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    Real Estate
    Sunday, April 21, 2024

    Ledyard home dates back to pre-Revolutionary War

    This antique Colonial home blends period character with contemporary luxuries
    The historic Philip Gray Homestead at 777 Shewville Road in Ledyard is on the market for $529,500. Michael B. Collins, a Realtor with CR Premier Properties, is the listing agent. Photo: Shawn Manafort/Home Base Solutions

    By Gretchen A. Peck

    The three-bedroom antique Cape, with a Gambrel roof, at 777 Shewville Road in Ledyard is offered to the market for the first time in more than 25 years. It is listed by CR Premier Properties Realtor Michael Collins, with an asking price of $529,500.

    The owner, Lee Moore, fell in love with southeast Connecticut during a vacation to visit family in Rhode Island. He’d lived in California for his entire life to that point, but was particularly enchanted by Mystic’s quintessential New England village vibe.

    “I’m fond of antiques and the style of old homes. I’m a big history buff — in particular, the American Revolutionary War period,” he said. On a subsequent trip to the area, he and his husband, Dan, engaged a Realtor, who showed them this property.

    “I just had a connection with it, and although the house itself was kind of broken down and had been vacant for a little bit, it had 33 acres at the time and felt like a sanctuary here in the woods,” Moore recalled. “We wound up putting an offer in on it after a Hall & Oates concert at Foxwood.” They bought the house in May 1997 and lived bicoastally for a few years while they fixed the house up and planned for their permanent move to Ledyard.

    The interiors of the home are replete with period character. There are wide-plank floorboards, beamed ceilings and five fireplaces. Photo: Shawn Manafort/Home Base Solutions

    Known as the Philip Gray Homestead, the house is named in homage to the first owner, Philip Gray, Jr., who built it before the Revolutionary War in 1765.

    The owners subdivided the 33 acres and sold all but 9.11 acres to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The property is just 2 miles from the Foxwoods Resort and Casino.

    Looking at the front exterior of the 2,916-square-foot home, the center part is the original structure, with additions over time. Moore recounted how they added the section to the right, which resembles a barn silo. Prior to that, the house had just one bathroom. That add-on allowed the couple to add two large bathrooms — one to the first floor and one to the second.

    The seller remodeled the galley-style kitchen, with ash hardwood cabinets and Corian countertops. They incorporated antique glass into the glass-fronted cabinets, and leveraged built-in shelving for spices. Photo: Shawn Manafort/Home Base Solutions

    They also reconfigured the kitchen, closing off an exterior door to add more wall space for cabinets and appliances. Crafted in ash, with a pecan finish, the cabinets provide plenty of storage space, including two cabinets with antique glass fronts.

    The lower level of the house was likely once used for livestock and later carriages. It had an exposed rock foundation. To reclaim it for usable living space, they enlisted a contractor to add a subfloor and walkout French doors, drywall and recessed lighting. Fully finished, it became a media and memorabilia room. They also added an infrared sauna to the lower level.

    “It plugs into a normal outlet, and you get in there and sweat out toxins and all the bad stuff,” Moore said.

    Among the interiors, there are patinaed hardwood floors, exposed ceiling beams, and five fireplaces, including an oversized stone fireplace in the living room and one in the dining room with the original potholder. Moore recounted how they hosted cooking parties over the years, when they’d make culinary treats over open flame, as the original residents did during Colonial times.

    The fireplace in the dining room still has an antique pot holder that was used in the Colonial era. The current owner recounted hosting cooking parties where his guests took part in making culinary treats over the fireplace’s open flame. Photo: Shawn Manafort/Home Base Solutions

    The house has three bedrooms, with two options for primary bedrooms — one on the main level and one upstairs on the second floor.

    “The one upstairs has the bathroom we added, with a Jacuzzi tub and an open, beamed ceiling in a half-octagon shape. It’s a sanctuary space, with a big shower,” the seller said. The shower has plumbing for a steam room, if the buyer would like to use it as such.

    In 2002-2003, the owners demolished a former lean-to and had a big red barn built on the spot. It has garage bays for three cars — or a small trailered boat and two cars, the seller suggested.

    Shortly after the current owners bought the property, they decided to expand it. Previously, the house had just one bathroom. An addition allowed for them to add two more large bathrooms, each with jetted tubs and custom showers. Photo: Shawn Manafort/Home Base Solutions

    “The smaller door to the left is where the tack room is, with two horse stalls behind it,” he explained. Though they never kept horses here, there is a trail that winds through the flat woodlands and fresh water on the property, including a pond.

    The relocation to the East Coast inspired Moore to research his own genealogy, only to discover his family roots had been in southeast Connecticut all along. He is a direct descendent of the Avery family, which first settled here in 1656. “I got very involved in the Avery Memorial Association and began studying my family’s history,” he said.

    “For those familiar with the monument in Groton, with the Pilgrim on top, [Captain James Avery], that’s my great-grandfather [nine times removed],” he said.

    Asked about the quality of life in Ledyard, Moore said it’s been a wonderful place to live. “Coming from the chaos of Los Angeles to this small town, with a New England village feel, it was just phenomenal. We were able to get involved in the local community and made great friends through church. I served as the library commissioner for several years,” he said.

    The antique home affords three bedrooms, including two options for primary bedrooms — one on the main level and one on the second floor. Photo: Shawn Manafort/Home Base Solutions

    “And then there’s the beauty of the area, especially the woods. When I drive here in the spring and summer, when the leaves on the trees are full, and I pull into this long driveway leading to the house, it’s like driving into a park. I’ve been amazed by the peacefulness,” he concluded.

    Property: 777 Shewville Rd., Ledyard

    Bedrooms: 3

    Baths: 3

    Square Footage: 2,916

    Acreage: 9.11

    Asking Price: $529,500

    Listing Agent: Michael B. Collins, CR Premier Properties; Mobile: (860) 303-4505; mcbenn8@aol.com

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