House and Life

House and Life

Sunday, March 9, 2008

This House.....







This house has been on my brain lately. Let me explain. I remember reading an article about this Islesboro, Maine cottage (yes, cottage) that was built by a Philadelphian named J. Kearsley Mitchell (1871-1949). This wealthy businessman earned his fortune by selling his rubber works business to B.F. Goodrich. He then went on to marry J.P. Morgan's business partner's daughter, Edward Stotesbury. I can't find her name. Their wedding gifts, according to The Summer Cottages of Islesboro, by Earle Shettleworth, Jr., included "a diamond necklace, a diamond tiara, and a string of pearls valued at $500,000." In addition, a big check for 1 million.


Ok, here is why I know and think about this house. It was featured in a magazine article (Vogue Living, maybe?) with this fashionable, young family. My goal was and still is to find the great, interior shots of the renovation. I remember the first picture of the story was the woman in a row boat with one of her children in front of the house. The story went on to say that she retooled the house after purchasing it from Kristie Alley and Parker Stevenson. I remember giggling at the fact that the new owner had to strip some of the frilly details from the celebrity couple. I think she said Kristie tried to out-Parish Sister Parish ( in Kristie's defense, it was the 80's).Sister vacationed in these parts and had worked on the house, including a lattice filled dining room. Is this ringing a bell for anyone? I'm obsessed. And if I had any sense, I would have just torn the article out, but I never do. I always think I'm going to save the magazine and catalog it. Yeh, right. So upon searching everything from Sister Parish, to Islesboro Inn (it became one for awhile) to Kristie Alley (boy, they had a nasty divorce), I only found these two photos from Around Maine. But I love the awnings on the porch picture, I don't think it holds the same design, but doesn't it look so current? I hope you can help me.
****UPDATE****
Courtney of one of my all time favorite blogs, Style Court, remembered the article from the first Vogue Living (remember Jennifer Lopez on the Cover??) I'll have more info to come! Thanks Courtney!

10 comments:

Style Court said...

I remember it! I think I still have it and if so will try to scan the pictures and email them to you later this week.

Courtney

House & Life said...

Courtney, how did I know you of all people would remember it? You are terrific!!

Anonymous said...

Frances Butcher Stotesbury (1881-1950) married, in 1909, John Kearnsley Mitchell 3rd ... their wedding announcement in The New York Times gives his middle name as Kearnsley ...

Classic style in city said...

thanks for the nice words on my site, so glad you visit we can become "blogfriends"..this house on the picture is georgeous..
have a nice day...big hug from stockholm/sweden

Anonymous said...

i love this house. kirstie alley lived in it at one time, i have saved the "at home" pictures featured in a couple of scandinavian magazines.he sold it when she divorced parker stevenson. im not sure about the interior decore she choose though, theme is the word.

Kathryn said...

Oh wow. This was just the site I was looking for in a nostalgic fog. I spent the summer of 2001 living in this house as a nanny for Parker & Kirstie's kids. It was such an amazing place. Now, 7 years later, my fiance and I are looking at Islesboro for a mini-honeymoon spot and I couldn't help trying to find out who owns the house now. I believe the summer I was there was one of the last for Parker.
I do have pictures of the house from 2001, but I'm afraid I didn't do a very professional job and they mostly involve the children!
Thanks for posting these!

Anonymous said...

I am a Mitchell descendant (John Kearsley Mitchell) and lived my summers in the Islesboro house in my younger years. I think Kirstie and Parker did an excellent job restoring the house which I visited 10 years ago and had a complete tour. The tennis court remained a thing of 1920's beauty.

Your House and Life said...

John, I think its terrific you commented. How thrilling to hear from a decendant of this magnificent house.

Lillie said...

This is Kirstie Alley and her daughter Lillie. The Mitchell cottage is the most beautiful house on Earth. Contrary to tabloid publicity, Parker and I did not have a nasty divorce. However, Parker ended up owning this beloved mansion that mainiacs refer to as a cottage. Sister Parish, my wonderful friend, decorated the following rooms: the card room, the tea room, and the lattice room. It was really more of a restoration which I initiated and oversaw while Wallace and Gilbert Leach did the meticulous work. Sister and I together shopped in New York to select all of the furniture. At the time of my divorce, I "inherited" all of the furniture from these three rooms. We have never gotten over the loss of our beautiful ocean cottage and of our swell friend, Sister Parish. WE HATE THE PEOPLE WHO CURRENTLY OWN IT AND INTEND ON HAUNTING THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

Your House and Life said...

Kristie, we love you and thanks for the corrections! So flattered you visited the blog.