Home of the Week: A historic home in Rockport with a steamy secret

Buying Home of the Week Spring House Hunt
The home sits on nearly a half acre on a hill with a view of the Atlantic. PHOTOS BY Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
Style Greek Revival
Year built 1869
Square feet 3,352
Bedrooms 5
Baths 2 full, 1 half
Sewer/water Public
Taxes $7,437 (2022)

Charles H. Cleaves, a Harvard-educated lawyer, had a lifelong love affair with his hometown, where he channeled his passion for photography into creating postcards of the Cape Ann town through his Rockport Photo Bureau and spent his free time away from his Boston office.

He had this Greek Revival built atop Pasture Hill, a perch that provides great views of Sandy Bay. Today, it’s more modernized than the house where Cleaves lived, but it still looks very much like a property that dates to the Reconstruction era, thanks to historic renovations. The exterior is now goldenrod with cranberry trim.

The deck has a railing with cutouts. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours

The first space off the main entrance is a vestibule flanked by windows framed by red glass rectangles. Double doors open into a foyer that includes a black-and-white painted staircase and a long hallway from which all of the home’s major rooms run off like tree branches.

On the left behind pocket doors is a formal living room with a distinctive addition: a cast-iron Kineo stove that is a heat source (along with propane, hydro air, and a heat pump). What looks like a sheet of embossed tin serves as a heat shield behind the black stove. The room itself is 208 square feet and has two windows, including a bow.

Double doors from the vestibule open into the foyer. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
The living room has wood flooring and a bay window. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
A cast-iron Kineo stove serves as one of the home’s heat sources. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours

The flooring throughout most of the first floor is refinished fir and heart pine boards that are original to the home.

A wide doorway separates the living room from the formal dining room. In the latter, a working brick fireplace shares a chimney with the wood stove. The dining room, which is 221 square feet, also features a coffered ceiling and a light fixture that looks like burning candles.

The dining room connects to a family room with recessed lights that ends in a pair of glass doors that open to a deck. To the right, the library features a decorative fireplace and three windows. Finished with work for the day? Head back into the family room, where a dry bar with seating for four awaits.

There’s a decorative fireplace in the dining room. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
Doors in the family room open to the deck. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
The dry bar has seating for four. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours

The flooring in the dry bar area — hardwood painted with white and blue diamonds — runs into the kitchen, which is clearly not the same as one the Cleaves used. (It is also more comfortable: Hello, central air.) The kitchen (306 square feet) has stainless steel appliances, recessed and pendant lighting, gray Corian counters, white Shaker-style cabinets, and an island with seating for four and a Silestone top.

The flooring shifts to tile in the mudroom, where there are doors to the backyard and to a half bath that has a white porcelain console sink, wainscoting, and porcelain tile flooring.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and a painted wood floor. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
The flooring in the mudroom is tile. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours

On the second floor, there are three bedrooms, a bedroom converted into a gym, a full bath, and a laundry closet.

The bedrooms range from 130 to 208 square feet. The largest has carpet, a pair of closets with bifold doors, a four-window bump-out, and a single window. The other two bedrooms have multiple windows but different flooring and closet space: The smaller offers carpet and a single closet with a folding door, while the other comes with hardwood and two door-less closets.

The full bath these bedrooms share has dual vanities with white quartz countertops, as well as porcelain tile flooring and a tub.

The owner suite occupies the third floor. At 352 square feet, it is the largest room in the home. It features carpet underneath and dramatic ceilings overhead, compliments of the roof lines. An alcove where a bed fits perfectly is flanked by a pair of windows. A Palladian window provides excellent views of the Atlantic. The bedroom area offers one closet, but there is a second —a walk-in — off the en-suite bath. The bathroom has two white porcelain console sinks, a claw-foot tub, and a separate shower with a porcelain subway tile surround.

The owner bedroom is the largest space in the house. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
This is the view from the Palladian window in the owner bedroom. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
The owner bath offers a soaking tub, console sinks, and a separate shower. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
This second-floor bedroom has a bow window. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
The second-floor bath has two vanities and a tub. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours
The bedroom on the second floor that offers two door-less closets. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours

The basement is unfinished.

Outside, the home offers a stone patio under a pergola, fruit trees, and a stone pathway. Surprise: There’s a building with a wood-burning sauna.

The sauna is in a separate building. —Fred Light/Nashua Video Tours

Renovations undertaken 10 years ago included the electrical, plumbing, period-correct windows, a new roof, and plaster work, as well as bath and kitchen updates.

Lucy Loring and Laura DeLuca of Lucy and Laura Real Estate at Compass in Marblehead have the listing.

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Follow John R. Ellement on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Send listings to [email protected]. Please note: We do not feature unfurnished homes and will not respond to submissions we won’t pursue. Subscribe to our newsletter at Follow us on Twitter @globehomes.