Perhaps it is fitting to be writing this article the week of Halloween since the name for St. Michaels’ “The Snuggery” may have been inspired by Washington Irving’s fourteen room cottage “Little Snuggery” in Sunnyside, NY, where he lived until his death in 1859. He was best known for his short stores, including “the Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and its protagonist the Headless Horseman.
St. Michaels’ “The Snuggery” began its life as the Robert Dodson House, circa 1798, when Dodson built a log house on a site facing St. Michaels harbor. In 1870, Henry Clay Dodson relocated the log structure to Cherry Street and remodeled and expanded the house in the English Gothic cottage style. The front part of the house holds the distinction of being the only early log structure remaining in St. Michaels.
The charming cottage style architecture has many double windows to brighten the interior rooms. The 1870 renovation left portions of the original log walls exposed in the front parlor, the dining room and the ground floor bedroom which gives the rooms great interior architectural character. The two front parlors have angled corner fireplaces with original decorative surrounds. A wide cased opening connects the two rooms for better flow and the cross vistas through the wall opening are of double windows on each side of the house for a feeling of openness.
The Snuggery is currently a B&B and the current owner has fully renovated the house without sacrificing any of its historic charm. The interiors and property have also been professionally designed. There is a range of accommodations including two individual en-suite rooms and two en-suites with sitting rooms. The main floor contains one guest suite and the second floor contains other charming guest rooms tucked under the roof eaves with exposed cross bracing beams under the drywall ceiling.
The two front sitting rooms are arranged around each room’s corner fireplace and I loved the accent wood log walls with white chinking. Each room has a different patterned rug and the white furnishings, some with rattan framed for texture and the accents of blue & white patterned pillows and the red ottoman artfully link the two rooms. Behind one sitting room is the dining area with the table arranged underneath the double unit window surrounded by light gray and white wallcovering and a framed scene of the Snuggery blanketed with snow. I loved the distinctive hardwood floor pattern of a center hourglass shape between two triangular shapes. The large sideboard has a dual use for breakfast or afternoon wine tastings. Behind the other sitting room is the main floor ensuite guest room with its log accent wall, side windows for privacy and the blue and white furnishings that create a serene retreat.
I especially liked the transformation of the kitchen-family room area. The kitchen’s color palette of hardwood floors, white cabinets and tile backsplash with upper cabinets extending to the ceiling and the stainless steel appliances would appeal to any cook, The bar stools offer the perfect perch for a guest’s midnight snack. Between the kitchen and family area is an exterior door for easy access to the landscaped and hardscaped rear yard for relaxing after a Patriot cruise, shopping or enjoying a picnic lunch. The family room has high windows on the side wall for both privacy and wall space for the TV. The wide box-bay at the rear accommodates a full size sofa and offers views of the rear landscaping, meandering brick walkway and slate patio. With the two other chairs and the fireplace this room is a great spot for relaxing and getting acquainted with fellow guests.
All of the second floor bedrooms have great interior architecture from the high knee walls, sloped ceilings, dormers and the exposed collar beams painted white to contrast with the soft wall colors. The Owners’ suite is located on the second floor and spans the width of the house with areas for sleeping, a cozy sitting area with sunlight from a double-unit window underneath the high point of the dormer above and a large storage room.
On Halloween, you will find no nefarious Headless Horseman galloping down Cherry Street but you will find a charming B&B with a guest book of happy guests who have enjoyed cozy weekend getaways and romantic special celebrations for many years. Past guests of The Snuggery would be quite disappointed if new Owners decide to convert this charming cottage back to a single family residence but it could easily be done. The original milk house at the rear of the property is a bonus since it has also been renovated and the current owner has received a license to rent it as a studio apartment. Whatever happens it will remain a delightful part of Cherry Street and St. Michaels’ history.
For more information about this property, contact Tracy Higgs-Wagner with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6702 (o), 410-310-5581 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more photographs and pricing visit www.tracyhiggswagner.com , “Equal Housing Opportunity”.
Photography by Janelle Stroop of Thru The Lens, 845-744-2758, janelle@thruthelensphotos. Interior design by Tracy Higgs Wagner with Louise Christoffers from Higgins and Spencer and Debbie Jackson from Come by Chance. Both design firms are located in St. Michaels.
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Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.
Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.