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Eternally charming Colonial for sale in Pawcatuck

Historic, antique home with period craftsmanship, two bedrooms, several fireplaces and 1.23 acres

461 Greenhaven Road, Pawcatuck, is an antique colonial home dating back to the 1750s. Expanded and improved over the years, today it offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,700 square feet of living space.

By Gretchen A. Peck

At 461 Greenhaven Road in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, a home that has inspired generations of memories and thoughtful care is for sale. It sits behind a stacked stone wall, modestly colonial in style, unadorned and practical, colored a deep red – quintessentially New England. The owner, Jane Abrams, recently engaged Lucia Johnstone and Henri Gourd, real estate agents with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties brokerage in Stonington, to sell the home she cherishes. The asking price is $475,000. Johnstone and Gourd are hosting a public open house at the property on Sunday, June 2 from 11am to 2pm.

The previous owner looked into the history of the property and provided Abrams with some accounts that he was able to corroborate through historical data. The actual date of construction of the house is uncertain, but he did find some clues that narrowed down the time period. The land on which the house now stands was sold in 1760, although no mention of the structure was made at the time. When the agricultural land was sold again in 1780, a note was made of the house. Yet the house was probably built decades earlier. Published in 1903, “Houses of Ancestors (Stonington)”, written by Grace Denison Wheeler, referred to the house and noted that it was about 150 years old at the time. Denison Wheeler noted in her tome that the house was built by William Stanton, who sold it to Job Stanton in 1750. The Stantons were among the first colonial settlers in Stonington. The family operated a trading post on River Road.

The house is located on a plot of 1.23 hectares, with stone walls, special trees and English box trees.

In 1825 the house and farm were sold again to Samuel Allan Burdick, a soldier who served in the War of 1812. Burdick added an addition, which is now the kitchen and dining room. When he died in 1875, he donated the property to a niece who lived in Norwalk, Connecticut, with the stipulation that his two sisters, Lucy and Freelove, could continue to live in the house as long as they were not married. In 1902 the house was sold again to Mr. and Mrs. Schiller for $1,200.

Over the years the land was subdivided and sold, but the house survived and was improved by subsequent owners, who added heating, new wiring and a new chimney. The owner before Abrams instead had all the exterior paint removed and the siding stained, and he added an artesian well. He demolished an old outhouse and a building called the ‘dairy house’ to make a more usable lawn. It also allowed him to add some landscape features, including now mature trees and English boxwood. When he sold the house to Abrams and her husband in December 2004, he shared the history with the new owners, writing, “All the neighbors are extremely nice and all maintain their properties very well, which is an added feature.”

The formal living room is an elegant space, with a fireplace and wide plank hardwood floors.

Abrams and her husband have always appreciated homes of a certain vintage. She commented on their character and talked about how they had owned a Greek Revival house further down the country before settling here, and had previously lived in Montclair, New Jersey, in a Colonial-style house. “We have always lived in old houses,” she told Welcome Home. “We both loved this house and the property. When we first moved it, we had two Irish Setters roaming around.

The house is a manageable 1,760 square feet, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The primary level consists of a living room, family room, sitting room, a full bathroom, dining room, galley kitchen and an adjacent room that the owners used as a TV room/office.

Although it has been improved and adapted over the centuries, much of its historic character has been lovingly preserved. Abrams pointed to the “keeping room,” the living room and the large fireplace as an example. The house has several fireplaces, although the couple preferred not to use them out of caution. She advised subsequent owners to do their due diligence and have them inspected, cleaned and perhaps reupholstered before use.

Nowadays this room is labeled as a sitting room on the floor plans. In the past, this room was also called the ‘keeping room’ of the house, where the family and guests could gather around the large fireplace.

The kitchen is designed in a galley style. During their stay here, the Abrams installed new cabinets and replaced appliances as needed. She suggested that the new owner might choose to remove one of the walls, close the gap with a beam, in keeping with the aesthetic, and get a more open design that is popular today. The couple considered adding an addition to the back of the house and using it as an additional bedroom. “But we decided we were going to live in the house as it is now, and that was fine because there was only the two of us,” she muses.

The two bedrooms are located on the second floor of the house; However, Abrams suggested that one of the first floor parlors could be used as a bedroom – in fact, they used it that way for a while, creating true single-level living for them, while reserving the upstairs bedrooms for guests.

If a buyer wants a home office, there are at least two options: a room adjacent to the kitchen, or perhaps one of the upstairs bedrooms, she suggested.

Iconic to Connecticut, especially the southeastern part of the state, stone walls provide visual boundaries around the home. The house today sits on 1.23 acres, and while the area feels distinctly rural, Abrams pointed out how close they are to convenience stores, shops, restaurants, beaches, marinas and state parks. They especially enjoyed being a short drive from Stonington Borough and Westerly and Watch Hill, Rhode Island. The surrounding community is also full of history from the colonial period. She noted the nearby Stanton-Davis House, which dates back to 1690.

The house has several wood-burning stoves, but the owner recommends having these inspected and maintained before future use. Even without dancing flames, they provide a warm and inviting design accent in the interior rooms.

“We loved feeling like you were way out of the country, even though we were only five or six minutes from the city,” she said.

Property: 461 Greenhaven Rd., Pawcatuck

Bedrooms: 2

Bathing: 2

Square length: 1,760

Area: 1.23

Asking price: $475,000

Listing agents: Lucia T. Johnstone and Henri Gourd, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, New England Properties; Johnstone’s Cell: (860) 912-4144; Gourd Mobile: (914) 954-3897; [email protected]; [email protected]

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