Legend has it that Dr. John Sanborn, protégé of Daniel Webster, amassed his fortune by carrying gold for the Pony Express across the great divide for his mentor. Whether he was paid handsomely or simply invested well, Sanborn did a fine job of transforming his earnings into what is today, a notable Rockport landmark. Over the years, renovations have paid careful attention to its circa 1866 features so that today, this historic mansard Colonial looks as though it has been plucked from the pages of a story book.

“This estate has been restored to the utmost perfection, reflecting its original grandeur,” says Realtor George Kauss of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “The (current) owners have made many improvements yet it still possesses all of the charm of a period home.”

A nod to its 19th century roots, stunning exterior details include bracketed cornices, copper gutters and eye brows, a fish scale slate roof and columned porticoes. Inside, through a vestibule embellished by curved double doors, a welcoming foyer awaits with a gleaming wood floor beautified by a compass design.

Formal spaces with classic crown moldings and refinished hardwood floors include a gracious living room with a decorative fireplace and a dining room with custom china closet and French doors to a stone patio with enough room to host the largest of dinner parties. For more leisurely gatherings, there is the cozy family room with walls of handcrafted built-ins.

“Like something out of a movie, the study is a hidden room tucked between the family and dining rooms,” says Kauss. “Just a slight push of the bookcase and the wall slowly opens up to reveal this very private area, complete with its own electric heat.” Perhaps until now, this home’s best kept secret.

Rounding off this level and reflecting today’s active household are two half bathrooms and the very large kitchen with Mexican tile floor, a Wolf six burner range, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and an oversized granite island. A separate dining alcove, or sun room is wrapped in windows and features a pellet stove.

The second level features four bedrooms with deep closets and three full baths. The master suite with spa bath also boasts a window balcony overlooking the in-ground pool and Har-Tru tennis court. Additional sleeping quarters, should you need them, are one flight up where the views are stunning.

The panoramic view is most breathtaking from this home’s crowning jewel; a fourth-floor tower affording sweeping vistas of Rockport Village and the harbor.

Additional amenities to this property include a two-bedroom cottage, a detached six-car heated and carpeted garage and nearly 2 acres of professionally landscaped grounds complete with irrigation system drawing from a private well, decorative brick walkways, original ironwork, and parking for 25 plus!

“When this estate was most recently purchased, it was quite literally brought back to life,” says the Realtor. “Although it is grand, it is not the kind of home that you take your shoes off to enter. It is comfortable and welcoming. It’s a home in which you can throw one heck of a party.”

This remarkable property, which lists for $1,995,000, is shown by appointment only. For more information or to schedule a private viewing, call George Kauss at 978-979-2907.


Main House:

  • 14 rooms
  • 6 bedrooms
  • 4 full and 2 half baths
  • 5,144 square feet
  • $1,995,000


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