When sailors Harold and Jerry Gegeheimer of Darien, Connecticut, were looking for a retirement home in 1981, they headed for Mystic, Connecticut, where they had often cruised in their 39-foot Gulfstar yawl with their children and friends.
The Gegeheimers purchased the first house ever built on historic Gravel Street — the 1791 home of Capt. George Eldredge.
“The history of the house is fascinating, and the view of Mystic Seaport’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard just across the Mystic River is spectacular,” says their son Jeff, who now co-owns the property with his wife, Gayle, sister Jane St. John and her husband, John. “They would spend hours in the family room or on the [waterfront] patio just watching the steamboat Sabino, whaleship Charles W. Morgan and all the yachts coming and going.”
The younger Gegeheimers, who live in Colorado, and the St. Johns, who live in California, are too far away to use the house enough. It’s on the market for $1,999,000. The 0.54-acre property includes almost 200 feet of waterfront protected by a stone bulkhead; the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath main home; an attached oversize two-car garage with a one-bedroom, one-bath guest suite; an in-ground swimming pool; and a dock on the Mystic River with 4-foot water depths. The popular boating waters of Fishers Island Sound are just downstream.
When the Gegeheimers remodeled their home in the 1980s, they retained the classic cape exterior and added the living room, pool and guest suite. While restoring the interior they restored the original pine floors, built-ins and woodwork.
Sidelights flank the front door, which opens into the center hall. The master bedroom, with built-in closets and an en suite bath, is on the left, and the waterfront family room is on the right. Built-in bookcases and cabinets line two walls of the family room. Windows in the other two walls offer views extending from the Mystic Seaport museum to the Mystic River drawbridge.
The adjoining carpeted living room’s window wall supplies even wider panoramic views. French doors open to the waterfront patio. A wood fire in the original fireplace provides period ambience and supplementary heat.
A full wet bar and a half-bath occupy the passageway between the living room and the formal dining room, which features the original chair rail and built-in hutch and a wood-burning stove with a tiled hood.
In the adjoining kitchen, the butcher block-topped center island, appliances and ample cabinets form a convenient work space. The wood-burning fireplace keeps cook watchers and diners in the waterfront breakfast nook cozy. The walk-in pantry and laundry room are convenient to the kitchen and to the back door, which opens onto the breezeway.
Upstairs two bedrooms with river views share a full bath, which has a jetted tub. One bedroom features his-and-hers closets and a wall of built-in drawers under the eaves. The other has an oversize closet.
The aluminum and vinyl-sided house has a finished attic, a full basement, multi-zone hot water baseboard heat, central air conditioning and public water and sewer. Annual taxes are about $21,000.
July 2014 issue