SAG HARBOR, N.Y. – For the first time in 60 years, the Sag Harbor oceanfront cottage and octagonal writing retreat where John Steinbeck wrote The Winter of Our Discontent and Travels With Charley are for sale, priced at $16.75 million. It was Steinbeck’s self-described “Eden,” his home from 1955 until he died in 1968.
One of America’s most important writers, who earned both a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize, Steinbeck’s classic works include the novella Of Mice and Men and the novels Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. Steinbeck spent most of his early life in Southern California where he worked odd jobs, including farmworker, handyman, and tour guide before he gained success as a writer in his early thirties. Many of his best works were inspired by the people of California and from the trips he took across the United States.
Although California was his home state, Steinbeck moved to New York in 1941, switching between New York City and Long Island’s Sag Harbor. At first a vacation and weekend getaway, in 1955, Steinbeck bought a Sag Harbor waterfront cottage, which he called “my little fishing place,” and stayed there for most of the rest of his life.
With almost two acres and views over Morris Cove and Upper Sag Harbor Cove, Steinbeck built a writing hut where he could work with no distractions, save for the water views over Morris Cove and Upper Sag Harbor. The writing hut is still intact and carefully preserved, much as it was when Steinbeck left with his dog in 1960 to begin his 10,000-mile road trip that became Travels with Charley.
Steinbeck took a huge interest in Sag Harbor, helping to start the town’s annual whaling festival and the landmark Beebe Windmill construction, where the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce is now located. In 2019, Sag Harbor dedicated a town park in his name.
Steinbeck’s beloved cottage and writing hut are located on 586 feet of waterfront on two sides, along with an emerald lawn and a scattering of old-growth shade trees. The property includes a pool, which Steinbeck referred to as his “cement pond,” as well as a guest house, and one of his favorite things: a 60-foot pier from which he enjoyed fishing.
The main cottage has two bedrooms, two baths and a large stone fireplace in the living room, which has beamed cathedral ceilings. The Steinbecks created a library loft above the living room. Throughout the cottage are many windows and French doors that let sunlight spill across the rooms. The next owner will be able to sit in the writer’s hut rereading Steinbeck novels that he penciled on a yellow pad while sitting in this very spot.
The listing agent is Doreen Atkins, Sotheby’s International Realty, Bridgehampton Brokerage.
For more celebrity home news and celebrity home video tours, visit TopTenRealEstateDeals.com