Saturday, December 2, 2023

Where We Live: Ferry Point home

Surrounded by wetlands, beaches and 1,000 feet of shoreline, this 10-acre, wooded property is the perfect spot for this 9,200-square-foot home owned by Paul Dresser and his wife Julie Baxter.

Paul said his late wife Judy Dresser should take all the credit for finding the land, which overlooks four miles of open water, back in the early nineties. When Paul and Judy came by boat to see the property in person, it was a mess.

“It was so overgrown,” Dresser said. “But when everything was cleared, it turned out to be a really beautiful piece of property. I’ve lived here 23 years and have loved every minute of it.”

The house was designed by Williamsburg architect Carlton Abbot and local builder Bob Ripley, though Paul said Judy steered the ship.

“We both had a lot of respect for Carlton Abbott and liked his contemporary architecture,” Dresser said. “I remember this one meeting he had with Judy when they were designing the home, he said ‘Lady you can’t have the Holiday Inn on one side and the Governor’s Palace on the other,’ but she said she wanted all kinds of windows – there needed to be windows in every room.”

The six-bedroom six-and-a-half bath home was completed in 1995. It is located just on the other side of the Chickahominy river in Charles City, and there are windows with views of the river in nearly every room. Judy Dresser lived in the home for eight years until she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in 2003. She did get to see their only daughter married on the property, which was a dream of hers.

The Ferry Point home is a mixture of contemporary and New England Colonial with interesting aspects throughout. For starters, more than 100,000 Old Virginia wood-molded bricks were used in the construction of the home.

It also features six fireplaces, five of which have been converted to gas, all made of reclaimed bricks. One of the fireplaces is in the breakfast nook of the kitchen.

There are a variety of ceiling heights, including full two-story ceilings, cathedral and vaulted ceilings. The library is a book lover’s dream, and is Dresser’s favorite spot.

Chestnut paneling gives the room a rich feel and there’s space for more than 1,000 books. A convenient sliding ladder allows the reader to easily reach a book placed up high.

Every bathroom has a unique look. Both Dresser and Baxter are still amazed at how detail oriented and ahead-of-her-time Judy was when it came to choosing fixtures and finding storage solutions during the design process. There are ornate sinks with etched flowers, revolving shower stall doors and hidden drawers and closets throughout.

The glass rooms are the focal points of the home. The first and second floor rooms with exposed beams and floor to ceiling windows provide a stunning view of sky and river.

“It a great place to watch storms roll through,” Baxter said.

“It’s a wonderful place to sit and lose yourself in your thoughts,” Dresser added.

Dresser and Baxter also enjoy watching the Bald Eagles that like to hang out on their pier. On any give day there could be two to four of them.

With water views, beach and river access, a heated pool and plenty of patio space, the home is the perfect spot for celebrations.

There have been weddings, engagement parties, derby parties, and Grand Illumination parties, to name a few, held at Ferry Point over the years.

Learn more about the home here.

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