If you’ve always dreamed of living in a village by the sea, then this quasi-English style home might be for you — and you don’t even have to cross the pond to get there (though you do have to take a ferry).
This 7,000-square-foot home, built in 2008 of stone and stucco, is set on just over six acres in the Village of Dering Harbor, a Shelter Island enclave of 200 acres, just 35 homes and, according to the most recent census, 37 people.
Dering Harbor is very significant, very secluded and very exclusive,” says Gary DePersia, the Corcoran agent representing the listing under My Hampton Homes. “You’re not just buying into this house, but buying into the village.”
Dering Harbor’s history goes back at least 200 years as part of an estate owned by Nathaniel Sylvester, the island’s first European settler, and then developed as a Victorian “gingerbread” cottage community for guests of the 19th-century Manhanset House hotel that once stood nearby. The site was later developed by wealthy families wanting larger summer cottages and over the years, with an eclectic range of styles that distinguish the neighborhood. The village was incorporated in 1916 and, today, design principles are in place to protect its historic and architectural character.
The home is part of a parcel called Oriole Farm, owned by the Fiske family for nearly 70 years before transferring to the current owner. The Fiskes created a private arboretum — including a Lord and Burnham greenhouse — gardens and orchards. The historic greenhouse remains on the property, surrounded by mature hydrangea bushes and currently used as dining space. DePersia says the greenhouse is in good repair, with a covered entryway with a convenience kitchenette and an anteroom, and can be converted to another use or back to its original purpose.
With such a rich horticultural history, it’s no surprise that the grounds are lush with plantings, specimen trees and professional gardens, all rehabilitated by the current owner over a three-year project that included restoring an allay of century-old weeping beech trees and one-third mile of an 80-year-old hedge, as well as the barn and greenhouse. The owner worked with the Peconic Land Trust to include a scenic easement that will protect the beech hedge. The property has been subdivided into three parcels (the other two are not included in this purchase price) and the owner worked with the Peconic Land Trust to form a conservation easement to prevent further subdivision.
The grounds have other desirable assets: At 315 feet, its 8-foot-wide dock is the longest on Shelter Island. There is a 65-foot covered cabana and decks overlooking the harbor for storage and a sitting area facing the sunset. The 55-foot pool is heated, protected by a handsome fence and features a pergola. A new owner will be allowed to build a tennis court if desired. The three-car garage includes an unfinished loft space. The outdoor columned and covered “piazza” included a large wood-burning fireplace and is large enough for both dining and lounging.
Entering the house, to the left of the grand entrance hall are a half bath and a well-sized mud room with built-in storage that lead to the eat-in kitchen with its bay window — one of two that faces out onto the back yard.
The open living and dining room can be accessed through the kitchen or the main hallway, features one of five wood-burning fireplaces and access to the back terrace. To the right of the fireplace is a small hallway that offers egress to the handsome pine-paneled library, with a fireplace and access to the outside, and the primary bathroom suite. The sleeping wing on this floor has cathedral ceilings, double walk-in closets, a French limestone bathroom with steam shower and its own terrace.
The large kitchen features a suite of appliances by Viking, including a wine fridge, ice maker and stacked wall ovens, and two Miele dishwashers. The custom cabinets are finished with marble countertops, as is the L-shaped eat-at island with its own prep sink.
The house features custom white oak rift and quartered flooring throughout and custom mahogany French casement windows.
On the second floor each of the four large bedrooms has a bathroom ensuite or adjacent. One of the bedrooms has a sleeping porch; another has an adjacent dressing room and could be considered into a junior primary suite. The laundry room is on this floor, as is unfinished attic space that awaits conversion.
The finished basement includes separate media and game rooms and a gym, a large custom-installed wine cellar, and a cabana bathroom. Storage and mechanical rooms are also on this level.
Room measurements were not noted on the floor plans.
The home is half a mile from the Gardiners Bay Country Club, 1.1 miles from Hay Beach Point and .4 miles from Dering Harbor.
“Shelter Island is transitioning. The popular label from the past — Shelter Island, the Unhampton, seems to be losing its footing,” DePersia says, noting that the island has attracted the attention from such bold face names as George Soros, artist John Chamberlain and hotelier Andre Belaz.
The house at 41 Manhanset Road lists for $5.95M and the details can be seen here.