Listing of the Day
Location: Portland, Maine
Price: $5.95 million
This 24-acre island in Casco Bay was the first site in Maine to be occupied by European settlers. Its name, House Island, derives from the fact that in 1621, the English explorer Captain Christopher Levett built a house there, around which a small plantation developed.
Today, its four early 20th century structures—three cottages or bigger homes, and a smaller cottage known as The Sunshine Cottage—provide the perfect location for a familial cluster of households, or perhaps a vacation compound. The island’s current owners opted to use the property for the latter, but its proximity to Portland means it could easily function as a year-round residence.
While being so close to the bustling city, House Island is unique in that it still manages to feel very separate and private. Agent Nancy Carleton describes how, from its beautiful beaches (of which there are five), “you can look in toward the harbor, west into Portland, or south and east into the ocean and Peaks Island,” the most populous island in Casco Bay. “One view is very busy and city-like, and the other is very rustic and Maine-y,” she said.
Accessible from Portland by boat or six-minute water taxi, House Island is easily reached, even in bad weather, and its inhabitants can be as connected or as disconnected as they desire.
— Mansion Global (@MansionGlobal) October 9, 2017
Among the island’s four structures, its indoor space totals 7,497 square feet. It houses 10 bedrooms, and eight full and two half bathrooms.
The property features 10,000 square feet of artificial turf, perfect for ball sports. Its five beaches mean that kayaking, fishing and swimming can be everyday activities, while its many porches and patios invite leisurely lounging. Additionally, a beautiful “Serenity Garden” offers space for quiet contemplation. Also located on this characterful island are cut granite wharves and the remains of a late 19th-century lobster pound.
House Island’s four houses, five beaches, courtyard, and other features lie on the 12.8 acres of the island not occupied by Fort Scammel, a military base built in 1808.
After its military career, the island became known in the 20th century as the “Ellis Island of the North.” It hosted an immigration quarantine station for the 30 years between 1907 and 1937, after the Emergency Quota Act limited the number of people who could enter into the country.
The 1920 brick detention barracks have been demolished, but the cottages for sale are the original 1907 structures, and have been updated to the highest standard, with “solar powered everything,” according to Carleton.
The historic, eclectic and vibrant city of Portland is famous for its bustling piers, lively arts venues and world-class dining establishments, pubs, and boutique shops, which are abuzz year-round with both tourists and locals.
Agent: Nancy Carleton, William Ravies Carleton Real Estate
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