A Wellesley Island Wonder
Stump Road home boasts top amenities, acreage for $1.9m
By Karee Magee, NNY Living Premier Properties
Photos by Justin Sorensen, NNY Living Premier Properties
Heading east from the Thousand Islands Country Club along a dead-end stretch of pavement called Stump Road on Wellesley Island, you’ll get a glimpse of a modern-style home partially obscured by the island’s vegetation, hidden away from the outside world.
The home of Carol and David Richardson is a remote oasis from the busy life that takes place on the St. Lawrence River, with the road hidden from view and the stretch of water bordering their property free from the cacophony of the main channel.
When the Richardson’s were looking for a place on the St. Lawrence in the summer of 2000, they were told that they would want a place along that main channel, but after witnessing the busyness of the area, they decided against it.
“It was so noisy that we decided we wanted something quieter,” Mr. Richardson said.
The house at 46150 Stump Road, Wellesley Island sits on an area of the river that only allows traffic at 5 mph, a perfect place to watch the boats go by without the noise, Mrs. Richardson said.
Though construction on this little refuge from the world began in 1997, when the Richardson’s bought the place in 2000, it was still very unfinished, which allowed them the opportunity to add a personality to their home from top to bottom.
Over a total of seven years, the Richardsons created a unique construction that revolved around all-natural materials, solid woods and stones. Although at the time it wasn’t for an environmentalist reason, the Richardson’s said they consider that a happy accident that came about from their desire to use materials that made the house natural, friendly and comfortable.
No room in the house epitomizes naturalness better than the screened-in porch, they’re favorite room, located off the kitchen.
The porch is made with solid woods including mahogany and cedar, as well as a fir ceiling. The floor is made entirely of local stone, including the flagstone from Hammond and the granite from Alexandria Bay.
Continuity of materials and quality were an important part of the house’s design, Mr. Richardson said. This can be seen walking back through the kitchen and into the dining room where crafted woodwork can be seen, including cabinets and custom-made columns, that was designed by a local craftsman from Cape Vincent.
Leading off from the dining room, the living room opens on an open floor plan, looking directly out on the river from a large glass window. The room was designed with the same idea of friendliness and comfort in mind that generated the use of natural materials. The Richardson’s classify the three-room area as formal, but informal.
The master bedroom is the last room on the ground floor, but it leads into the simply, luxurious master bath, with granite counter from South America, a German limestone floor and walls of cherry wood.
A large steam shower was also installed with a peaked roof to help with Mrs. Richardson’s allergies, but her favorite feature is the small window cut in the wall looking onto the lawn.
While the ground floor, though, is very natural and open, it’s the downstairs that takes the cake. Going down a flight of stairs you’re greeted to a view of the lower level of the outdoors patio through a set of glass doors leading off of the Richardson’s library.
Wall-to-wall cherry wood bookshelves are the dominant feature in the room with lower cupboards to store any number of knickknacks and collections, while the focus in the center of the room are two armchairs.
It’s the perfect place to read, Mr. Richardson said, because it’s always cool. It stays between 68 and 70 degrees.
When the Richardson’s originally bought the house the basement was empty. The library was part of a three-year plan that also included a home theater room.
Perfect for a family movie night, the theater room has a drop ceiling, sound-proof wall boards and two rows of Danish furniture, with the second row raised on a movable three-piece platform.
All of the electronics were wired by Mr. Richardson including a Klipsch sound system, a fixed screen and a projector that can be raised up into the ceiling. The rest of the electronic system is located in a cupboard in the back of the room.
Also in the back is the theater room’s bar made of black walnut wood. A wine cellar is located off of the room, which is also convenient for cold storage, Mrs. Richardson said.
The stone patio is located on two levels with two doors leading onto it, one from the library and the other from the screened-in patio, and the stonework was done by Rusty Johnson Masonry of Clayton.
Walking down from the screened-in patio, the built-in steps have lights installed for safety in the evening.
On the lower level, there is a slightly raised platform outside of the library made of Brazilian hardwood and designed to resemble a boat. To its side stands a gazebo that houses an outdoor fireplace, which is perfect for the cooler weather of October and November, Mr. Richardson said.
Farther down the lawn, though, is the beautiful sight of the St. Lawrence River and its islands, some of which can be seen from the property, including Nobby Island.
Located on the water is the floating dock, which was built locally to accommodate the Richardson’s various water craft, including a hydro hoist for antique boats that can’t sit in the water for long periods and two lower floaters that make getting into their kayaks simpler and less wet.
Even considering all of the views of the property and the lake, though, the best view of the St. Lawrence River remains in the Sundown Room, a short hallway-like room above the living room that leads to a guest bedroom on one side and to the Richardson’s offices on the other.
The Sundown Room includes a sectional couch next to a half-circle window looking toward Canada that mirrors the same window above the living room’s large rectangular window, giving the person who sits there a perfect view of the river at sunset and a nice lookout toward the north.
Despite all of the work and love the Richardson’s put into their house on Wellesley Island, they’re selling the property after more than 15 years to make room for a new adventure in their life.
“We bought in Florida two years ago and we’re liking it a lot down there,” Mrs. Richardson said. “We want to downsize a bit. It’s a lifestyle thing.”
The Richardson’s won’t be strangers to the Thousand Islands region, but being gone most of the year in Florida and traveling makes it hard to maintain a house.
“We love this place, but it’s just another new adventure,” Mrs. Richardson said.
Karee Magee is a magazine associate for NNY Magazines. Contact her at 661-2381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.