House of the Week: Antique Gem at 109 Sturges Ridge
For the first time on the market in 42 years, the historic Coley-Belden House ca. 1832 is a very special home steeped in Wilton history. The property at 109 Sturges Ridge Rd. has been part of the lives of several prominent Wilton families of the past–the Coley family, the Beldens, and later Clarence Jackson, who was Wilton’s First Selectman in 1905 and again in 1918. [Read more of the historic details of this house, at the end of the article below…]
This Nantucket style antique is set behind a hemlock hedge and sited on 2.15 stunning, park-like flat grounds. It features modern updates but still retains its historic charm. While the home was once part of a successful apple orchard, today, its inhabitants can enjoy family dinners or entertain in a beautiful, new, eat-in kitchen with quartz counters, generous island, and stainless steel high-end appliances, all open to the lovely dining room with beamed ceiling.
The kitchen and dining room lead to a bluestone terrace with wisteria-covered pergola providing a canopy of color and shade, a lovely spot for relaxing or entertaining. An expansive family room with vaulted ceiling, fireplace, French doors and built-ins complete the first floor.
Upstairs you will find a large, ensuite master bedroom, three other good-sized bedrooms with nice ceiling heights, hardwood floors throughout and a walk-up attic.
The grounds of this home are flat and lush, filled with specimen trees like a large Beech, as well as easy-care, perennial gardens that are exquisite. Be the next owner and caretaker of this notable home.
There is an open house at 109 Sturges Ridge Rd. this Sunday, March 25, from 1-3 p.m..
Coley-Belden House ca. 1832
According to evidence in the Wilton land records, Levi Coley purchased 23 acres at Harry’s Ridge (now Sturges Ridge) in 1831 from William, Eliphalet, and Buckingham Lockwood, and he built the house around 1832. It remained in the Coley family until after Levi’s death, when his heirs sold the property in 1862 to Samuel B. Belden, who retained it until 1876 when he sold it to Mary E. Jackson. It was later passed on to Mary’s son, J. Clarence Jackson, who operated a very successful McIntosh apple orchard on what by then was a 40-acre property, in proximity to the Hurlbut family’s orchard to the north. The “Mac” was a new apple, which had become immensely popular. Much of the Jackson apple harvest was shipped to New York for sale, and the farm also produced peaches, pears and cherries.
Clarence Jackson became a prominent citizen of Wilton. He was elected First Selectman in 1905, and again in 1918. In 1928 he chaired the Building Committee for Center School, and in 1938 he was one of the founders of the Wilton Historical Society.
Clarence and his wife had no children. When he died in 1952 he left his property to Norwalk Hospital. (We’re told that dozens of trees and shrubs were removed and relocated to Norwalk to landscape the hospital’s grounds.) In 1958 Norwalk Hospital sold the house and farm to Charles Cornell, the developer of one of Wilton’s several post-war subdivisions of the 1940s and ‘50s. Cornell removed the wrapping veranda that graced the house during the Jackson era.
Records show that the house was owned in 1958 by Robert DeVoye, an actor/dancer who performed in Broadway musical productions including “Golden Harvest,” “Dancer,” and “I Want to Live – I Want to Love.” Robert and Shirley McKennie bought the house in 1960 and sold it to the current owners Chip and Beth Mason in 1976.