Save this House: A Whimsical Fairy-Story Cottage on 4 Woodsy Acres in North Kingstown

John R. Cota Sr. labored on his dream home for greater than forty years. Now it wants a brand new proprietor to complete the fantasy.
The house at 780 Shermantown Rd., North Kingstown, was a labor of affection for its builder, John R. Cota Sr. Photo by Dana Laverty.

Welcome, readers, to a brand new function of Rhode Island Monthly we’re calling “Save this House.”

We love all properties: Victorians, Colonials, capes, condos, lofts, raised ranches, contemporaries, seaside cottages. They’re all lovely in their very own methods, whether or not they’re worn via with attention-grabbing particulars, time-honed patinas or tasteful decor. But every so often a home comes alongside that has good bones and intriguing components, however simply wants just a little maintenance and like to convey out its true potential.

This is a type of properties. We assume somebody ought to put it aside. Are you sport?

‘He was a termite’

John R. Cota Sr. was all the time engaged on his home, a gingerbread-style abode he constructed from the bottom up beginning within the ’70s.

The three-level house, at 780 Shermantown Rd. in North Kingstown, is full of treasures he collected all through the years: classic lighting, a cobalt-blue Glendale range, an vintage telephone, an previous elementary faculty bell, stones and lumber gathered from numerous worksites throughout his years at Guild Drilling (now American Equipment and Fabricating Corp.) in East Providence.

There’s nary a straight line or trendy comfort in sight.

“It’s the most amazing property I’ve ever shown, and I’ve been doing this for twenty-two years,” says John Kidd, the itemizing agent with Blackstone/Ocean Properties.

The home has three bedrooms and two baths inside 1,304 sq. ft. A workshop, indifferent storage and outbuilding are additionally on the three.97-acre lot.

“He was a termite,” says Cota. “He loved working with wood.”

When his youngsters had been little, he’d depart meals out at evening for the native critters – the raccoons had been particularly keen on marshmallows – and so they’d all collect within the kitchen, watching the nocturnal feast in rapt pleasure. He was a easy man – forgoing trendy conveniences like computer systems and cable TV for the easy thrill of crafting issues along with his fingers.

The elder Cota died final October. He was seventy-four years previous.

“He didn’t want any services,” Cota says. “No wake or anything. He just wanted his ashes to be scattered in the water.”

He additionally didn’t need to burden his youngsters with the maintenance of the home. “Sell it,” he instructed them. But his son holds out hope that somebody on the market could need to proceed his father’s dream of residing merely, within the quiet backroads of North Kingstown, in a one-of-a-kind house crammed with the handcrafted workmanship of a person who liked wooden.


For extra details about 780 Shermantown Rd. in North Kingstown, contact Blackstone/Ocean Properties’ John Kidd at 401-524-5854 or go to blackstoneocean.com.


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