OK here’s a great idea: let’s all pitch in some cash, not too much, whatever we happen to have lying around, and buy the rural New Hampshire house where famous American hermit J.D. Salinger lived for a while. It’s for sale, according to Curbed, for less than $700,000, and it is super pretty.
As reported by the Valley News, Salinger purchased the place in 1953 after separating from his first wife, by which time he had achieved both critical and commercial success with the 1951 publication of The Catcher in the Rye. He made the move to Cornish from his apartment in Manhattan (300 57th Street), and it’s in the small New Hampshire town where his reputation as a recluse solidified, but according to a 2010 article in the New York Times, Salinger was a relatively active member of the community.
Salinger, who sold the house in the ’60s but stayed in town, is said to have voted in elections, attended town meetings at the Cornish Elementary School, and been a mainstay at $12 roast beef dinners at First Congregational Church in nearby Hartland, Vermont. Locals, embodying what one resident once described to the New York Times as “the code of the hills,” have boasted since his death in 2010 of misdirecting the throngs of eager English majors that came looking for their resident writer. According to the owner of a local general store, just how far these misdirections took Salinger pilgrims “depended on how arrogant they were.”
The Gray Lady goes all Dr. Evil on us today and asks, “What can you get for … ONE MILLION DOLLARS?” But then she chooses the most boring places: California, Dallas, and New York. Wouldn’t you rather see what one million dollars would buy you in Las Cruces, or Toledo, or Indianapolis? Bah. Anyway, apparently six figures will get you a live-in history lesson in the Adirondacks:
a four-floor 1830s gristmill with two bedrooms and one-and-a-half bathrooms, and a one-bedroom guest cottage … The owners retained the mill’s open, airy feel, with exposed stone walls, wide-plank wood floors and beam ceilings. Original fixtures and mill machinery were left throughout, including roller machines, huge grain funnels, a drive shaft and winnowers to separate grain from chaff. … The skylighted master bedroom suite takes up the fourth floor. Here, a whirlpool tub overlooks the waterfall. A ladder leads to a small sitting loft. The room has a wood stove in front of an exposed stone wall. The daylight basement is used as a workshop.
OK that does sound pretty awesome, especially the tub overlooking a waterfall part. Makes it almost worth living on a mountain 75 minutes outside of Albany.
But what if you don’t have one million to spend, especially since we all know, anyway, that one million dollars isn’t cool? I’m so glad you asked. Herewith, this week’s installment of GOOD ENOUGH Homes and Destinations: What You Get For $400,000.