John Steinbeck’s “Little Fishing Place” in Sag Harbor is on the market


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John Steinbeck’s long-term house in Sag Harbor, New York, a cozy cottage in a quiet bay where he spent years writing and fishing, is on the market for the first time in more than six decades.

The acclaimed novelist, whose works include “About Mice and People” and “Grapes of Wrath,” for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, bought a house near Sag Harbor Bay in 1955 with his third wife, Elaine Anderson Steinbeck, a former actress and Broadway theater manager. He divided his time between this residence in the Hamptons and their apartment on the Upper East Side up to his death in 1968.

In his book, Travels with Charley, Steinbeck described the Sag Harbor House as “my little fishing spot,” where he recorded his running trip with his beloved dog. And it is in the house where he began his 10,000-mile journey in 1960, and also where he wrote his latest novel, “The Winter of Our Discontent,” that it takes place in a fictional coastal town, similar to Sag Harbor.

Credit…Bettmann, via Getty Images

The 1.8-hectare property, located about 2 km from the village center, is sold through a fund set up in front of Ms Steinbeck. death in 2003. Over the years, families John Steinbeck and Elaine Steinbeck have been involved legal disputes and disputes over the rights to his works and occasionally the ownership of the house in Sag Harbor.

The asking price of the house is $ 17.9 million, according to listing broker Doreen L. Atkins of Sotheby’s International Realty. Annual property taxes in Sag Harbor and Southampton, where the municipality is located, total $ 32,295.

The one-story wooden shingle cottage is located near the water’s edge on a grassy peninsula between Morris and Upper Sag Harbor and has a waterfront about 586 feet. The house is surrounded by oaks, nuts and cherries and has a free-form swimming pool, which family members call a “cement pond” in the middle of the plot. There are also two other buildings near the water: Steinbeck’s 100-square-foot hexagonal “writing house,” which he affectionately called Joyous Garde after Sir Lancelot Castle; and a 120-square-meter cottage known as a “cozy cottage” with twin beds, a bathroom and an outdoor shower. There is a garage for two cars with a rear canopy and a 60-foot pier.

Mrs. Atkins called the home “special and rare.”

“Usually you don’t get a pier and you don’t get water,” she said, noting that the property was “private and protected,” largely because of its downward slope. “It has historical value because it was owned by Steinbeck.” He was present in the village. “

Steinbeck was often seen around Sag Harbor in a fisherman’s hat and rubber boots, visiting places like the Bay Delicacies on Main Street and socializing with his fishing buddies. He was also seen on his 22-foot cabin ship, Fayre Eleyne, named for his wife.

Two years ago, the village honored its famous inhabitant by opening 1.25 hectares John Steinbeck Waterfront Park.

Clark Covert, one of Mrs. Steinbeck’s nephews and manager of her estate, has fond memories of years spent at home as a child. “Elaine invited each of us to spend two weeks with her – one week in the city and one week on the spot in Sag Harbor,” said Mr. Covert, a financial services company in Austin, Texas. “It was a different world for us.”

He said that he and his older brother enjoyed swimming in the pool, cleaning mussels and crabs on their little beach, and playing their aunt with the grass on their aunt. Mr. Covert and other family members continued to use the property over the years and often helped maintain it. “Every spring I would go upstairs to open it, every fall and close it,” he said.

In recent years, however, his family says he uses the house less. “With the departure of Aunt Elaine and mother, we have lost the most important reasons for all of us to travel there,” he said.

The main cottage, painted dark gray, lies behind a long gravel alley. The sign near the front door reads “Eden.” The house measures 1,220 square feet and contains two bedrooms and two full baths, along with what Steinbeck called the library grounds.

The house is entered through a small foyer with a skylight that leads to a living room with lofted paneled ceilings, exposed wooden beams and a large field stone fireplace, which depicts a picture of a standard Steinbeck Charley poodle on the ledge. Tailor-made libraries are filled with some of Steinbeck’s favorite books, which were awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962.

The living room has a dining area where there are French doors leading to the outdoor terrace. Behind the living room is a sun terrace and a kitchen equipped with plates and a central galvanized island. A spiral staircase in the living room connects to a loft with windows, which has additional bookcases and two deck chairs.

From the living room is a guest bedroom. The primary en suite bedroom is at the end of a long corridor lined with various photographs of Steinbeck and his family and friends. The suite has a sliding glass door that opens out. There is also a second bathroom from the hallway.

The whole house has oak floors and several oversized windows, which bring plenty of light and offer amazing views of the picturesque surroundings.

“It’s a small cottage,” said Mrs. Atkins. “And he has such a curious feeling.”


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