The SpaceBreezy and light-filled. Close to great restaurants, Mohawk Mountain skiing, Indian Mountain and Hotchkiss Schools, Lime Rock Park, recreational trails, the Village of Millerton, and farmers' markets. Built as a country Gothic-revival church in 1885 on the edge of farmland in Sharon Valley by the Parish of Saint Bernard's. Rebuilt in 1915 as a family farmhouse with adjacent farrier's shed. Rebuilt again in the 1990s. Engineered to accommodate 180 people on Sundays, the first floor's oak joists are 2x10 inches and 12 inches on center.
The home unbuttons in the late spring and remains airy and cool all summer. Westerly winds from upstate New York glance off Indian Mountain and head south down Sharon Valley, making the neighborhood ten degrees cooler year-round than Brooklyn's Park Slope, where the owners live and work during the week. By mid-autumn the home buttons up for a snug, warm winter. Careful use of building materials containing no volatile organic compounds makes the home a delight for anyone sensitive to allergens and irritants. Sharon Valley is lush with water, its drainage established at the end of the last Ice Age, and our land is home to the tallest tri-leader birch in Litchfield County, nearly 85 years old.
We furnish the house with cotton sheets, cotton and wool blankets, and feather comforters and pillows. There's a hair dryer under the sink in the en-suite bathroom, and a steam iron and ironing board for do-it-yourselfers, but we very much like New England Dry Cleaners in Millerton on US Route 44 near the Connecticut state line. Guest AccessYou'll have access to most everything except, perhaps, our too-cluttered red barn and the attic loft space. Official check-in is 3:00 PM or later. Unofficial check-in is anytime as early as 12 noon or whenever the housekeeper Connie allows, so don't hesitate to ask. Official check-out time is 6:00 PM on the day of departure, which is very popular with New Yorkers heading back to The City.
Feel free to use all appliances, including the dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer, clothesline, clothes racks, hair dryer, steam iron and ironing board, refrigerator, freezer, and propane oven and range (similar to natural gas). We mostly brew with a Cuisinart coffee maker, and we love our old Revere Ware pots and pans. There's always ground coffee, and help yourself to anything you see in the pantry, cupboards, and refrigerator. There are a couple of Apple chargers on a table in the mudroom off the driveway, as well as a micro-USB charger for use with Android phones. You'll sometimes find the first morning's breakfast staples in the refrigerator: eggs, granola, orange juice, milk, coffee, half-and-half.
By appointment only, Walter conducts guided tours of the fieldstone cellar for structural engineers and framing carpenters. Interaction with GuestsSometimes on arrival and on weekends. But not always: the owners are often working in the City when they'd rather play in the Country. The NeighborhoodNearby restaurants are Monte's and Serevan in Amenia, the Oakhurst Diner, Manna Dew, and No. 9 in Millerton, the Boathouse and Woodland in Lakeville, and Pastorale and the White Hart Inn in Salisbury. Nearby hiking and nature observation are on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, South Taconic Trail, and Appalachian Trail.
Sharon Valley was, we can report, once a world center for the manufacture of mousetraps, but that hasn't been true for a hundred years. Note the ancient tri-leader birch in the photograph from the rear yard, looking north: it is the tallest in Litchfield County and nearly 85 years old.
The most remarkable views are from the South Taconic Trail near the boundary where Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut all meet. (North of the Village of Millerton, take Dutchess County Route 63 (the road to Boston Corner) to Deer Run Road, and park along Quarry Hill Road at a trail head.) The South Taconic Trail has some segments best climbed with both feet and hands. The much gentler, nearly level Harlem Valley Rail Trail is a particular favorite and a stroll in the country, illustrating the differences among fens, marshes, and bogs. Sharon Valley is a part of the Taconic Range and Litchfield Hills, small segments of the Appalachian Mountains. For visitors from overseas, New York City, the Hudson Valley, and the Taconic Range are extensions of North America's East Coast flyway, popular with migrating birds. Getting AroundIf you have a car, park in the gravel driveway. Or use Dutchess Taxi Man or your bicycles to ride over from Wassaic train station: 13 minutes by car, or 48 minutes by bicycle on the rail trail via the old Sharon (Train) Station. The walk from the train station on foot via the Harlem Valley Rail Trail is 155 minutes. (Though we carried no backpacks, we recommend comfortable boots for all hikes.) Dutchess County long-ago stopped running buses between Amenia and Millerton. In Sharon, Doug Hobby's Autosport (((PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)) has an auto rental service that picks up people at the Wassaic Station on weekdays, and allows for drop-offs on Sunday. Other Things to Note100 miles north of New York City.
Two hours by train from Grand Central Terminal
to the end of the Harlem Valley Line at Wassaic Station.
Thirteen minutes by car from Wassaic Station.
One mile from the New York State line at Amenia and Millerton.
Ten minutes by car to the Village of Millerton.
Eleven minutes by car to the Hotchkiss School.
Nearly three minutes by car to Sharon Hospital.