EASTON — Noted illustrator Ray Quigley reached millions of people through his artwork, which appeared in books, magazines, and advertising campaigns for Pepsi Cola, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, and other major corporations. His “Model Garage” and the character he created for it, Gus Wilson, was a staple in Popular Science magazine from 1948 to 1970.

Quigley, one of the first art instructors for the Famous Artists School in Westport, also taught illustration at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and in his Easton home at 65 Cedar Hill Road in Easton Center. It wasn’t his artwork that made a major impression on one particular middle school student decades ago. It was the ranch-style Ward Cedar Log Homes house that he had built for himself and his wife Dorothy to enjoy in their retirement.

Dierdra Preis passed by that log house on the school bus every day and something drew her to it. “It looked enchanted. I was curious,” she said. Several years later, as a teenager, she was invited to a party that happened to be held at that magical log house. Seeing its rustic charm on the inside after admiring it for so long from the outside only heightened her interest. Years later she and her husband Dana Preis purchased it.

The 2,386-square-foot house is mentioned in Quigley’s Famous Artists School biography, which read in part “Ray lives in Easton, in a strikingly handsome house of Northern white cedar logs, on three acres. Dorothy, his wife, is especially proud of the kitchen, which Ray designed for her.” Quigley’s choice of location to build the house was ideal. The lightly wooded setting feels remote and it is private yet this property is only minutes from the town center and Sport Hill Road (Route 57). He built the house in 1957. Almost 50 years later, the street on which he built the house was designated a scenic road, one of only 11 in the town.

“He was proud of what he had built,” said Dierdra Preis, recalling the time that Quigley visited her at the log house. “He walked me around the grounds and showed me things he was proud of,” she said, adding that she showed him some of the improvements they made, including tile floors that resemble stone, real stone in two bathrooms, and a vanity in one bathroom made of reclaimed barn wood. She wanted the house to look “natural and earthy,” and used materials that fit the character of the house.

She learned from Quigley that he conducted art classes in the basement and he dried his painting in the attic.

Pries said this is a real “party house” because of the open floor plan, spacious raised wood deck - which can be accessed from sliding doors in the dining room, the 3.19-acre level property, and the sizable gravel driveway, which can accommodate many vehicles. This could also be a horse property. There is a carport with an attached barn containing two horse stalls, although this space has been used as a workshop in the past. Preis said the barn has electricity and at one time had running water and probably could again.

Inside the house, the living room has a stone fireplace, exposed trestle beam, and a staircase to attic storage. The open, circular flow continues into the dining room and eat-in kitchen, the latter of which boasts quartz counters, stainless appliances, built-in desk area, and plenty of storage. Off the kitchen there is a sunroom with new carpeting.

Real Estate Listings

The bedroom layout provides flexibility and options. According to the listing agent, the original master bedroom suite is on the main level offering one-level living. It has a large walk-in closet. As the house is currently set up the master suite is on the lower level. It is quite spacious and elegant and private. It has two walk-in closets and the master bath features attractive sea glass. Also on this lower level there is a large family room with a stone fireplace, an office with a private entrance, a half bath and laundry/utility room. There is one other bedroom on the main floor.

There will be a public open house on Sunday, June 2, 1-4 pm.


TYPE: Ranch-style Log House

ADDRESS: 65 Cedar Hill Road, Easton

PRICE: $519,000


FEATURES: 3.19-acre level property, large raised deck, exposed hand-hewn beams, wide plank hardwood floors, custom doors, two stone fireplaces, perennial gardens, close to the center of Easton, detached two-car carport with two attached stables, central air conditioning, oil heating system, attic, full finished walk-out lower level, private well, three bedrooms, two full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Samuel Staples Elementary, Helen Keller Middle, Joel Barlow High

ASSESSMENT: $298,240

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Gayle Worthington of William Raveis Real Estate at 203-521-4304 or gayle.worthington@raveis.com.