On the Market: The distinct lifestyle of Delafield Island
DARIEN — In the book “Tory Hole” children’s book author Louise Hall Tharp talks about Long Island as a Tory stronghold in the 18th century and how those British sympathizers crossed Long Island Sound in whaleboats on foggy, moonless nights, where they hid in a cave near the shore in Darien - then called Middlesex Parish, and waited there for an opportune time to plunder the local village.
Tharp (1898-1992) was the author of 16 books, and was “pre-eminent in the field of historical biography” and known for her “devotion to authenticity,” according to several websites. The cave of which she wrote became known as Tory Hole. That cave has since been sealed but the name carries on in the private Delafield Island community. Daily reminders of the American Revolutionary history are found not just on Tory Hole Road in this neighborhood but in the surrounding Raiders Lane and Red Coat Pass.
A copy of Tharp’s book sits on a coffee table in the formal living room of the gray and off-white contemporary ranch-style house at 14 Tory Hole Road, which is on the market. This house, like many others in this neighborhood, were originally erected as smaller structures meant to serve as weekend retreats from New York City, but they were later expanded and updated. Although Long Island Sound is not visible from this tranquil one-acre level and sloping property, the waterfront is nearby. Pear Tree Point Beach and Tokeneke Park are only a short walk away. In fact, the train station and downtown are only a 15-minute walk away.
While this house could be a weekend get-away, it is also a great primary residence in a community that boasts award-winning schools, two public beaches, upscale boutiques, great restaurants, and easy access to Manhattan via Metro North train or I-95. The 3,142-square-foot house was built in 1962 and it received two subsequent additions. It sits on an open and lightly wooded corner lot near the end of a cul-de-sac. Towering oak trees dot the property, which also has attractive landscaping comprising azaleas, hostas, lilacs, rhododendrons, and many other shrubs and flowering perennials. Some of the flower beds are delineated by a border of field stones. Stone and slate steps lead to the upper level of the attractive grounds.
A bluestone path lined in Belgium block leads to the ground level front door, which opens into a foyer that accesses an in-law apartment and has stairs to the second floor, which is the main living level. The apartment has one open room with a sitting area, bedroom and kitchenette. There is also an office in the lower level. It cannot be accessed from the apartment but it does have outside access if someone had a business that required clients to visit a home office. That office is also accessed from the formal dining room of the main level by way of a spiral staircase.
Upstairs on the main level the spacious living room has a marble fireplace with a decorative mantel, track lighting, and one wall that is partially covered with built-in bookshelves. An interior glass wall with two access points separates the living and dining rooms.
The kitchen has a mosaic tile backsplash, granite counters, white cabinetry, and stainless appliances including a GE five-burner range and LG refrigerator. One counter has a breakfast bar area that accommodates two stools. The kitchen is open to a breakfast nook with a built-in banquette and skylight, and it is open to the family room, where there is a red brick fireplace, built-in bookshelves, entertainment center, ceiling beams painted white, a skylight, and French doors to a flagstone patio and yard.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
STYLE: Contemporary Ranch
ADDRESS: 14 Tory Hole Road
FEATURES: water community, one-acre level and sloping property, corner lot, located on a cul-de-sac, in-law apartment, convenient to town and train, short walk to Pear Tree Point Beach, invisible pet fencing, privacy fencing, storm windows, some window treatments, three fireplaces, flagstone patio, skylights, ceiling fans, shed, well water, neighborhood association, pull-down attic stairs, attached under house two-car garage, full finished walk-out basement, five bedrooms, two full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Tokeneke Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High School
MILL RATE: 15.77 mills
ASSOCIATION FEE: $495 (annual)
A long hallway provides access to four bedrooms, three of which share a hall bath. The master suite has a vaulted ceiling, a stacked stone fireplace, walk-in closet, and its own bath.