SHELTER ISLAND IS AN IDYLLIC PLACE, tucked between the North and South Forks of Long Island and accessible only by ferry. In its northwest corner is an almost perfectly preserved community of 1870s cottages with steeply pitched roofs and distinctive wood trim, along with more elaborate houses of the 1880s.
That corner of the island is Shelter Island Heights, with a total of 141 vintage houses on roughly 300 acres. About 100 of them were built by the Methodist Episcopal Church which, for eight short years in the 1870s, used the area for religious camp meetings. Frederick Law Olmstead had a hand in laying out the park-like open spaces, curving roads, and groves of trees.
The first wave of construction consisted of about 70 cottages with steeply pitched gable roofs and elaborate wood trim, similar to those found at camp meeting sites like Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and Ocean Grove, N.J.,
Two such houses, top, in Shelter Island Heights — next door neighbors, in fact — are now on the market. Both are circa 1879, with water views, as well as occasional views of cars lined up to board the North Ferry for Greenport.
5 Clinton Avenue, for 495K, above, is an unheated 4BR, 1.5 bath cottage with a wraparound front porch and open second floor balcony. Go here for more info and pics.
2 Waverly Place, asking 595K, below, is similar, but with 3 BR, electric heat, and a large side yard. There more info here.
Both are convenient to charming and low-key shops and restaurants, as well as tennis, beach, ferry, and marina.
Please note: I am not a real estate broker, nor do I have any financial interest in the sale of any property mentioned on this blog. I just like spreading the word about unique, historic properties and what I believe are solid investment opportunities.
Cara, I’ve been in touch with you before about buying a house in the North Fork area and who better to know the lay of the land than you! Our taste in homes is very similar. I have seen these houses on an exploratory mission to the Hamptons and loved them. However, our concern is the amount of traffic from the ferry. Do you think that could be a problem? We wouldn’t want to be breathing exhaust fumes all the time in such a lovely setting. Thanks for all your real estate postings and comments which have been so helpful.
hi Janet, good to hear from you. What I’d say in response to your question about traffic/car fumes: “Only in high season!” 10 months a year, the ferry line is short enough not to reach the house. In high summer, I believe it does. But as with most things, it’s a questions of trade-offs and what one can tolerate. Some people would be bothered more than others.
Thanks, Cara. I always respect your opinion! Thank you, too, for the lovely walking tour of those cute cottages in Springs. How charming! Smaller is definitely better, but still room for a garden.