, Salem, MA

May 17, 2013

Rare opportunity to own a landmark with this historic Wenham home

By Nancy Mades

---- — 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.

On the second level, the best of modern life and antique sensibility are again realized in the form of four fireplaced bedrooms with storage-friendly walk-in closets in all. The fifth bedroom also boasts a walk-in closet or an idyllic opportunity to annex the space to create a luxurious master suite with private bath.

The grounds echo the classic elegance of the home’s interior — a water fountain and two seating areas with cedar pergolas, formal vegetable garden with granite-lined raised beds and crushed stone pathways, and perennial garden filled with established plantings. Designed at a time when “taking a turn in the garden” was the norm, all of the grounds, including the walkway to the lovely brick patio, have been meticulously maintained. A gardener’s dream and perfect for hours and hours of playtime, the entire backyard gets full sun from dawn to dusk and the side yard offers a durable work shed with an attached, covered area for your firewood.

The residence also features an attached two-car garage and breezeway that lend convenience and style to this special home.

There will be a broker open house on Sunday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 18 Cedar St. For more information or a private showing, please contact Peggy McNamara at 978-882-4455 or

AT A GLANCE 18 Cedar St., Wenham $799,000 5 bedrooms 3 baths 7 fireplaces LISTED BY Paul Herrick and Peggy McNamara Keller-Williams Realty 500 Cummings Center, Suite 1550, Beverly, MA 01915 978-882-4455