June 30, 2020

For $7.8 million, this Islesboro estate can be yours

ISLESBORO – A historic island property with ties to Hollywood is back on the market.

The estate once owned by actress Kirstie Alley and her actor husband, Parker Stevenson, was listed for sale earlier this month by the Camden firm Jaret & Cohn Real Estate. The asking price for the early-20th century Colonial Revival-style home is $7.8 million. Listing agent George Wheelwright said that makes it the highest-priced residential real estate property on the market in the state.

Alley and Stevenson purchased the island retreat in Penobscot Bay off Camden in 1991 and renovated the main building, which had been an inn, and made improvements to the grounds. When they divorced in 1998, Stevenson retained sole ownership of the home.

Wheelwright said Friday that since the property was listed for sale three weeks ago, several people – all from the West Coast – have visited it. The agent said one of the selling points for the estate is that with 10 main bedrooms, 10 staff bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, it would serve well for family gatherings.

The house features 18,000 square feet of living space on two floors and includes a large entry gallery, double-living room, banquet-sized dining room, library, sunroom and 15 fireplaces.

The estate is on Gilkey Harbor, a protected boating passageway between the main island and Seven Hundred Acre Island. The shorefront on the east side of Gilkey Harbor is Islesboro’s “Gold Coast,” with many of the old mansions visible from the water.

The Stevenson property, with 700 feet on the water, boasts views of sunsets over the Camden Hills. A photograph included in the real estate agency’s package of information on the property shows the terraced lawns in front of the house that step down to the shore. The grounds also feature a three-bedroom guesthouse, clay tennis courts, pool, boathouse and extensive gardens.

In all, the property includes 4.5 acres.

According to “The Summer Cottages of Islesboro, 1890-1930” by Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., the house was built in 1915-1916 for Philadelphia businessman J. Kearsley Mitchell. Mitchell operated the Philadelphia Rubber Works, which he sold to B.F. Goodrich in 1929.

Shettleworth notes that the house “reflects a creative blending of Georgian, Federal and Greek Revival features.” In later years, the building was run as an inn, but Wheelwright believes local zoning precludes it from returning to that use.

Wheelwright said the property first was listed with Sotheby’s because Stevenson has a friend who is an agent with the auction house. Jaret & Cohn is affiliated with Sotheby’s and is handling the local part of the sale.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal featured the Stevenson property as its “home of the week,” Wheelwright said.

“That generated a lot of interest,” he said.

Islesboro has become a booming retreat in recent years, Wheelwright said, with a lot of newly constructed and renovated houses. Home prices there have increased by 25 percent in each of the last three years, he said.

Alley’s actor friend and fellow Scientology disciple John Travolta followed Alley and Stevenson to Islesboro in the mid-90s. Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, still spend much of the year in their home on the northeast side of the island.

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