Friday Feb 03, 2023

The Day – Rooms with a View – News from southeastern Connecticut –


When Madeline Maginess first came to see the 1900-era farmhouse at 39 Ferry Road in Chester, she in fact came by way of ferry. She and her Realtor Nassim Saad of RE/MAX On the Bay took the Chester-Hadlyme ferry across the Connecticut River to arrive in the charming town of Chester, Connecticut.

“I love Chester, and when the listing came up, there was just something about the house that caught my eye,” Maginess recalled.

“When we came off the ferry and came around the corner, I saw the house and had a feeling. It’s so beautiful here,” she said.

As they toured the house, Maginess was introduced to the work the previous owners had completed. They’d compiled a scrapbook of the renovation that took most of the house down to the studs, and the photos chronicled their painstaking approach to the rebuild.

“They were able to make the home more contemporary in design, without losing what it was — a colonial farmhouse with a center staircase and, of course, the beautiful front porch,” the homeowner said.

More recently, Maginess has enlisted Saad’s help once again, for the bittersweet sale of the home. The asking price is $559,000.

Maginess appreciated her owner-predecessor’s eye for interior design, especially the way they redesigned the kitchen. “As far as their tastes, I couldn’t have picked out anything better — every detail, from the backsplash to the hardware. For example, they chose crystal knobs that reminded me of a very old house that I grew up in.”

She noted that the space is not just aesthetically pleasing, it’s also smartly laid out and expertly equipped. The center island provides a task or serving surface and seating for casual dining. There’s also an adjacent dining area, for more formal dining furnishings.

“When I’d entertain, I could use the island to serve appetizers, anticipating that people would help themselves and move to the dining table or go into the living room, but often they’d stay around the island, and in the spring, summer and fall, everybody just heads out to the front porch,” she recalled.

The previous owners also finished the third, attic level, adding hardwood floors and storage. Maginess has leveraged it for a den and a home office.

“But conceivably, it’s large enough to make a third bedroom,” she suggested.

The farmhouse is situated on the 1.64-acre lot, complemented by two outbuildings — a detached garage and a barn. It’s uncertain when the barn was added to the property, but it contained farm equipment artifacts when she bought the home, and a neighbor told her that it had long ago been used for livestock. Today, she uses it for storage and as a spacious potting shed.

The two-bay garage accommodates one full-sized vehicle and a subcompact car. Or the second, smaller bay could be leveraged as storage or for a workshop.

Year-round, the abundance of windows throughout the home delivers captivating views of the River and Gillette Castle, perched high on the other side of the water.

“You can see the castle all the time, but the river views are at their best from November to April, before the foliage fills in,” she attested.

The front porch has been her favorite place to watch colorful birds, including eagles, bluebirds and, recently, a huge pileated woodpecker passing through. It is the kind of porch, running the entire length of the front of the house, that invites rocking chairs and …….


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