A house on Starbuck's Neck in Edgartown whose history as a summer home dates back a full century was sold this week for a record $21.8 million.
The home, still known to most Vineyard residents as the former Sharp house, was purchased by a private buyer. This marks the second record sale for the same house in less than two years.
In January 2000, it was sold by the Sharp family to the Michael Mortaro family of Connecticut for $10.95 million. Mr. Mortaro died unexpectedly last year, and this week the property was sold again.
"This has been an extremely difficult decision for the seller, but I think they are comforted by the fact that a nice couple is acquiring the property and intends to create a family legacy," said Tom LeClair, a partner with Gerret Conover at Conover Real Estate in Edgartown, the company that handled the sale.
The sale marks a record for a single-family home sale on the Vineyard, and it is also believed to be a record for the region.
The buyer of the property is MVBH Trust, which is controlled by a family whose permanent residence is in the western part of the country, Mr. LeClair said.
Located in the unique enclave known as Starbuck's Neck, the stately house has sweeping views of the outer Edgartown harbor and the Edgartown Light, and a lawn that stretches down to the edge of the harbor. The house had been renovated extensively over the last year and a half.
"It was really a complete restoration, and that added to the value of the property," said Mr. Conover.
The house's rich history as a summer home dates back to the turn of the century. Its first owner was William Wise, a resident of Paris, Tex., who summered on the Vineyard in the late 1800s and was known around Edgartown as Colonel. Just after the turn of the century, Mr. Wise bought the property and built what was described in the Gazette as "the large and palatial cottage" on Starbuck's Neck.
In the early 1900s the house was bought by Mrs. Edward D. Thayer of Worcester, who used it as a summer home for many years. Mrs. Thayer died in 1936, among other things leaving a generous bequest to the Edgartown Library. Bookplates at the library display an engraving of the house as it looked before the porches were removed.
Freeman F. Wallin purchased the house in 1939 and used it as a summer home and later a year-round home. Mr. Wallin died suddenly in 1959, and the next year the house was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Peter Jay Sharp, residents of New York city and philanthropists who had summered in Edgartown for many years.
The Sharps owned the house for more than three decades. Peter Sharp was a real estate executive who owned New York's Carlyle Hotel among other properties. Mr. Sharp died in 1992, and eight years later his two daughters sold the house to the Mortaro family.
Mr. Conover and Mr. LeClair said the house is a rare sort of turnkey property that appeals to a special segment of the real estate market.
"Overall I think buyers today are more educated about our high-end market. They understand the long-term value of generational assets and position themselves, sometimes for years, to act decisively on these rare opportunities," said Mr. LeClair.