West Street house dates back to mid-1800s

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:54

Warwick — "It is so interesting to live in a house that has been here long before you were and will be here long after," said Susan Naruk of her home at 88 West St. in the Village of Warwick. "You are more a caretaker, not so much an owner." Naruk and her husband, Ed Hemphill, have lived in the house for more than 20 years. They can trace ownership through county records back to 1880 when Asa Baxter owned the sprawling Colonial complete with two barns. But Michael Forman of Edenville Restoration, who Naruk says is an expert at telling the age of a house, said it was probably built around 1850 because of its beams and nails. "The rafters in the attic were pit sawn," said Naruk, meaning before the invention of the circular saw, the builders actually dug a pit to saw through the huge beams. "The nails are not machined. They are actually little blocks of metal. He felt it had to be around 1850." The house itself is a treasure and was built the way houses should be built. The original golden oak and mahogany moldings and oak hardwood floors remain throughout the downstairs. Period pine floors and moldings continue upstairs. There is a grand, open stairway that goes up to a landing, turns completely around and leads up to another grand landing, which allows a flood of natural light into the house. Although the house is large — more than 3,500 square feet — Naruk said it is not difficult to heat in winter or cool in summer. "These old timers really knew how to side a house," she said. "The south and east sides, the hotter sides, have porches. The northern side is much more protected. It is easy to heat in the winter and remains cooler in the summer." There are a couple of working fireplaces in the house, including one in a bedroom upstairs that also has a porch. There are three full and one half baths. One of the baths, Naruk noted, is the best combination of old and new. It has an old, porcelain leg tub and a brass and glass shower. The huge kitchen had been renovated in the 1960s — a Karpy kitchen — that has all of the ‘new' features of current designer kitchens. Naruk has added Viking appliances to make it a true professional workspace. Outside there are two very large barns, each with a loft and tin roof, and both in perfect condition. The landscaping on this 1.5-acre property is beautiful and the yard is like a sanctuary. "It is a different world behind the house," Naruk noted. Yet the house is walkable to all points in the village. "Living in the village is so wonderful," said Naruk. "The house sits close to the sidewalk so it invites community. We can walk everywhere. There is so much privacy out back. Those old-timers had it right." This house is being offered through DL Hawkins Real Estate Solutions. James Weatherston is the agent handling the property.