Greek Revival style house, circa 1934, in painted brick with slate roof, in fair condition (uninhabited over 10 years). Eight thousand square square feet over 2 stories, with 8 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, wood burning fireplaces, exposed ceiling beams, built-in bookcases, extensive ornamental woodwork. Entry foyer with fireplace, oval dining room, bar room, large living room/ballroom with water views. Guest house, barn, stables and several outbuildings, swimming pool, tennis court, attached 3-car garage. Total of 820 acres on three parcels with farmland, wetland and forest — 600 acres under a conservation easement: Last listed at $10.9 million, no minimum bid
What: Talisman farm was the dream of Arthur Kudner, an advertising executive, whose claims to fame include “I’d walk a mile for a Camel”, and the term “athlete’s foot.” In the depths of the Depression, Kudner bought this land and built a fine house, to which he invited a glittering array of guests, including the boxer Gene Tierney, Averell Harriman, and Princess Grace of Monaco, a close family friend. By today’s standards, the house seems less appealing. It has an odd layout and would be expensive to renovate. It could well be a teardown. What is undeniably breathtaking is the setting. Surrounded on three sides by water, with 4 acres of frontage on Prospect Bay, this is a paradise for fishermen, hunters, birders, equestrians — anyone who loves the outdoors. The current owner has recently restored 100 acres of farmland back into wetlands. A 60 acre tidal pond , known as Hoghole Creek, is a unique natural feature. Inaccessible by boat, it attracts osprey, eagles, ducks, Canadian geese, tundra swans, wild turkey and herons. Nutria, the imported rodent which has decimated parts of the Eastern Shore’s natural wetlands, have not been a problem. Watching the moon rise over the water here might be well worth a bid.
The auction for Talisman will be held online through Premiere Auctions, on or around October 1, certainly “before the tall trees lose their green in the white galloping cover of winter’s rampage.”
Where: Grasonville (pop. 4,000), Kent Island, MD is a 10 minute drive from the far side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, about 30 minutes from Annapolis and an hour from downtown Baltimore. Kent Island was inhabited by native tribes for nearly 12,000 years. When William Claiborne, a survivor of the Jamestown colony, arrived in 1631, he named it after his home in Kent, England and built a prosperous settlement along it’s southern shore. Claiborne lost the island in a dispute with the Calvert family in 1638, and it became the first European settlement in Maryland.
Why: Unique and beautiful setting,
Why Not: Rising tides could sink this ship.
Would Suit: Farmer, conservationist, lone wolf.
NB: The house’s crystal chandeliers come from a Mississippi riverboat.
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