The nineteenth century Victorian home at 144 South Jamesport Avenue in Jamesport has a unique story to share. Listed for $1,149,000, the five-bedroom, three-bathroom home has never been on the market in its 100-plus year history.
Built in 1845, the home was acquired by Captain William H. Corwin in1850. A shipbuilder and a prominent figure in the community, Corwin was an esteemed member of the church and son of Matthias Corwin, an original settler of the Town of Southold.
According to the home’s current owners, Edward and Nancy (Rolle) Meier, the house has stayed in the family for more than a century. In 1853, William H. Corwin married Hannah Jones and they had five daughters. In the 1860s, Corwin modified the house similar to how it exists today. When Corwin died in 1904, he passed the house to his daughter, M. Louisa Corwin.
When M. Louisa Corwin died in 1922 the house was passed to sister Winifred Corwin Doe. In 1961, when Winnifred passed, the house was then given to Howard Van Cleaf, the son from first husband David Van Cleaf. When Howard Van Cleaf died in 1969, the house went to his second cousin, Edwina Rolle. In 1980, John and Edwina sold the house to their daughter Nancy (Rolle) Meier and Edward Meier.
“We lived in the house for 38 years and raised our three children there,” says Edward Meier. “We are the first ones to put it out in the open market since William H. Corwin purchased the property.”
For the last few years, Meier and his son have been renovating the property room by room. Their goal was to keep the home’s integrity while updating it with today’s amenities.
Today, the 2,800-square-foot property features a spacious eat-in kitchen, formal dining room and living room that each has its original fireplace, three full baths, five bedrooms, wood plank floors, new roof, and updated electrical. It also has a front porch, private driveway, and a two-car garage.
For Meier, the restoration has been a labor of love.
“It took a long time,” he says. “We didn’t have a big crew. It was one other person, besides me and my son. We took it down to the studs and got rid of all the old beams. The house had no heating or electric. We put in all new insulation, subfloors, central air conditioning.”
“We saved as much as we could,” he continues. “The two stairwells are all original, the wide plank flooring, the old doors, and windows. We rebuilt the porches and put in all new siding. I hope whoever moves into the house appreciates what the house is and the history of it and the fact that it has been there for over 170 years.”
The nine-room home sits on .75 acres in a historic district, explains realtor Diane Mollica of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International.
“It is hard to come across a property that large,” she says. “It is twice the size of a normal lot in the area.”
Mollica adds that the area is charming and quaint and a beautiful place to live.
“South Jamesport has a certain flavor to it that people like,” she says. “It is a very intimate setting. There is a great sense of community. People are always gathering outdoors walking their dogs, pushing their baby strollers, conversing with their neighbors. We also have boating, the marina, fine dining, the beaches and some of the region’s best wineries.”
Although ready to turn the house over to a new owner, Meier admits he is still so attached to the house and the location that he built his new home right across the street.
“We only moved 300 feet,” he laughs. “Our new house is smaller and very beachy, so it feels like we are on vacation all the time. It’s a whole different feel than the old house.”
The listing agents are Diane Mollica, Licensed Real Estate Broker, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International, mobile 917-803-1915; office 631-298-4130 at [email protected] and Mary Lentini, Licensed Real Estate Broker, mobile 516-994-0158; office 631-298-4130 at [email protected]