FAIRFIELD — Records at the Fairfield Museum and History Center indicate the Thorp family arrived in town “in 1679 and established themselves as farmers, military officers, and sea captains.” The latter especially makes sense when one considers several of the Thorp homes were built in Southport, a maritime community in Fairfield’s earliest days.

Many sea captains built houses in Southport to be close to the harbor and their ships. “The Thorps were of maritime tastes, taking their vessels to all ports open to American commerce … They were very estimable men as well as worthy sea captains,” according to the book “The Old Burying Ground of Fairfield, Conn: A Memorial of Many of the Early Settlers in Fairfield” by Kate E. Perry. “Many are the beautiful articles which they collected on their trips to grace Fairfield homes,” the book says.

One of the houses that was probably decorated with those beautiful articles brought back from foreign shores was the Georgian colonial at 916 Pequot Ave. with its distinctive slate mansard roof punctuated by gabled dormers. It was built in 1874 by one of the Thorp sea captains. To this day the floor of the center hall foyer is adorned with a compass rose, a reminder of its early maritime ownership.

The updated antique house has undergone two major renovations; the first by Simon Banks in 1892 and the second one by Cameron Clarke in the early 1900s. Banks, one of the home’s owners, was a wealthy proprietor of the Banks Shipping Line. Clarke was a noteworthy Fairfield architect. The renovations preserved remnants of the home’s past, making them relevant to the visual appeal of the house as it was updated for modern living.

More recent improvements were also made. A new custom slate roof was added in 2004 with a finialed iron widow’s walk and snow guards, and matching chimneys. That same year a new heated Gunite in-ground swimming pool and spa were installed, as were fencing, a stone patio, driveway, and landscaping including gardens, fruit trees, and flowering trees. In 2007 the spacious gourmet kitchen was expanded and fully renovated, and central air conditioning was added to the house. Also that year a new 10,000-gallon septic tank was installed, bathrooms were upgraded, a third floor antique tub was restored, and the doors on the detached two-car barn-like garage were replaced with electric barn doors and it was given a new metal roof. Just this year the plumbing was upgraded, and the interior walls, rails, and trim work were painted.

This attractively symmetrical colonial is set back from the road and framed by a pair of stately copper beech trees. The white house with pale gray shutters sits on a 0.87-acre level property in a historic district. The house is accessible from the slate sidewalk by the street, through a gate and to the path that leads to the front entrance or from the driveway to the path that widens to a stone patio in front of the house.

Inside, it has 12 rooms and 4,419 square feet of living space on three finished levels. It features nine-foot ceilings and original floors, doors, and windows, and a classic floor plan including formal and informal gathering spaces. To the right of the foyer is the formal living room. To the left is the formal dining room. Both feature large fireplaces - two of the four original fireplaces in this house, and built-ins. From the dining room French doors open into the sunroom, which has a slate floor. Off the living room is a sitting or music room with French doors to the side by the driveway. French doors lead from the living room into a sizable den with a fireplace.

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The spacious gourmet eat-in kitchen features custom Vermont cabinetry by Ted Wood, high-end appliances - including a Viking Professional six-burner range with grill, a butler’s pantry with a wet bar, and French doors to the covered wood deck, patio, gardens, and pool. The kitchen floor comprises black and off-white marble tiles arranged in a harlequin pattern designed by Melissa Adinolfi of Lifestyle Kitchen and Bath Design.

On the second floor there are four bedrooms, including the master suite, and on the third floor there are two more bedrooms, a playroom, a sitting room, and a full bath. Two of the bedrooms on the second floor share a hall bath and the master and another bedroom are en suite. One of the bedrooms has a fireplace. One of the baths features a floor of mosaic tile arranged in a plaid pattern.

For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Susan Tortora of William Raveis Real Estate at 203-331-3395 or susan.tortora@raveis.com.


TYPE: Updated Antique Georgian Colonial

ADDRESS: 916 Pequot Ave.

PRICE: $2,795,000


FEATURES: water community, 0.87-acre level property, heated Gunite in-ground swimming pool and spa; new covered deck, stone patio, professionally landscaped, exterior lighting, walking distance to Southport Village, Southport Harbor, Metro North train station, Southport Beach, and the Pequot Library; easy access to I-95 and Post Road (Route 1), located in a historic district, new slate roof (in 2004), new Pella windows (in 2007), wet bar, plumbing upgraded (in 2018), interior walls painted (in 2018), four fireplaces, detached two-car garage/barn with loft, full unfinished walk-out basement, six bedrooms, four full and one half baths with Waterworks fixtures

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

ASSESSMENT: $1,602,510

TAX RATE: 26.36 mills

TAXES: $42,242