FAIRFIELD — Only a decade after the Great Depression, Americans faced the uncertainties of life that came with the nation’s involvement in World War II, which “put a heavy burden on US supplies of basic materials like food, shoes, metal, paper, and rubber,” according to the website for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Because the military and civilians both needed these basics and because of the “surging demand, the federal government took steps to conserve crucial supplies, including establishing a rationing system that impacted virtually every family in the United States.”
In Fairfield, one family was so concerned about the impact of the war that they made efforts to become self-sufficient. The Tyler family purchased the property that had a large red barn with two horse stalls, two hay lofts, and a stove to dry the onions that were grown in local fields. It also had two sliding barn doors, one at ground level and one above. Today those two hay lofts are the secondary bedrooms of a modern day residence, and the chef’s kitchen — with stainless steel Viking appliances, granite counter tops, oversized island and a true walk-in pantry — is where the large root cellar once was.
The 18th century red barn at 1446 Cross Highway was converted into a 10-room, 4,899-square-foot residence in 1982, 200 years after it was first built. A plaque at the front door of this colonial converted barn identifies it as Tyler’s Barn c. 1782. “Underneath the main barn was open, enclosed on the sides, but open on the back. That’s where the Fire Engine was kept,” according to an email from a member of the Tyler family, provided by the current owners.
“My husband and I both grew up on farms in western Canada. We were both attracted to this barn,” one of the current owners said. “When we’re gardening outside we find horseshoes and tools that must be at least a hundred years old,” she said. They said the house is wonderful for family living and entertaining year round.
The restored barn/house maintains its rustic charm with original wide plank floors and exposed beams throughout, yet has a modern feel, the result of recent state-of-the-art renovations including a new roof and windows, and the installation of a Tesla charging station in the attached two-car garage. The blend of old and new make this a special find, according to the co-listing agents.
That blend of old and new is also found in the local amenities. This house is within very easy walking distance of the Patterson Country Club which has a golf course, tennis courts and swimming pool. And representing the town’s agrarian history is the Pilot House Community Farm on Merwins Lane, an even closer walk away. In addition to horseback riding lessons in Western and English styles, the farm offers a horticulture program, summer camp, and a various family events.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
TYPE: Colonial/Converted Barn
ADDRESS: 1446 Cross Highway
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 10
FEATURES: 2.04-acre level property, bluestone patio, built-in grill, direct waterfront, brook, foot bridge, professionally landscaped, mature gardens, underground sprinkler, views of Audubon Society protected property, open floor plan, original wide plank floors and exposed beams throughout, game room, balcony, audio system, pre-wired for cable, one fireplace, easy walking distance to Patterson Country Club, proximity to the Greenfield Hill Market and Timothy Dwight Elementary School, equidistant from the Merritt Parkway and downtown Fairfield, stone walls, attached two-car garage with Tesla charging station, semi-circular driveway, full finished walk-out basement, possible in-law suite, attic, central air conditioning, natural gas heat, 100-gallon water heater tank, wood shingle roof, four bedrooms, three full and two half baths
SCHOOLS: Burr Elementary, Tomlinson Middle, Fairfield Warde High
TAX RATE: 26.36 mills
The house sits behind a fieldstone wall topped with a white picket fence on an attractive property of just over two acres in the Greenfield Hill neighborhood. It has a babbling brook with a little waterfall running through the backyard and a foot bridge that crosses over it. There is a massive bluestone patio with a stone sitting wall and built-in grill for easy entertaining.
One of the previous owners planted a beautiful perennial garden with peonies, hydrangeas, hostas, and other flowers. The yard also has blueberry bushes and rhubarb. The privacy of the yard is enhanced by the adjoining 60-acre Connecticut Audubon Society preserved open space called Banks South Farm, which can be accessed from Merwins Lane.
Inside, the family room has a fieldstone fireplace and custom built-in cabinetry and shelving. It is separated from the kitchen by a long, two-tiered center island/breakfast bar. The master bedroom oasis features two walk-in closets and a newly renovated master bath. Other features include the game room, mudroom, and interior balcony.
All of this just minutes to the train station, restaurants, shops, beach and harbor.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact Terry Keegan and Gail Keegan of Fairfield County Real Estate; Terry at 203-556-5327 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and Gail at 203-451-6360 or email@example.com.