Looking to Pen Your Next Novel? Try One of These Four Former Writerly Retreats

This Sagaponack home, designed in the modern farmhouse vernacular and once owned by author James Jones, is on the market for just under $8 million with Sotheby's International Realty.

Though most people draw the limit at 140 characters nowadays, it wasn’t so long ago that the Hamptons was a big lure for literary types. James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity (the novel about American soldiers in Hawaii, not the trip out east on the L.I.E.), worked on the trilogy’s final installment in the Sagaponack farmhouse where he and his wife moved in the 1970s. Called Chateau Spud, after the East End’s legendary crop, it also served as a gathering place for Jones’s literary circle, including Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, and Kurt Vonnegut. Now on the market for $7.995 million, the home on Sagg Main Street was restored and expanded by the current owners, who purchased it from Jones’s estate after the author’s wife, Gloria Jones, died in 2006, says Rylan Jacka of Sotheby’s International Realty, who has the listing with Melissa Green, also of Sotheby’s.

In Sagaponack, a modern farmhouse and poolhouse, is on the market for just under $8 million.

Novelist Leon Uris made Shelter Island his primary residence from 1990 until his death in 2003, living in a Ralph Kast–built four-bedroom contemporary on North Ferry Road just outside Shelter Island Heights. Listed for $1.595 million with Penelope Moore of Saunders & Associates, it still bears relics from Uris’s time, including encyclopedia sets, tomes on military maneuvers, and boxes of first editions in the garage. “We’re leaving a lot of things just the way Uris left them,” says the home’s current owner, designer Michel Kramer-Metraux.

British rock journalist Nik Cohn has listed his seven-bedroom Shelter Island farmhouse for $1.695 million.

Moore also holds the $1.695 million listing for the seven-bedroom Shelter Island farmhouse of British rock journalist Nik Cohn, who was the inspiration for the Who’s “Pinball Wizard” and whose other claim to fame was writing the New York magazine story that inspired the film Saturday Night Fever (which he later admitted to fabricating). Dating from 1880, the Burns Road home was first a farmhouse, became the Harbor Inn in the 1940s, and in the 1960s was turned into a family restaurant. For more than a year after Cohn bought the place, in 1985, Moore recounts, “people would stumble through the back door thinking it was a restaurant.”

Mystery novelist Robert Upton’s Water Mill compound is on the market for $2.45 million with Brown Harris Stevens.

Novelist Robert Upton, the scribe behind the Amos McGuffin mystery series, has listed his $2.45 million Water Mill property with Diane Sadowski and Nancy Grady of Brown Harris Stevens. Part of its appeal is a writer’s atelier atop the pool house—not such an easy get, since Upton had to prove to the Town of Southampton that he was using the space (modeled after Ernest Hemingway’s own digs in Key West) to pursue his craft, even producing published works to demonstrate his livelihood. Meanwhile, the $3.895 million Westhampton Beach property where Budd Schulberg penned his Academy Award–winning screenplay for On the Waterfront—first reported for sale last summer in HC&G—is still on the market.

Browse a special section from Corcoran Real Estate Group, as featured in the July 1 Issue of HC&G

A version of this article appeared in the July 1 2015 issue of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Deeds & Don'ts: Writerly Retreats.

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Property of Note: 76 Windmill Lane

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52 Dorchester Road, Darien, CT
Reminiscent of a bygone era, this iconic 1930s brick estate is poised to be brought back to its former glory. Envision Gatsby-meets-2018 with a grand entrance, generously sized rooms, high ceilings, fumed wood paneling and arched doors, newly refinished floors and a freshly painted interior throughout much of the house. Set on 4.5 private acres with a pool, cabana and mature plantings, this property is a rare find. Vintage details for a future masterpiece.

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57 Miller Lane East, East Hampton
Charming East Hampton cottage renovated in 2013 was transformed into a 2,500+/- sq. ft. dream home. On the first level are two bedrooms, a bath, open living areas, and a sunroom. The bluestone sun porch overlooks a beautiful pool and pool house with garden. Upstairs master suite features a bath with marble herringbone floor with nickel Samuel Heath shower fixtures. Custom window treatments, Phillip Jeffries wallpaper throughout and Sonos inside and outside.

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64 Birchwood Lane, Bridgehampton
6,100 SF Barn-style home conveniently located between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor. With six bedrooms, six full baths and two half baths, this home will entertain family and friends all year round with two fireplaces, one of which is in the spacious master suite. Enter into a Grand entry foyer, 10’–11’ ceilings throughout main level and into a designer kitchen. Relax outside with beautiful landscaping and a heated gunite pool. Integrated concierge through Chaloners for an effortless Bridgehampton lifestyle.

Barn and Vine

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20 Hook Pond Lane, East Hampton
On a private lane in the Hook Pond estate area is a new home designed by Abstract Builders. The 10,000 SF home (on 3 levels) is perfectly sited on a 1.6 acre lot to take full advantage of the pond and ocean views. Dramatic open kitchen, dining and living space opens to the outside; includes 7 ensuite bedrooms, plus light-filled lower level with billiards, viewing room, wine cellar and sauna. Outside, landscaped grounds surround a gunite pool, spa and pool house.

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76 Windmill Lane, Bridgehampton
On 2+/- acres, landscaped for complete privacy, this complex consists of three interconnected enameled clad steel barns custom designed by Jack Ceglic, with radiant heat concrete floors, maintenance free exteriors and grand, open spaces. The 4,600+/- sq. ft. main house offers custom kitchen, master and guest suites, library and half bath. All rooms open to large mahogany terrace. The guest house/studio has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and separate study. Heated gunite lap pool.

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5 Green Pond Road, New Milford, CT
Litchfield County's fabled Candlelight Farms Airport. This is a rare opportunity to own one of CT's few grass strip airports. Moments from Candlewood Lake and all that Litchfield County offers. Bucolic 35 acre setting with 2,900 ft. turf runway. The collector-quality hangar boasts a steel framed, 6,000 sq ft structure with automatic doors. Spacious enough to store up to 10 Piper Cub size planes. Perfect for a private user, a collective of enthusiasts or a commercial investment.

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11 Musket Ridge Road, Wilton CT
Perched at the top of a roaring Silvermine River waterfall on almost 4 acres, the property spreads out into Wilton and New Canaan. Every inch of this home has been perfected to capture the timeless appeal of the river while exuding ultimate refinement and good taste. The architect-designed home captures river views and sounds, and almost every room opens to one of the magnificent decks or to a private balcony. Call Ileana Barns Slavin Associates-William Raveis at (203) 246-7215.

11 Musket Ridge Road

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