Quirky Stone Homes and Cottages Along the Water’s Edge

Consider it the best of both words: an old stone home with a sensational water view. Yes, waterfront stone homes do exist. To find them, we hiked up to the Great Lakes region, where, believe it or not, stone homes dot the shorelines.

Take a peek at our four favorites, currently on the market. Caveat: They’re not all in top-top shape, but we think that with the right upgrades and TLC, they could serve as cozy family vacation homes for generations to come.

Wisconsin Boathouse with Beautiful Views


Nestled on a wooded lot and surrounded by Wisconsin’s Nicolet National Forest, this old wood- and stone-clad boathouse would prove the ideal retreat for a writer or artist in need of solitude and inspiration. This adorable cottage overlooks Pine Lake, located at the headwaters of Wolf River, and boasts its own dock and close proximity to sandy shores.

Crystal Lake Cottage to Call Home


The interior of this old cobblestone home would require a complete gut-renovation, but the rewards might just be worth the effort. The property sits along Crystal Lake, a 730-acre body of water located in Michigan’s Montcalm County. The lake is spring-fed and ideal for sailing, fishing and watersports. No shared access means complete privacy no matter what the season.

Fieldstone Home with Hella-Good Views


Another Crystal Lake gem, this lovely circa-1874 home boasts 18-inch-thick fieldstone walls and extensive renovations throughout. A new master bedroom even opens out to a private brick patio! Located in the village of Beulah, this home sits on 10 acres of property that includes 150 feet of lake frontage.

Island Getaway in Ohio


Last but not least on our list of faves is this circa-1870s stone home, located in the “Key West of Lake Erie,” otherwise known as South Bass Island. The home is a stone’s throw from the shore and boasts a circa-1850s all-stone wine press cottage, a pole barn, a garage and a tool shed. Both the main home and cottage are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the property previously served as a tourist attraction that celebrated Lake Erie’s winemaking history.

The Cutest Stone Cottages

Spring is so close we can almost feel it. And that means a whole new batch of stone homes will hit the market. The latest to pop up on our radar date from 1740 to 1810. Can you just imagine savoring a cup of tea in front of the cozy fireplace or tending garden in the backyard of one of these adorable cottages? Like puppies, kittens and all things diminutive, these beauties can’t help but warm the heart. Enjoy!

Former Artist Abode in Blairstown, New Jersey

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This stone cottage, circa 1740, is built in the pre-Revolutionary War Moravian style. Architectural details include three stone fireplaces, hand-hewn beams, and stone and wood floors. A detached studio is perfect for the artist or musician and the place where previous owner, artist Ben Wilson, created some of his finest work! The home is sold “as is”.

Solid Stone Farmhouse in Annandale, New Jersey

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Beautiful stonework, a desirable location in Clinton Township, New Jersey, beautifully reworked interiors — what’s not to love about this circa-1800 stone cottage? The right owner would have great fun researching the history of this property, which was formerly hidden from view by overgrown pine trees and brush.

Weekend Retreat in Whitehall, New York

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Vermont is just a stone’s throw away from this historic stone cottage, built circa 1775-1776. The home sits high on the cliff overlooking the last lock before entering Lake Champlain. The perfect country getaway for someone who works in New York City and seeks refuge from life’s stresses on the weekends.

Former Distillery in Parkton, Maryland

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All we can say is, “Oy, yoi, yoi!” For sale for the first time in over 250 years, this circa-1810 stone cottage once served as the distillery on the Castle Calder estate. The historic home is being sold with 84 acres of beautiful Maryland farm- and woodland and sits along a meandering stream. The new owner is expected to preserve this dwelling and serve as a caring steward for years to come.

Old Stone Home Needs a Hero

We don’t often dedicate an entire post to one stone home, but this sweet Hudson River Valley property tugged at our very heartstrings.

The circa-1750 Colonial-era stone farmhouse, located in the historic village of Saugerties, is presently for sale. Before you scoff at the price, take note: You get the home, nestled on a gently sloping piece of land, a circa-1800s barn, a lovely bit of meadow, a few more outbuildings (chicken coop included!) and almost 70 acres of lush farmland (right in the middle of which once existed a major Indian path to the Woodstock valley).

The structure itself is described as in “poor condition,” but we’re certain that it could spring back to life with the tender touch of a caring owner. Just another run-down, run-of-the-mill farmhouse? We think not. In the 2005 Town of Saugerties Historical Resources Survey, experts noted, “This house can be directly compared to vernacular farmhouses of Northern Europe. Its builders and the first farmers to till this land may have been among the earliest permanent settlers of Saugerties. To find an early structure this historically intact is an extreme rarity and this house deserves separate, comprehensive study and protection.”

Don’t have the cash to snatch up this historic gem but interested in seeing more of the Hudson River Valley and its concentration of old stone homes? This map will help you see the coolest stone homes the area has to offer.

