My youngest child is heading off to college and in a few weeks, so Dave and I will officially be empty-nesters.
As most of you who have already seen their children go out into the world, you know the moment is bittersweet. We decided the time was right to move permanently to our beach house.
We have grown to love the people and the area; and know it’s the perfect place to start our next chapter.
In one of life’s wonderful coincidences, our neighbors decided they also were ready to start a new chapter and offered to sell their house to us. Just one moment on their porch and we knew it would be our next home.
We purchased their “virtually untouched” turn of the century shingle style beach house. It sits up on a rather large plot of land, with several outbuildings.
This was exciting for Dave who always longed for the joys that come with a large property. The home also needed a lot of renovation which was an exciting project for me.
“Stone Ridge” was designed by architect, Ernest Boyden and completed in the mid 1890’s. The previous owners, whose family had owned it for over 85 years, left us a bag full of original blueprints which have been helpful in understanding the way in which the house was originally imagined.
During the turn of the century Annisquam was a popular summer enclave for families. At that time there were road names but not house numbers, as each home was very distinctive and identified by name. “Stone Ridge”, was named by owners, Otis and Emily Shepard.
We believe they chose “Stone Ridge” because the house sits up very high on a large, rock outcropping and ridge.
The porches are nearly 65 feet above sea level. We often have to look down to see the birds flying! This affords us the most spectacular views of the Annisquam river and lighthouse.
Like most classically designed shingle-style homes Stone Ridge is wrapped on three sides by covered porches The south porch looks over the Annisquam Pasture and down river toward Wingaersheek Beach, the north porch looks up the coast towrd Crane’s Beach and Hampton, NH.
The West porch looks out toward the Annisquam lighthouse where we enjoy spectacular sunsets.
Work has been underway since early Spring with landscape architects, builders and craftsmen who share our vision and who are committed to return this beautiful home to its original grandeur.
I hope you will join me on my next journey. There is so much left to do – kitchen, baths, porches, landscaping.
So many areas to improve and make our own. The top photo is the before and the bottom is just the beginning of the exterior improvements- we’ve got a long way to go.
Here’s to our next chapter- and here’s to bringing Stone Ridge back to life! I hope you will come along.
PS – We also got a new puppy, Cosmo!
It’s good to be back!
(all photos property of Willow Decor and not to be used without permission)