Summer 2016: Homes Feature Story

A Wellesley Island Wonder

A Wellesley Island home on Stump Road boasts modern amenities and plenty of room to roam on 9.2 acres.

A Wellesley Island home on Stump Road boasts modern amenities and plenty of room to roam on 9.2 acres.

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.

0617_Homes_Homes11 WEBThe 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.

JUSTIN SORENSEN n WATERTOWN DAILY TIMESWhile 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.

0617_Homes_Homes9 WEBWhile the downstairs is very unique, in the middle of summer the dominant feature of the property is property’s land and water access, particularly for the Richardson’s grandchildren.

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.

0617_Homes_Homes6 WEBThe 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 kmagee@wdt.net.

Summer 2016 Feature Story: Cavallario’s Cucina

Authentic fare with a dash of love

Above, Brenda T. Cavallario in the kitchen with her grandsons at her restaurant, Cavallario’s Cucina, Watertown. Opposite page, from left, Brenda T. Cavallario, daughter, Gina Vann, and husband, Peter G. Cavallario. The family restaurant features homemade authentic Italian food. Photo by Stephen Swofford, NNY Living.

Above, Brenda T. Cavallario in the kitchen with her grandsons at her restaurant, Cavallario’s Cucina, Watertown. Photo by Stephen Swofford, NNY Living.

Family first at Cavallario’s Cucina where ‘everything we do’ is homemade

By Karee Magee, NNY Living

There was no cooking class or culinary school that
transformed Brenda T. Cavallario into a restaurant chef. Instead, it was her parents’ kitchen. [Read more…]

Summer 2016 Cover Story: Healthy Eating

Plan & Prep For Healthy Eating

Julie Bailey makes grilled cheese sandwiches with her daughter, Eleanor, 8, in their Canton home. Mrs. Bailey began to change how her family eats in September, focusing on healthier choices. While seeking advice, she discovered the website 100daysofrealfood.com, which offers more realistic suggestions and tips. Now her family strives for a balance of 60 percent processed foods and at least 40 percent whole foods. “Before I started this effort it was probably 80/20,” she said. Photo by Jason Hunter, NNY Living.

Julie Bailey makes grilled cheese sandwiches with her daughter, Eleanor, 8, in their Canton home. Mrs. Bailey began to change how her family eats in September, focusing on healthier choices. While seeking advice, she discovered the website 100daysofrealfood.com, which offers more realistic suggestions and tips. Now her family strives for a balance of 60 percent processed foods and at least 40 percent whole foods. “Before I started this effort it was probably 80/20,” she said. Photo by Jason Hunter, NNY Living.

For many working mothers, finding the right tools to keep a family on the path to wellness is a key to lasting success

By Karee Magee, NNY Living

Most mothers would agree that motherhood is the most challenging job they’ll ever hold. Add the hectic schedules of working mothers to the responsibilities of raising children and it may seem inconceivable how some women manage everything, particularly the time and effort to put together a healthy diet for their children. [Read more…]

Summer 2016: The NNY Life

Renewing connections with old friends a reminder of blessed life

Kathy Hirschey

Kathy Hirschey

Today is the first day of summer. I am sitting outside the Ritz-Carlton in Miami, Fla., sipping a glass of expensive wine, looking at the ocean, watching palm trees, thinking I can’t believe I am here. [Read more…]

Summer 2016: Today’s Gardener

Sweet and savory shrub will make great use of fresh fruit

Editor’s note: Deanna Nelson and Paul Haldeman own Zoar Tapatree Co., Rodman, where they boil and bottle small batch maple syrup. Recently, Deanna partnered with The Farm House Kitchen, Sackets Harbor, to make her maple-infused strawberry shrub. Contact Deanna through Facebook or online at tapatree.com if you’re interested in trying these local products.

WEB0510_biz_Halletts2

Brian Hallett

This past spring, I walked into my friend’s kitchen anticipating some maple syrup tasting and she asked me if I had tried shrub. I have to say that I get a lot of gardening questions in the spring, but this was a first. I had never heard of shrub, but I tried the strawberry shrub that she had been perfecting and it was delicious. The brightness and flavor of fresh strawberry balanced with an interesting sweet acidity really got my attention. [Read more…]

Summer 2016: North Country Notes

A native voice and mentor to other writers is sadly lost

Like every region, the north country has produced its share of mold-breakers. Some, like F.W. Woolworth and Melvil Dewey in retailing and library classification, respectively, achieved wide renown. Others passed their time on this Earth in relative anonymity outside of small circles of the like-minded. [Read more…]

Summer 2016: Wellness

Tread lightly for summer fun

Take steps to ensure children are safe around water

Michelle Graham

Michelle Graham

Summer lends itself to fun in the sun and all things wonderful and warm. Boating, swimming and relaxing by the beach or a pool are special highlights that make lasting summer memories. The warm season in Northern New York is short so we pack a lot into a narrow window of time. [Read more…]