Offbeat Offers

Always a subject of great interest on the Island, the real estate market seems to be offering up some unusual properties this year, everything from celebrity spreads to waterfront turf for pets.

Possibly the most peculiar listing in the spring was the Lambert’s Cove Methodist Church and parsonage in West Tisbury. Built in the mid-1840s and purchased eight years ago by ArtCliff Diner owner Gina Stanley, the buildings are structurally sound. “The bones are great and they just need some cosmetic work,” Gina says. Changes in her personal circumstances caused Gina to list the property and then remove it from the market. “I love old things – historic buildings, antiques,” she says. “I want to preserve it as a church.” She is “up in the air” about whether or not to list it again.

More history writ large and small

On the celebrity front, it’s not too late to buy the sixty-nine-acre Holly Farm on the north shore in Chilmark, once owned by the late actor James Cagney. It comes with a restored farmhouse built in 1729, guest house, barn, freshwater pond, and private access to Brick Kiln Beach – for $22.5 million. The Vineyard Haven home of the late humorist and great friend of the Vineyard Art Buchwald is also on the market. The more modest eight-bedroom, Main Street house built in 1888 is $2.45 million.

The adaptive reuse award goes to the Steamship Authority’s original freight office, which was built in the 1950s and moved in the 1980s. It is now a three- bedroom house in Vineyard Haven need-ing some TLC, offered for $350,000.

Horse heaven

Another unusual listing earlier this year was Chicama Vineyards, owned by the Mathiesen family of West Tisbury. The winery sold to new owners who plan to turn it into a horse farm but expect to keep the vines alive. Those horses may soon turn up their noses at carrots and apples, preferring instead a heady bouquet from the tasty treats in the field.

Other equine enthusiasts will find several existing farms on the market. For $3.95 million, Rainbow Farm in Chilmark comes with a house and six barns on more than twenty-five acres – and possibly some fashionable riding frocks, since the Campbell and Douglas retail operation is included in the listing. Elsewhere, there are horse operations without houses: Crow Hollow Farm in West Tisbury includes a barn on almost twenty acres with an established training facility for $4.8 million; Iron Hill Farm in Oak Bluffs has two barns on almost eight acres for $2.8 million; on a smaller scale, there’s a 3.8-acre waterfront paddock on Tisbury Great Pond by Town Cove for $2.5 million. Let’s hope the ponies enjoy the view.

O(w)n the waterfront

You can own at least a share of it: About a quarter of a million dollars buys a beach key and membership to a Chilmark beach association. This south shore location on the Atlantic Ocean has views to the Gay Head Cliffs and – Spain?

For $22.5 million, sixteen acres of Squibnocket Ridge in Chilmark comes with ocean and pond frontage as well as private beach access, and abuts several hundred acres of conservation and farm land. There’s no house here, but a twelve- bedroom septic system is in place and appreciating the scenery.

Or you can own a dock. That’s it – no house, no beach – just a forty-foot dock on Tashmoo for a million bucks. But there is parking and that’s worth plenty in summer.

Never mind the house, let’s just see the bedroom

A house for $7.8 million in Vineyard Haven has a lovely waterfront view, and was featured on the cover of a Vineyard coffee table book some years ago, but it may attract even more interest because Pierce Brosnan slept there: 007 in a bed – better than Prince Albert in a can.