An elegant Colonial house sits in a park-like setting at 47 Brookbend Road, but back in the days of Prohibition, rumor has it that one section of the house served as a speakeasy.
Is it lore or fact?
There is nothing in historic town records that would confirm the story about a speakeasy in the Winton Park area home, according to Elizabeth Rose, library director of the Fairfield Museum and History Center. By definition, their identities were well-kept secrets so locations of speakeasies are hard to document, she said.
But the 8,019-square-foot house fits the time period -- built circa 1929 -- as does the home's English pub with a huge fireplace and its own separate full bar. Prohibition started in 1920 and continued through 1933. The pub, which is used by the current family as a media and playroom, has bubble-glass windows and a peep hole in the door, which contributes to the speakeasy theory. One person said the bubble glass in the bar prevented anyone from getting a clear view of what was going on inside. And anyone can imagine someone whispering a password to the "bouncer" behind the peephole.
Not in doubt is the ID of the original owner of the house. Rose confirmed he was C.K. Davis, the president of Remington Arms and a big collector of antique furniture. A Fairfield Museum and History Center document shows that a photograph of Davis' living room in the Brookbend house was featured in Antiques Magazine in January 1941.
Antiques would look stunning in the elegant formal rooms, but so would modern-day furniture. The house was renovated in a way that retains the original ambience and integrity while making it suitable for 21st-century living.
Period features include the bull's-eye glass window panes in the front door, wide-planked pegged hardwood floors, and decorative molding with arched woodworking of entranceways topped in keystones. The arches are repeated in the family room in the molding and two corner built-in cabinets. The fireplace in this room has a surround of hand-painted Dutch tiles and a decorative mantle.
Dutch tiles also comprise the backsplash in the updated kitchen, which also has granite counters, a center island, breakfast room, Viking six-burner range top, and built-in desk area.
The wing of the house that has the English pub and bar room and may have been a speakeasy has a cathedral ceiling, wide red brick fireplace, and two L-shaped built-in window seats.
Crowning the room are exposed, hand-hewn beams arranged in a decorative fashion. This room also has a staircase that leads to the "his" bath in second floor the master suite.
His bath has a marble floor and a huge dressing area with built-in dressers and closets. Her marble bath is also features a Jacuzzi tub, skylight and three built-in closets with mirrored French doors. The master bedroom also has an ornate faux fireplace.
The allure of this house continues onto the grounds; 2.45 park-like acres of mature landscaping and rolling level and gently sloping lawns. There is an in-ground Gunite swimming pool on the property, but like the magical children's books "The Secret Garden" and "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," there is a hidden portal to the pool area and flower beds that are behind privacy hedges about 20 feet tall.
There is an additional adjoining lot available for purchase by prospective buyers interested in the home.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
ADDRESS: 47 Brookbend Road
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 16
FEATURES: located in Winton Park, walking distance to downtown Fairfield and the train station, easy walk to middle and high schools, English pub with full bar and fireplace, 2.45-acre level park-like property, in-ground swimming pool, bluestone patio, staff quarters, front and rear staircases, screened sun porch, two covered porches, hot tub, four fireplaces, insulated windows, audio system, utility sink and workbench in three-car garage, six bedrooms, six full and two half baths (five of them newly updated)
SCHOOLS: Riverfield Elementary, Roger Ludlowe Middle, Fairfield Ludlowe High
TAX RATE: 24.4 mills