WRENTHAM — History, rustic appeal, a country setting and a unique floor plan are what attracted Susan and Sigurd Rosenkaimer to their 10-room Gambrel contemporary style home at 1439 West St.
The property's rich history dates back long before the house was created by remodeling a sawmill built around 1850 and moved to the present site almost a century later.
In the early 1700s, Joseph Grant built a small lean-to home on the property that would eventually become known for many years as Kentuck Farm. The lean-to and original farm are believed to have been located on what is now the Birchwold Conservation Area, where the only route of travel at the time was an ox-cart path.
In the mid-1700s, when a more modern road was built about a half-mile away, the Grants built the farmhouse which still exists at 1442 West Street, across the street from the Rosenkaimers' home. The Kentuck Farm, which grew to include hundreds of acres, was operated by the Grant family into the 1920s, and then by others until about 1970.
During the 1940s, the site of the Rosenkaimers' house was a very popular produce stand and cider mill. The cider mill was housed in what was once part of the Grants' sawmill, which was moved to the 1439 West St. location by Wentworth Massie, the owner of the farm from about 1930 to 1970.
The sawmill building was converted to a home during the early 1970s by Peter and Anna Reynolds, who also built the remainder of the now 10-room home which they occupied until about 1994.
It is the converted sawmill building that offers most of the rustic appeal enjoyed by Sigurd, a retired anesthesiologist, and Susan, a retired nurse, who say their present occupation is enjoying life.
This part of the home includes a 30- by 18-foot living room and a large room with a loft, which the Rosenkaimers use as a den and artist's workshop.
The living room features an oversized brick fireplace at the far end of the room, set within a wall of rich, floor-to-ceiling oak paneling.
It also features a very attractive parquet floor and several dark pine beams, which span across a white ceiling and extend down each side along off-white walls.
The woodwork on three sets of tall, double casement windows along the left wall are also of dark wood and nicely offset by white lace curtains.
The room is comfortably furnished with a burgundy leather sofa and four matching chairs in front of the fireplace, complemented with various rustic collectibles and rustic style tables made of rosewood and wrought iron.
To add to the rustic appeal of the room, the original cider mill sign of black lettering on a white-painted background is displayed at the front end of the room, which features a vaulted ceiling.
Below the sign is an oil painting of the back yard in a winter setting, one of several paintings done by Susan depicting rural scenes and nicely situated throughout the house.
The lofted room, which was built over the original cider mill, in the front part of the home, features a dark oak floor, rustically studded with its original nails.
The dark floor is set beneath a high cathedral ceiling, with two large skylights, and an original double casement window set high in the wall to the right and adorned with diamond-patterned metal grids.
To enhance the effect of the decorative window on the room, the Rosenkaimers had a larger matching window put in just below it, which also offers a view of the wooded setting outside.
A dark oak stairway, with a wrought iron railing, leads to the loft area, or Susan's art studio, where another skylight offers more natural lighting. Beneath another large window, on the back wall, Sigurd has built a large rustic-style work table for Susan, and there is also an easel nearby displaying one of Susan's large landscapes.
As part of the unique layout of the home, the lofted room, with a full bath located just outside the entrance to the room, is one of three bedroom areas on the first floor that can be used as a master suite.
One such bedroom area is located to the right of the rustic-style foyer and the other, which the Rosenkaimers use as their master suite, is toward the back of the home.
The large master bedroom features a vaulted ceiling, accented with a large dark beam, above beige Berber carpeting.
The room also features a triple window overlooking the back yard, nearby pond and rolling, wooded land beyond, just one of several scenic country views offered throughout the home.
The master suite is located off a hall area, nicely highlighted with one of Susan's largest paintings, which features a scenic view of an Irish countryside.
Continuing the home's unique floor plan, the hall area also offers a stairway similar to that in the lofted room, which leads to the lower level of the home, where the dining room, kitchen, laundry room and garden room are located.
Of the lower level rooms, the Rosenkaimers are particularly fond of the kitchen, where they spend a lot of time enjoying another backyard view from a sitting area they have created.
The sitting area is at the far end of the kitchen and features a black slate floor, which extends through the kitchen and into the adjacent dining room and garden room.
This area also features a large two-way brick fireplace, with hearths in both the kitchen and dining room.
The opposite end of the kitchen offers oak cabinets and a center island, topped with hunter green countertops, and a large garden window, with a black slate ledge.
Another favorite area of the Rosenkaimers is the tavern because of its rustic appeal, which is actually one of the first rooms seen upon entering the house, located to the left of the foyer.
The tavern features a large pine bar, accented with rustic collectibles, such as an old keg, and the room's decor is steeped in dark pine wood, from wainscoting to window molding.
The room also offers a vaulted ceiling, complementary brown leather furniture and the same parquet floor as the living room, which can be seen from a large open doorway in the room.
Although the Susan and Sigurd have enjoyed the home since they purchased in about two and a half years ago, they have purchased a home in Vermont, which offers an even greater rustic appeal and country setting.
During the time the Rosenkaimers have owned the home, however, they have also made improvements, which include all new Harvey casement windows, new doors, new roof, new clapboard style siding and a new attached two-car garage.
The property is listed for $597,900 with Irene Levesque at Re/Max Real Estate Center at 508-384-8484.
rdrtrdrsrdrw15rsp160 historical information for this story was provided by Judy McCormack, who lives at 1442 West St. in what was once the farmhouse of the Kentuck Farm.
love your home? Is your house special — either in design, decor or historical significance? If so, we'd like to feature it on our weekly Great Homes pages. Contact Janette Sears by phone or fax at 508-222-2442, or via e-mail at jsears(at)(at)thesunchronicle.com