’s schools are well-regarded.
“This is a wonderful home for entertaining and for family. It’s a place you can truly relax and get away from some of the “noise’ out there,” she concluded.
Property: 76 Church Hill Rd., Ledyard
Square Footage: 3,743
Asking Price: $825,000
Seller’s Agent: Susan Johnson, Coldwell Banker Realty; Mobile: (321) 223-4847; email@example.com
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