Historic craftsman-style home hits the market
By Gretchen A. Peck
Coldwell Banker Realtor Terry Kemper introduced 3 Northwoods Road in Quaker Hill to the market this week. The sellers are asking $599,000 for the historic home.
The four-bedroom house was built in 1919, but it wasn’t originally destined to be a residence. A local developer, Cassie S. Hardwich—who’d built the Oswegatchie Yacht Club in 1893—intended to build a country club on the then-undeveloped land. It was to be known as “Greystone Heights Country Club,” and this particular house was to serve as a tea house for the club. For uncertain reasons, the tea house was the only structure ever built, and plans for the rest of the country club were scrapped.
Welcome Home spoke with the homeowner about the history of the home, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, and what it’s like today, more than a century after its debut.
“It’s a fine example of craftsman-style architecture, built with a lot of attention to detail,” he said, citing decorative rafters, the fireplace mantel and French doors that create a sense of indoor-outdoor connectivity.
“The living room space was designed to be an entertaining space. You could open the French doors and have people out on the porch. There’s a room next to it that would have been the music room, where musicians could play,” the owner said.
The current owners have lived in the house for five years; a job relocation now necessitates its sale. But during their time living here, they made a number of improvements.
“Being elevated is such a lovely characteristic of the house. It’s built into granite ledge, so there’s a lot of topography,” he said. With a professional background in horticulture, he was able to reclaim some of the overgrown grounds by removing invasive species of plants and cultivating gardens. Among the 1-acre grounds, there are specimen trees, flowering shrubs, pollinator meadows and native woodlands.
Inside the home, they installed new appliances. They also took down dated wallpaper and had the plaster walls skim coated with Keene’s cement plaster.
“It’s a special kind of plaster,” he explained. “It’s what they’ve used for places like train stations and hospitals, because of its ability to handle high vibrational forces and the need for a really strong building. It’s a spreadable plaster, but when it sets, it’s like cement. It’s very sturdy.”
The main level of the home has a foyer, a partial bath, laundry, a living room, dining room, sunroom and eat-in kitchen.
The living room has French doors that open out to a deck. For the living room design, the owners chose wallpaper that adds earth-tone color and texture to the space, while affording contrast with the fireplace’s white brick surround.
“We made the fireplace the focal point of the room,” the owner said.
The space is particularly cozy in the cold-weather months, courtesy of a glass-front soapstone wood stove.
In the dining room, they papered the walls with grass cloth, another homage to the home’s natural setting.
In the kitchen, they chose appliances in stainless finishes and painted the cabinets white to brighten the space and add contrast with the black granite counters. A clever pass-through has open shelving and cabinets on both sides.
“The kitchen was built with all these big windows, so when you’re sitting having breakfast or cooking, you can look out to these great views,” the seller pointed out. The space accommodates a breakfast table or seating.
“We had a table there, but we also added a loveseat, because it’s nice to have comfortable seating there when you have guests over and you’re cooking for them in the kitchen,” he suggested.
“There are a lot of these indoor-outdoor connections in every room,” he added. “When you open the windows, you look out to the gardens, and it’s great for watching birds, because you’re looking out to the canopies of trees, observing the natural world around you.”
There are four bedrooms on the second floor, including a primary suite. A full hall bath serves the three other bedrooms, and there’s a sunroom on this level, as well.
“The sunroom on the second floor was used as a bedroom for the previous owner’s daughter, but we use it more as a yoga room. It’s especially beautiful in the wintertime. You can watch the sunsets come down and fade into night,” he said.
The house also has a partially finished lower level, with a kitchenette/wet bar, a wood stove and a bathroom. They used the space for storage, but it could be used for additional living space—perhaps a family room or home office. “My favorite door in the house is down there,” the seller said. “It’s a beautiful craftsman-style oak door.”
In addition to the main house, the 1-acre lot accommodates some outbuildings. “There’s a garage, a workshop, a garden shed and woodshed, and a small greenhouse,” he noted. Prior to their ownership, solar panels were added to the house in 2015 to mitigate energy costs.
“Quaker Hill is a really nice, quaint community,” the seller said. “It’s beautiful, with the cove right there, and you look out to the [Conn College Arboretum], so you have a sense of being surrounded by conservation land. … For people considering our home, who have families, it’s within walking distance to the elementary school.”
The owners have also appreciated the convenience to the post office—also within walking distance—and the proximity to Waterford Beach and to destinations in Norwich, New London and Mystic.
Property: 3 Northwoods Rd., Quaker Hill
Square Footage: 2,540
Asking Price: $599,000
Seller’s Agent: Terry Kemper, Coldwell Banker Realty, Old Lyme brokerage; Mobile: (860) 908-7820; email@example.com
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