A true historic treasure, beautifully expanded yet perfectly preserved, might grace our market once or twice in a lifetime: such a treasure is the Maj. General John Ashley House (c. 1740, renov. 1762, 1857, 1984, 1992).
Upon a bucolic bend of the gentle Housatonic, this elegant Colonial country estate reminds us that the real luxuries are timelessâ€” cozy rooms filled with family and friends, summer evenings dining under the stars, fireplaces flickering and ember-warm through the night.
The home's impeccable Colonial style matches its pedigree: built by a participant in the American Revolution who was later instrumental in putting down Shay's Rebellion (in whose final battle, a scant 7 miles down the road near the eponymous village of Ashley Falls, Maj. Gen. Ashley was to play a decisive role), the estate is remarkable for both its elegant Greek Revival touches and for its thorough, sensitive, and superbly executed modern renovations.
Expansive and welcoming, the full estate comprises both a guest wing and a main house, with no fewer than 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths and a sauna, 5 fireplaces, 3 kitchens and 2 cast-iron stoves between them ... and that's not to mention the 2 office / media rooms, 2 screened porches, the outdoor pool and its palatial poolhouse, the garage/barn, the play-house, and, not at all least, the restful patio under the arbor, where one may dine al fresco surrounded by topiaries, hanging flowers, and the placid beauty of another perfect country day!
Beautifully landscaped, embraced by woods and fields, this is a private sort of estate filled with quiet charms and sudden delights. From the restful screened porches and the many high windows the Housatonic bends gently by, while soft wide lawns invite the laughter of outdoor games, and offer the quiet of a stroll under evening stars. Every room speaks of its history, with original Colonial painted panelled walls, mouldings and cornices all attesting to the solid craftsmanship which has justly stood every test of time.
For generations this home has welcomed close family and dear friends, and at the heart of the main house there is a kitchen ready to delight the hungriest and most discriminating alike. Sharing a chimney with the cathedral-ceilinged, high-windowed 'River Room', the kitchen and adjoining butler's pantry boast 2 full-size Subzero refrigerators, 2 expansive granite-topped islands and scads of granite counterspace, deep sinks, fabulous cabinetry, dishwasher and garbage disposal, 2 gas ovens, and a restaurant-quality 4-burner range. Both a fireplace and a cast-iron stove warm the winter night while the happy chef, finishing a few last touches, hears the pounding of feet from every sprawling quarter as the delicious smells draw them in; stoke the fire in the River Room, the chef tells one, and you two, set the table and bring the extra chairs â€” everyone's here tonight!
And when it is time to draw another day to its end, there are so many options: the guest wing, joined to the main house by stone steps and a generous brick 'mud room,' is a warm and cozy miniature chalet, complete with heart-of-pine floors, comfortable wood timbers, its own kitchen, a lovely en-suite Br/bath combination which, courtesy of a pocket door, doubles as a half-bath for guests, and three adorable, restful bedrooms. The main house has the master bedroom suite, of course, and a generous original Colonial guestroom, both with fireplaces; fireplaces adorn the upstairs office/parlor as well, the convivial River Room with its wide views, and the traditional Library / sitting room which first greets any visitor entering through the original Colonial front door.
There's so much more! The full craftsman's barn and workshop; the generous garage and post-and-beam 'Utility' house; the delicate stonework, massive old-growth trees, and decorative topiary hedges which adorn this superb property; the rear Italian piazza which adorns a casual entry from driveway to foyer to kitchen; the antique child's playhouse dreaming away on the back lawn; the expansive summer porch and the entertainer's dream that is the pool house as a whole ... with so much to offer, it is indeed our great pleasure to invite you to tour a true American original: a fresh, luxurious, and perfectly modern historic home.