On the Market: Antique colonial in Easton with agricultural, historical appeal
EASTON — Matt Rochlin calls his nearly nine-acre bucolic estate at 135 Redding Road in Easton “a little piece of Vermont nestled in lower Fairfield County.”
He and his wife, Sachi, both of whom grew up in Westport, purchased Five Gates Farm in 1997 after they had admired the antique colonial house and attractive farmland property for a few years. Sachi often passed by on her way to and from the Easton farm where she had kept her horses and commented on how much she loved the house. Sachi was away when Matt learned that the farm was on the market. He called to let her know and, sight unseen, she told him to buy it. He did.
“It was our dream house,” Matt said. It was the place where they raised their two children, who got to witness the birth of baby goats, eat freshly laid eggs, ride horses, skate on the pond every winter, and befriend the menagerie of farm animals — among them pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, and a dog-like goose.
Five Gates Farm is located in the Aspetuck neighborhood, also known as Four Corners, the confluence of four towns: Easton, Weston, Fairfield and Westport. It is not a working farm that’s open to the public, but the Rochlins have enjoyed working the land as a hobby; raising their animals, making goat cheese, collecting eggs, making maple syrup from the sap of the 200-year-old maple trees, eating apples and other fresh fruit from their own trees, and even making pear schnapps.
The property contains a stable with four horse stalls and a hay loft, a detached four-car garage with a guest cottage above, fenced paddocks, a run-in for horses, another one for goats, and an underground heated water system for the animals.
The property held for them agricultural and historical appeal. “We liked the charm of the house. We like antiques,” Matt said of the house that was built in 1790 by David Bradley. Although the couple appreciated the 18th century farmhouse they wanted modern amenities as well. In 2001 they expanded the footprint of the house extending it to 5,306 square feet of living space.
During that project they impeccably renovated the existing structure, giving it 10-foot ceilings and an open floor plan, without sacrificing its historic integrity or its features including wide-planked wood floors, hand-hewn beams, and original fireplaces. They preserved the “boat room” on the third floor, where there is a hand-painted dedication to Capt. R. (Russell) Hoyt, one of the former owners.
Before the Rochlins purchased this farm it belonged to the Hoyt family for about 75 years. According to the Rochlins the Hoyts had a connection to Johnson & Johnson, and they said a company helicopter would sometimes land on the 8.58-acre property.
As the Rochlin family grew and their hobbies expanded they made improvements to the grounds as well. They installed a lighted Astro Turf tennis court with a ball machine, a putting green and sand trap, and a Gunite in-ground fiberglass salt water swimming pool with a solar cover. Golfers can do more than practice putting. Aspetuck Country Club and golf course is across the street. Inside, the entertainment value is amplified by the sizable first floor billiards room, which features a large timber bar, wainscoting, recessed lighting, and reclaimed antique pine and hemlock barn siding floors.
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“We never wanted a formal home. We wanted a fun home … It’s an amazing place for kids to grow up,” Matt said.
Twenty-first century living and entertaining is enhanced by the state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen, which has marble countertops, custom wood cabinets, farm sink, and high end appliances. Its reclaimed pine and hemlock wood flooring from a Waterbury barn more than 100 years old continues into the great room, which has a coffered ceiling. The great room also has a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace.
In the formal dining room there is a fireplace and window seat. What is now the library was the original kitchen. It has an original fireplace with a beehive oven. The mudroom completes the first floor. On the second floor, the master suite has a fireplace, two luxurious baths with a connecting steam room, custom dressing room, and a door to a balcony/deck with a hot tub.
“We’re hoping someone else will appreciate it and take over the tradition, and take care of it for the next owners. The house has been evolving for the last 200 years,” Matt said.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
TYPE: Updated Antique Colonial Farmhouse
ADDRESS: 135 Redding Road, Easton
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 12
FEATURES: equestrian/farm land, 8.58-acre level and partially fenced property, lighted Astro Turf tennis court with ball machine, putting green and sand trap, Gunite in-ground fiberglass salt water swimming pool with a solar cover, pond, flagstone patio, fire pit, covered porch, four-stall horse barn with hayloft, fenced paddocks, horse run-in, underground heated water system for animals, detached four-car garage/guest cottage, mini apple orchard and other fruit trees, large timber bar, wet bar, billiards room, audio system, generator, five fireplaces, private hot tub deck and balcony, storage shed, private well, across from the Aspetuck Country Club golf course, proximity to Aspetuck Land Trust preserved spaces; just minutes to the Merritt Parkway, Fairfield, Westport and Weston; zoned central air conditioning and oil heat, wood shingle roof (75-percent new on main house), walk-up attic, full unfinished basement, 1,000-gallon propane tank, six bedrooms, six full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Samuel Staples Elementary, Helen Keller Middle, Joel Barlow High
TAX RATE: 31.38 mills
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact of Deirdre Andreoli of WBCH Team and William Raveis Real Estate at 203-856-7479 or firstname.lastname@example.org.