Cape Cod, the lovely, laid-back alternative to the frenetic Hamptons. Here, ancient shingled cottages ride out generations of nor’easters, shrug off centuries of use, and delight residents and visitors alike every summer. Chatham, on the southeast tip of the Cape, the elbow, as it were, has long been a humble fishing village, but one that attracts rich and famous residents such as Harry Connick Jr, prolific sitcom producer Marcy Carsey, and powerhouse TV producer Warren Littlefield. Celebs and others who seek anonymity adore the seclusion and privacy of the hamlet because they are largely left to relax and recreate without anyone paying much attention to wattage of their star power or the depth of their bank account.
Any privacy lover, who need not be famous but must have some pretty deep pockets, could well invest in this home in the North Chatham area. Set on more than four wooded, waterside acres, the property includes a charming house built in 1790, beautiful coastal views, and a private sandy beach. It’s available for $3.795 million via Phyllis Power at Compass.
The Isaiah Nickerson Farm, as the property is known, presides over an elevated knoll that overlooks Bassing Harbor, Strong Island and Pleasant Bay. (No worries about sea level rise, here!) The Nickersons are an old, old Cape family. Isaiah’s father, Ensign Nickerson, had one of the first salt works — that is, a manufacturer of sea salt — on Cape Cod.
Lovingly maintained as a laid-back respite and owned by just three families its nearly 250 years, the almost 2,500-square-foot house includes five bedrooms and three bathrooms, all set on a peaceful natural site. The wide plank pine floorboards are original, as are the doors and latches, while some of the upstairs rooms sport painted wood floors. In the basement, some of the sills, which have been reinforced, are thought to have come from Ensign’s old salt works.
Informal and relaxed, the first floor includes a living room with fireplace, a spacious family room with fireplace, a formal dining room, a vintage-style kitchen, and an en-suite primary bedroom with yet another fireplace. Upstairs, there’s a sitting room with TV area that acts as a hub for four more bedrooms, including one with a private bath.
Outside, there’s a detached two-car garage, an outdoor shower, and a large stone patio that gives way to a lawn the sweeps down to the water’s edge. Not enough room for the entire extended clan? No problem! With four acres, there’s plenty of space to add a pool, a tennis, court and even a guesthouse, if desired.
And when you have weekend guests, make sure to whip up some some Cape delicacies via the Nickerson family recipes. (“Codfish dinner, anyone?”) Isaiah would want you to be generous with the salt, too.