By Susan Nova
Following the customary exchange rate in 1640, Daniel Patrick bought the original 150 acres of what is now Wilson Point in Norwalk from the Naramake Indians for 10 fathoms of wampum, three hatchets, hoes and knives, six glasses, 10 drills and needles, and 12 pipes. Ten fathoms of wampum, beads cut and polished from the shells of clams and whelks, was worth about $6 then, according to "A Point in Time," a history of Wilson Point by Nelson Hayes, updated by Doris S. Friend and Helen L. Benziger.
By 1685, Wilson Point was owned by John and Ruhama Belden. In 1749, their son, Morgan, built a house there. In 1781 their grandson, Isaac Belden, began to raise grain on what was then known as Belden's Neck.
Isaac's daughter, Harriet, married Lewis O. Wilson, a New York textile magnate, and the couple received Morgan's house and 75 acres of farmland. For $8,400 Wilson bought another 75 acres from Harriet's sister, Mary Esther. and her husband, Socrates Squires, and the rest of the point from Henry, Isaac's brother. Not surprisingly, Belden's Neck was renamed Wilson Point.
After a wood-frame house he had built burned to the ground, Wilson built a house of granite on a stone foundation in Gothic style sometime before 1867. In the winter of 1874, he had the Squires house, which spoiled his view to the south, towed across the ice by a team of oxen to a spot near the head of the Cove. Failing fortunes caused Wilson to lose 150 acres to foreclosure, and the landended up in the hands of Lunette Burchard, whose husband, Boardman, had earlier been one of Wilson's junior partners. Reed Haviland of Norwalk and two New York real estate developers, Col. Duncan Harris and Douglas Vought, formed the Wilson Point Land Co., and in 1920, it bought 154 acres from the Burchard estate.
Just 64 parcels were mapped out, and Wilson Point was reborn as a residential community. By the end of the 1920s, 80 percent of the land was sold, with an inland acre costing about $1,000 and one on the water priced at $5,000.
Former railroad land on the cove was added in 1937, and subdivision has led to a total of 80 families on the point.
There are a number of Wilson Point houses now for sale, ranging in price from almost $2 million to about $7 million, according to Pam Woods of William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty.
Among them is a 1986 home with a 2006 addition that has 4,195 square feet, five bedrooms, six full baths and a powder room. Designed by architect Roger Bartels of Norwalk, there are fireplaces galore, one each in the living room, family room, library and master bedroom, according to Woods, who has listed the property for $2.995 million. The family room fireplace houses a TV, with the DVD of a fire included in the sale.
A two-story entry leads to a living room, a formal dining room, a butler's pantry crafted of cherry, a den and the creamy country kitchen with bay window and French doors to the pool, spa and waterfall. The library with vaulted ceiling also opens to the pool, and there's a cabana room as well as a guest apartment.
On the lower level are a gym with bath and sauna and a large playroom.
The owners are offering a trip to Paris to the agent who produces a closed transaction by Jan. 15. Limousines to and from the airport, business-class flights and four nights at the Ritz Hotel are part of the package.
A 1921 waterfront Tudor, listed for a little less than $7 million by Douglas Milne of Kelly Associates in Darien, has been totally restored. The stone house has almost 4,800 square feet of interior space with three bedrooms and three baths. Outside, there's a new dock and boat lift, an infinity pool and a guest house. Inside, there's a huge living and dining room, a family room with cathedral ceiling, an island kitchen with fireplace and a library. Also featured are a wine cellar, a gym, a four-car garage and a possible extra lot.
Nancy Dauk at Halstead Property Wheeler in Darien has listed a 1928 stone French Normandy "farmhouse," designed by architect Frank Foster, for a little less than $5 million. With 7,235 square feet inside, the 13-room house has five bedrooms, six full baths and two powder rooms. Renovated and expanded from 1999 to 2001 by award-winning E.M. Rose Building Co., with offices in Branford and Darien, the house has ornamental molded-plaster ceilings, walnut panels in the family room that were milled on site, hardware imported from France and custom lighting.
The kitchen has antique French cabinetry of fir, a disappearing TV in the island and a hatch that opens to the wine cellar below. Ceilings are nine feet, amps total 600, and heating and air-conditioning zones number 10.
The 2.9 acres host a pool with vanishing edge and a pool house with bath and laundry.
Built in 1993, a home in English cottage style with 12 rooms, four bedrooms and five full baths, plus powder room, has been listed by Robert Callahan of Halstead Wheeeler in Darien for $3.5 million. Crafted of shingle and fieldstone, the more-than-6,500-square-foot house, with brick terrace, hot tub and pool, overlooks Long Island Sound.
The master bedroom, with dressing room and cathedral ceiling, is on the first floor, and there's a library, playroom, den, mudroom, sunroom and office.
Today, there's also a Wilson Point Beach Club open to all residents by separate application. Offered are a private beach, tennis courts, a boat dock and moorings. Private parties may be held at the beach house, there's a tennis professional, and storage is available for windsurfer equipment and Sunfish.
Dues paid to the Wilson Point Homeowners' Association cover the guard at the entry gate, road upkeep and snow removal.
Thursday, October 08, 2009