SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Homes of the Week

May 17, 2013

Rare opportunity to own a landmark with this historic Wenham home

Stately elegance meets unpretentious charm in the Batchelder-Cogswell House making it both a New England classic and a Wenham landmark since 1730. Remarkably, the home has been owned by just four families in nearly three centuries and the happy result is the careful maintenance of many original elements that create a type of living history museum in which you can actually live.

Seven Colonial fireplaces and wide pine floors are exemplars of the 18th-century attributes that abound throughout the residence. Yet, at the same time, the home’s high ceilings, ample storage spaces and bright, sun-filled rooms offer a welcome modern counterpoint.

Unlike the scaled-down nod to history one sometimes sees in more contemporary residences, the “Great Room” in the Batchelder-Gogswell House is just that. Running the entire length of the home, the great room — with ironwork details and window seat garden views accompanied by a hidden minibar, small refrigerator and sound system — could easily host a meeting of the Jane Austen society or your New Year’s Eve party.

The kitchen offers generous storage including ample cabinets, a butcher-block island and a walk-in pantry. The kitchen also hosts the laundry area with a separate sink and is the ideal spot for a playroom, sewing room or workspace for the home crafter.

The dining room invites elegant holiday celebrations and warm family dinners with its working fireplaces, corner cabinet and built-in cupboard.

Floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves line the snug library nook opening into the fireplaced study where pocket shutters and original wainscoting create an inspired setting for settling into a good novel, finally finishing that puzzle, or enjoying a family Game Night.

The basement’s a modern wine cellar that provides the cool storage required by your most-prized vintages or plenty of room for canned goods and is located within one of the home’s two great brick arches.

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