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    Saturday, June 10, 2023

    In Norwichtown, History Restored

    The 18th century Colonial home is complemented by two-car garage, workshop and garden shed
    276 Scotland Road in the Norwichtown section of Norwich, Conn., is currently listed for sale. The sellers are asking $475,000 for the property, which is listed by Bill Champagne, a broker with William Raveis Real Estate in Norwich.

    By Gretchen A. Peck

    The four-bedroom antique Colonial at 276 Scotland Rd., Norwich, is offered to the market for $475,000. Broker Bill Champagne, with William Raveis’ Norwich brokerage, is the sellers’ agent.

    “I’ve specialized in antique houses for decades, and it’s great to come across a restored and well-maintained 18th-century house, which has character and period details, as well as the comforts people are looking for, such as central air conditioning. Also, it’s good to find a property with some land, a large level yard, and a garage with attached sheds,” the listing agent noted.

    Carol Lahan and her husband, Michael, bought the property in 1980. They were captivated by the character and the center-hall Colonial architecture.

    “We also loved the property it was sitting on, and we both love history and old homes,” Lahan recalled. But the condition of the house at the time was “deplorable.”

    The 3.19-acre lot has stone walls, perennial gardens, expanses of lawn, and woodlands at the back of the property.

    They took on the restoration as a “labor of love,” hiring a contractor who specialized in restoration work of 18th century homes.

    “He added the crown moldings, scalloped cabinets and raised-panel walls,” she said.

    As with most antique home restorations, they made some discoveries along the way. There were original wide-planked floorboards in part of the house, made of chestnut, and remnants of wallpaper dating back centuries.

    “The most significant discovery was at the front of the house, which at one time was all one room. It’s now three rooms, but when we pulled off paneling from the space, we uncovered original wall stenciling,” Lahan said. “We restored some of that and then painstakingly recreated it in what is now one of the bedrooms. But that was the style of the day; they’d hire itinerant stencilers to come and decorate living rooms, bedrooms, or in case the original large room, what we believe was a ballroom.”

    During the home’s restoration, the homeowners uncovered what they believe to be original stenciling dating back 18th century. They had those wood panels professionally restored and carried the design throughout the rest of the bedroom.

    Over the centuries, the house was expanded and appended with outbuildings that include a two-car garage, a workshop and a garden shed. The shed, Lahan estimates, is quite old, as well—circa 1800s, she estimates. The garage and workshop were likely added in the 20th century.

    Today, the house affords 3,311 square feet of living space, with four fireplaces, crown moldings, built-ins, hardwood floors throughout, and a charming bay window seat in the formal dining room.

    The galley-style kitchen has white cabinetry and appliances, hardwood floors, and granite countertops.

    When the homeowners bought the house in the 1980s, they had a back porch enclosed and winterized, creating a sunny family room. It’s where they spent most of their time over the years.

    Perhaps their favorite room today, they long ago enclosed a porch to create a sunroom. It’s a spacious room, with three walls of windows and an exterior door that leads out to a stone patio. “It’s the only room in the house with wall-to-wall carpeting, because when we moved here, we had a two-year-old and a four-year-old, and that was a place they could comfortably play,” she explained. “It’s a bright, warm and sunny room.”

    There’s a room on the main level that’s worked well as a home office, with an adjacent bathroom. Lahan used it as a professional office, where she met with clients. “It has wonderful light, and it’s very private,” she noted. Her husband chose a second-floor room for his home office, so for buyers who may require more than one office, this home has options.

    The lot spans 3.19 acres, with stone wall borders, open lawn, perennial gardens and woodlands.

    “On one side, we put in a ‘tree garden,’ so it’s very private. With all the trees around, you can see very little of the neighbor’s house,” she said.

    There are four wood-burning fireplaces in the home, including in the breakfast room just off the kitchen.

    Lahan’s Realtor, Bill Champagne, referred to the aerial photo of the property. “It shows the large backyard—ideal for entertaining, sports, perhaps a pool,” he suggested.

    “Norwichtown is absolutely lovely,” the homeowner added. “I think it’s a part of Norwich that people don’t know much about. There are a lot of historic homes, and the Norwichtown Green is right down the street. There are burial grounds that date to the 17th century, and Lowthorpe Meadow is a great place to walk. I walk all over the place here. And, of course, we have places like the Slater Memorial Museum and the Otis Library—a wonderful facility—and Mohegan Park.”

    Champagne welcomes the public to an open house at 276 Scotland Road this weekend, Saturday, May 13, from 1-3 p.m.

    Property: 276 Scotland Rd., Norwich

    Bedrooms: 4

    Baths: 3

    Square Footage: 3,311

    Acreage: 3.19

    Asking Price: $475,000

    Seller’s Agent: Bill Champagne, William Raveis Real Estate, Norwich brokerage; Mobile: (860) 884-1311; bill.champagne@raveis.com

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