Diamond in the Rough?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. Take a look at these fixer uppers and tell us what you think: Two thumbs up or two thumbs down? It would take a lot of love to bring these stone homes back to life, but the rewards may just be worth the pain and effort.

Forgotten Farmhouse in Frenchtown

Situated on the edge of historic Frenchtown, New Jersey, you will find this stone farmhouse (tax records say it dates to 1875). The home sits on almost 80 acres of secluded farmland that boasts horse trails, wooded areas and even a pond. The three-bedroom farmhouse is in a sorry state, indeed. But the land has such potential — and who wouldn’t love living right across the Delaware River from Bucks County, Pennsylvania!

Hopeless Case in Havre de Grace

Located in the sleepy harbor town of Havre de Grace, Maryland, this patchworked property is being sold for the land, not the home, which dates to 1860. The place is in such a bad state of disrepair that potential buyers must sign a “Hold Harmless & Right-of-Entry Agreement” before entering the property! We’re not sure about you, but we couldn’t bear to tear down this historic structure.

Timeworn Cottage in a Port Town


Not much information exists about this old stone cottage in the woods. It’s age? Hard to say. Maybe circa 1930s-50s? The cozy home is nestled on over three acres of woodland in Huntington, West Virginia, which itself sits at the confluence of the Guyandotte and Ohio Rivers. With a heavy dose of elbow grease and some vision, this dilapidated structure could truly shine. The perfect weekend or summer getaway!

Last Hope for La Loma Treasure

A rare find, this Southwest-style cottage located in La Loma, New Mexico, features solid adobe, stone and block construction. Although this home sits on only 3/4 acres, the seller also has 11+ acres — with water rights on the Pecos River — available nearby. Granted, interiors are a wreck right now, but a handyman could quickly whip this home into shape.

Pioneer Home Turned Rehab Project

This pioneer homestead, constructed of limestone, circa 1878, has a new standing-seam roof and windows. It only needs the touch of an old stone home lover to preserve interiors. The Fredericksburg, Texas, property includes an old smokehouse, a storage building and over 77 acres of lush farmland.

Vote for Your Favorite Old Stone Cottage!

We scoured the market for the most adorable old stone cottages currently up for grabs. Some have been lovingly tended, while others offer an opportunity to flex those remodeling muscles. Take a look at these 10 lovelies and tell us which one you would love to own.

A Story of Old Stone Homes in Tennessee

A Pennsylvanian by birth, I came to live in Eastern Tennessee in 2008. A job planted me there for about five years. Quite lovely country, I thought, but it’s a land of log cabins, not old stone homes. After exploring the countryside, I realized I was wrong.

Ramsey House was my first real experience with a stone home in a Southern state. Breathtaking, it reminded me of many federal-style homesteads I had toured back home. And rightly so. Its original owner, Pennsylvania-born and of Scots-Irish heritage, hired an English-born architect to design and build the house of locally sourced pink marble and grey limestone – most likely in keeping with manses in his home state. Everything I love about old stone homes – intricate interior woodwork, a big walk-in cooking hearth and cozy fireplaces and a grand winding staircase – you’ll find at Ramsey House. Even a ghost or two (wink)!

So I was sitting at my computer today, pondering what to write. And Tennessee, for some reason, popped to mind. I did a search and – boom – up popped two gorgeous old stone homes for sale. Minus some columns and an odd architectural detail or two, these homes would look right at home if nestled on a country back road in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Maryland.

Wills-Dickey Stone House, Kingsport, Tennessee
Two-foot-thick stone walls. Can you imagine? This graceful lady was built around 1790 by Jacob and Mary Wills in a portion of Tennessee that was once part of Virginia. A two-story limestone dwelling, this mansion sits on over an acre of riverfront property, boasts its own barn, a guest house and four fireplaces and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Inspiration for this home’s design? Jacob was born in Pennsylvania and no doubt learned the art of stone masontry in his home state.

The Peter Range Sr. House
Imagine living in a home built by a Revolutionary War soldier! Peter Range Sr., of German descent and born in New Jersey, moved to present-day Johnson City (lower Knob Creek), Tennessee, with his wife Elizabeth and first child in 1777. He built his first home, a two-story log home, in 1796. That primitive structure forms part of the full basement of the present-day, circa 1804  home, constructed of hand-cut blue limestone. It was built along with a grist mill (Twin Falls), which is now but a memory. The home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, boasts four fireplaces, interior exposed-stone walls and original wide-planked wood flooring.

Grey Beauties of Vermont

Holy smokes, Vermont! We had no idea you laid claim to some of the prettiest old stone homes in the country. Check out these stunners — from old-fashioned farmhouses to Greek revival-style mansions. The dreamy grey stone is likely marble, mica schist or granite. These six beauties are all up for grabs. We couldn’t think of a better way to start a brand new life!