Featured Property: Charleston Beach
Even on an island filled with spectacular house sites, 919 Champlin Road stands out. Its views down to Great Salt Pond, to the North Light and over huge expanses of Atlantic Ocean are interrupted only by trees, stone walls, rolling hills, farmland, and ponds. All of which is particularly nice when illuminated by the pinks, reds, and oranges of a setting sun.
“You get the most incredible sunsets,” says owner Joanne Hovey, when asked what she’s loved most about living in that spot. “And it’s totally private. We’ve got fifteen acres here and then we are so lucky to border those forty acres,” she says, referring to Sprague Farm.
Joanne came out to the island in the early seventies for a family reunion and hasn’t missed a year since, eventually bringing her own family out. Despite the fact that they spent most of the year in New Jersey, Joanne says, “I feel like my kids grew up here; to this day their best friends are the friends they made in the summers out here.”
Paths curve in and out of the huge swamp maples here, some leading to “secret” spots, where Joanne remembers her kids pitching tents. “They’d invite friends over and camp out. They’d go up to the house for supplies — mostly food — then go back and just hang out for hours and hours on end.”
Meanwhile, Joanne liked to walk the dramatic, rocky beach below. “It’s not a swimming beach but that means it’s completely peaceful — maybe you’ll see a horse go past. And sometimes you can hear the cows, the Sprague cows,” she says.
One utterly unique aspect of the property is its two vineyards, with their own drip irrigation and well systems. When they were up and running, the family made five varieties of wine from the grapes: chardonnay, merlot, cabernet, syrah, and pinot grigio.
“Get that back up and going,” Joanne portends, “and you’ll be invited out constantly — everyone will be looking forward to their hostess gift!” Her family’s wine was never sold out here, only given as gifts.
Joanne’s husband was the vintner. She tended a garden that she says always had plenty of room for cutting flowers and every kind of vegetable. “You could grow anything here. It’s not too windy and it’s all rolling, so you can always find a good spot. There’s so much space, space to do anything you want.”
Two houses sit on the property: a smaller one that the family lived in and a larger house that’s basically just a Gambrel-roofed shell so far. Now, the shell awaits a new family’s building specs and finishing touches.
Joanne’s daughter Kate shared with us her favorite memories of the Charleston Beach cottage:
- Gazing at the sunset from The Spot near the new cottage with my husband.
- Watching my 2-year-old son run up and down the hills towards the water.
- Playing [the board game] Rummikub on rainy days.
- Enjoying a freshly caught lobster dinner with our family on the porch.
- Basking in moonlight beneath the stellar starry sky (due to the lack of light pollution).
- Rising to the sound of a foghorn rolling across the grey morning fog.
- Relaxing in the hammock.
- Hanging clothes out to dry on a sunny day.
- Grey winter days.
- Taking a warm shower outdoors after a long day at the beach.
- Ocean mist.
The property is listed at $4.3 million. Call Gustave White/Sotheby’s at (401) 742-1061 or visit www.gustavewhite.com