This over 24-acre estate in East Haddam, Connecticut was formerly owned by Katherine Hepburn’s first cousin Betty Marter, heir to the Boston’s Houghton Mifflin publishing empire. Ms. Marter was a naturalist and a spy in Paris during World War II.
Marter created a sanctuary of sophisticated country living, a pristine meticulously manicured property featuring a variety of whimsical and delightful destinations points. In her international travels, she befriended Cecil Beaton the world-famous opera set designer (London/Barbados). He and other celebrities were frequent visitors. Katherine Hepburn was also a summer regular – practicing her lines in the peace and tranquility of the natural seclusion – along with enjoying the social rewards of Betty’s other celebrated guests such as Claudette Colbert and Lady Sara Churchill, Winston Churchill’s niece, to name just a few celebs of earlier times to visit the luxurious and extravagant estate.
The estate borders Lyme, Connecticut and is on both sides of the nationally acclaimed Eight Mile River.
The gated compound’s French and English influenced architecture, is seen in six structures including the main house, guest house, a Greek-inspired two-floor pool house, gazebo, six auto chambers and a large two-floor barn.
The primary residence is inspired by the estates of the 19th century Mauritius Island style homes in the Indian Ocean.
The property also has a private detached lounge/club with sophisticated state of the art professional lighting, music, and control room with a director station.
Multiple fieldstone terraces blend indoor and outdoor living. The guest house known as the Calcutta Club features unique designs inspired by the 19th-century antebellum mansions of Charleston.
The property is filled with whimsical and delightful destination walkways, abundant stone walls and footbridges, rolling open fields, pastures, scenic vistas, sculpted gardens, ancient tree specimens, all in a setting of landscaped woodlands, manicured open rolling fields, all reminiscent of earlier iconic New England.
Gracefully shuttered windows deliver plenty of light.
French doors in the kitchen open out onto gardens and terraces.
This five-bedroom estate is listed with William Raveis Real Estate Mortgage and Finance, an affiliate of Luxury Portfolio International for $1.99 million.