Property of the Week: 98 Hartford Avenue in Wethersfield

Wethersfield has been appreciated as a desirable place to live since it was first discovered and settled more than three centuries ago by a band of English traders led by John Oldham in 1634. Today the section of town known as “Old” or “Historic” Wethersfield presents a charming picture of a classic New England village with all the amenities of modern civilization conveniently close at hand.

Constructed in 1911, the four-bedroom home at 98 Hartford Avenue may be considered among the newer homes in the community that includes many pre-revolutionary homesteads and hundreds of homes built before the 20th century. Easy walking distance to Main Street, a local school and nearby town parks appealed to Phyliss McKelvie and her husband Donald when they saw the “For Sale” sign on the house some 56 years ago.

Donald had served in the U.S. Army and the couple began raising their children in a nearby apartment complex built just after World War II to accommodate returning veterans and families. According to Phyliss, they were impressed with the living space, liked the neighborhood and bought the house without searching any further.

Most of the original charm and detail remains intact both inside and outside the home. Nine-foot ceilings and crown molding are found on the first floor. Well-landscaped layers of greenery that complement the light tan stucco façade extend from the glassed entrance porch and brownstone steps that greet arriving visitors. Three vertical windows let light pass through the oak entrance door that still sports the original brass knob and leads into the living room.

The spacious 19-foot by 12-foot living room includes a brick fireplace flanked by two petite eye-level leaded glass windows opposite the entrance area. Three double hung windows span the front-facing wall offering a view of the yard and immediate neighborhood.

Life in the living room has included many mirthful events for the McKelvie family according to Phyliss. Among them were impromptu theatrical performances put on by their four daughters who used the wide doorway leading to the dining room as a stage for such classics as “The Wizard of Oz.”

That wide doorway to the 16-foot by 12-foot dining room also facilitated entertaining large gatherings of family and friends who could gravitate to either space and still stay connected to those in the other room, says Phyliss.

Today a brass chandelier hangs from the ceiling in the dining room that is filled with natural light from two windows and a glassed door opening into the nine-foot by 25-foot screened porch. As with many early 20th-century homes, a walk-through pantry connects the dining room to the 11-foot by 14-foot eat-in kitchen that includes a window-lit double bowl stainless steel sink, dishwasher and a free-standing glass-top electric range.

The 11-foot by 12-foot first-floor bedroom is situated with a view of the backyard greenery and the adjacent full bath makes first-floor living a real possibility. Also on the first floor is an 11-foot by 12-foot room with two entrances that has been used as an office, children’s playroom and bedroom. Connected to the middle room and living room is an 11-foot by 10-foot space currently used as a television room.

Hardwood stairs lead to the second floor where a pair of 12-foot by 13-foot bedrooms are found on opposite sides of the central hallway near the shared half bath. A smaller 8-foot by 11-foot bedroom overlooks the front of the home and two walk-in storage areas provide plenty of convenient space for seasonal clothing and other personal items.

Also on the property is a free-standing two-car garage and numerous plantings that create a park-like feel to the lot that runs deep to a very green wooded tree line. Perhaps the best place to enjoy the backyard view is from the 14-foot by 14-foot rear deck where a mature bittersweet vine supported by a pergola provides a naturally shaded canopy in the summer months.

There are plenty of choices for shopping and dining just minutes away on the Silas Deane Highway, the Berlin Turnpike and neighboring Hartford. Getting anywhere is a breeze with easy access to I-91 and close connections to I-84 and Route 2 making Old Wethersfield an ideal starting point to go places in Connecticut and beyond.

The Hanmer Elementary School is just around the corner and it’s an easy walk up Hartford Avenue to Cove Park where many enjoy fishing, boating or just taking in sunset views of Wethersfield Cove. It’s also an easy walk to Main Street where historic buildings share the limelight with an ice cream shop and pizzeria with outdoor dining. The quality of life that attracted Donald and Phyliss McKelvie to 98 Hartford Avenue decades ago is still very much alive today.

An open house at 98 Hartford Avenue in Wethersfield will be held on Sunday, July 20 from 2-4 p.m. For more information on the property or to arrange a private showing contact Neil Howett of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties at 860-571-6661 or

Year built: 1911

Price: $284,900

Style: Bungalow

Rooms: 9

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 1 full, 1 half

Square footage: 2,103 square feet

Acreage: .70 acres

Tax rate: 36.74 mills

Best feature: Handsome bungalow with unique architectural style

Contact: Neil Howett, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, 860-571-6661,

Tony Bacewicz is a freelance writer based in Old Saybrook.

Copyright © 2018, CT Now