- The Washington Times - Friday, June 26, 2009

While a variety of opinions exist regarding which river or creek on Maryland’s Eastern Shore provides the tastiest crabs, many locals claim that the Miles River bears this distinction. However, the Eastern Shore is known for more than crabs.

Charming villages, meandering streams and rivers, sandy beaches and expansive properties with water views are all part of the appeal of this vacation and retirement destination.

The owners of the resort property known as Old Doncaster, an estate home in Easton built in 1870, took their piece of Eastern Shore history and restored and expanded the residence to create a true local landmark. Now on the market for $3,850,000, this estate rests on 6.5 acres on a sandy point on a creek off the Miles River.

The property features elevated parklike grounds, a dock and a charming gazebo. Every room in the home has a water view. It also features a variety of porches and patios.

Located at 8499 Doncaster Road in Easton, this estate also offers quick access to Easton, St. Michael’s and other treasured Eastern Shore locations for antiquing, boating, crabbing, fishing and canoeing.

The grounds include towering specimen trees, perennials, extensive bulb gardens and a greenhouse and raised flower beds. The new greenhouse includes heat and ventilation. The dock and gazebo are also new, along with shoreline landscaping.

During the renovation, the owners paid close attention to restoring desirable original features while adding new systems and spaces to match modern tastes. For example, they added built-in speakers in the office and porch and new high-tech wiring throughout the house.

They also upgraded all the chimney flues on the five working fireplaces, which include three wood-burning fireplaces and two gas fireplaces. The heating and air conditioning system was replaced, along with the well, septic system, plumbing systems, roof, security system and sump pump. The home has four zones of heating and air conditioning, while the guesthouse has two zones. A washer and dryer were installed on both the main and upper levels of the main house.

The new addition to the main house includes a great room, kitchen, office, screened porch, garage and utility room. Some original elements, such as hardwood floors and plaster moldings, have been restored in the home.

The main level includes a foyer with wood floors, a parlor with a fireplace and a formal dining room with a fireplace and two sets of double doors to allow the room to be opened and closed when entertaining.

A large room, dubbed the “Christmas tree room,” includes hardwood floors and French doors. The half bath has an antique marble washstand and hardwood floors.

The kitchen and butler’s pantry have hardwood floors, along with the great room, which has a fireplace. Adjacent to the great room is a charming room with three sides of windows with window seats with storage. The nearby screened porch has a mahogany wood floor.

The upper-level master suite includes hardwood floors, an office or sitting room with built-in bookcases and a bedroom with hardwood floors, two closets and a fireplace. The master bath has wood floors and a gas fireplace, with a laundry room nearby.

The third floor includes two more bedrooms and a full bath with a wood floor.

The original carriage house has been converted into a two-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath guesthouse. In addition to the bedrooms, one room in the guesthouse currently functions as a glamorous fitness space overlooking the water, while another is in use as a crafts room.

For more information or directions, call associated broker Cornelia Heckenbach of Lacaze Meredith Real Estate at 410/310-1229 or visit www.stmichaelswaterfront.com.

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