FAIRFIELD — Perched high atop Mill Hill Bluff is a property with a panoramic view of Southport Harbor and, according to local lore, the occupant of “the bell-ringer’s cottage” rang the large bell that still sits on that property to alert onion farmers of incoming merchant ships.

The bell was the signal to load their carts and head to the harbor with their valuable produce, Southport Yellow and White Globe Onions. Town historic documents indicate mid-19th century Fairfield farmers grew about 41,250 bushels of globe onions each year.

One of those farmers likely lived in the stately Greek Revival house at 817 Sasco Hill Road in the Sasco neighborhood, much closer to the harbor than those in Mill Hill. In fact, there are views of the harbor and Long Island Sound from this house, although this property does not have immediate access to the waterfront. The listing agent said the backyard contains the remains of a mid-19th century barn foundation from the days of the early Fairfield onion farmers. The house is also from that time period. The classic house was built in 1864 and even as it was updated its period architectural details were preserved.

“Now more than ever, we look to our history for courage, comfort, and inspiration,” according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation website. The non-profit organization celebrates National Historic Preservation Month every May, and this house is worth keeping in the local landscape.

“This is a grand house and property set on a knoll with a commanding presence in an excellent location. The courtyard (in-ground swimming) pool and terrace is a beautiful focal point. And the detached garage offers a great second story office suite or indoor recreational area,” the agent said. Additionally, “There is great potential for the sweeping back lawn,” she said.

The “excellent location” is within easy walking distance of Sasco Beach and the Country Club of Fairfield and its golf course. Also close by are Southport Village, municipal ballfields and tennis courts, Post Road (Route 1) shops and restaurants, and I-95.

This impressive 12-room grand dame features a traditional portico with four two-story Ionic columns crowned by a decorative pediment. The porch ceiling is painted in a sky blue. French doors of the front entrance open to reveal 5,679 square feet of living space including generously sized rooms. The formal living room is nearly the size of a ballroom and features a fireplace and two sets of French doors to the two-acre grounds.

In the formal dining room there is a walk-in bay window area, wide-board flooring, a door to a covered and columned terrace, and a café door with a decorative leaded glass window leading into the gourmet country kitchen. Features in the kitchen include a tile floor, center island topped with butcher block, farm sink, stone counters, and high-end stainless appliances including a gas-fueled Viking six-burner range with griddle and double ovens, wine cooler and ice maker. The kitchen is open to the casual family room or media room, which has a fireplace, wide-planked wood floor, a wall of windows, and French doors to the terrace and pool.

Real Estate Listings

The office has a fireplace and walls of built-in bookshelves. Also on this main living level is one of the home’s five bedrooms. On the second floor there are four bedrooms including the master suite, which has a walk-in closet with built-in dresser drawers and other organizers, and a large bath with a slate floor, glass shower, tub and double vanity topped with granite.

Perhaps the most impressive room is a grand flexible use space that could be a more formal family room, solarium, or a game or recreation room. It features a stone floor, fireplace, walls of windows, vaulted ceiling, two Ionic fluted columns and decorative wood panels that separate this room from a space that includes a wine tasting area and two wine coolers; perfect when entertaining. French doors lead to the terrace and pool.

The detached two-car garage has a spacious, versatile loft.

More Information


TYPE: Antique Greek Revival

ADDRESS: 817 Sasco Hill Road

PRICE: $1,739,000


FEATURES: water community, views of Southport Harbor and Country Club of Fairfield golf course, 2.02-acre level and gently sloping property, in-ground swimming pool, terrace, exterior lighting, patio, porch, underground sprinkler, generator, solarium; convenient to Sasco Beach, Southport Village, Southport Metro North train station, Pequot Library, I-95 and Post Road (Route 1); recreation room with wine closet, cable - available, four fireplaces, rear staircase, possible in-law or au pair suite, zoned central air conditioning and oil heat, detached two-car garage with loft, public water connection, septic system, full basement crawl space, attic, five bedrooms, four full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Mill Hill Elementary, Roger Ludlowe Middle, Fairfield Ludlowe High

ASSESSMENT: $2,251,760

TAX RATE: 26.79 mills

TAXES: $60,325

For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Victoria Fingelly of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty at 203 610-0647 or victoriafingelly@yahoo.com.