Portsmouth Metro / Issue #5
Local Family Makes Lake Front Living a Reality
When Jennifer and Dan Wright purchased their home on Ky. 1043 just outside of South Shore in 2005, they felt as if they were coming home.
The high school sweethearts have been married for 34 years and were raised in the vicinity of the sprawling 39-acre estate and its 12-acre lake. Both have fond memories of playing there as children before it was purchased by Dr. David Proctor.
Proctor built the stately brick home in 1984, but by the time the Wrights purchased the estate at auction, it had been empty for several years and mostly stripped by vandals.
“It was a teardown really. There was nothing left,” said Jennifer. “We really bought it for the lake and because the setting is so nice.”
Dan wanted to demolish the house but Jennifer insisted they renovate. “We kept the walls and the brick on the outside of the house, but that’s about all we kept,” she said.
“We had to redo everything,” agreed Dan. “When we bought the home, you could hardly get to the front door it was so grown up. We had to completely redo the landscaping too. The dam was even broken,” he added.
Today the property is neatly manicured with rose bushes, tidy hedges and a collection of brilliant Japanese maples in the front and rear gardens. Lush lawns slope down to the lake and cover a filled in bottom. The house looks out over the lake, which now stays at a steady level and is stocked with bass.
It took four months of intensive renovation, including new electric, plumbing, flooring, walls, windows and three heating and air conditioning units, before the couple could finally move into the 7,500-square-foot home with their son Jake in early 2006.
Spacious, with plenty of natural light, the house has five bedrooms and eight bathrooms, including six full and two half-baths. A finished basement, with an original fireplace, is used as a game room. There is an attached three-car garage just off the laundry room and kitchen area, along with a separate detached four-car garage.
Large potted ferns adorn the front entryway where French doors open into the granite-floored foyer. Off the entryway is a formal sitting room with two plush couches and a cushioned window seat. Jennifer and Jake use the room, which is bright and comfortable, to study because it can be closed off from the rest of the home.
The adjoining office has an oversized wooden desk and a collection of sports memorabilia that includes signed photos of Tiger Woods and Marshall University graduate and NFL quarterback Byron Leftwich. Dan, who owns Precision Blasting, played football at Marshall and now assists the Greenup County High School football team. Jennifer is a homemaker.
Back in the foyer, a wooden staircase curves gracefully up to the second-floor landing and sitting area, which overlooks a large family room. Skylights provide natural light and Oriental rugs accent and soften the beautifully polished hardwood floors in the bedrooms and hallways.
All five bedrooms are located on the second floor. Another small sitting area serves as an entryway into the master bedroom, which includes another of the home’s four fireplaces. The couple’s spacious room easily fits their plush king-size bed framed by a tray ceiling and an ornate brass light. Large windows allow sweeping views of the lake.
The adjoining bathroom is tiled with granite and has “his and her sinks,” a built-in vanity, spacious walk-in closets and separate shower and toilet rooms. A step-up Jacuzzi tub with views of the lake and surrounding forested hills is the focal point of the space.
Jake’s bedroom includes a full bath, and is just across from the master suite. The three remaining guest rooms feature elegant four-post beds, antique dressers and vanities. Two share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom, while the third has a private bath.
A sixth room spanning the width of the house was once a complete mother-in-law suite but is now used mostly for storage. Nearby, a second stairway descends into an informal living room and kitchen. The Wrights spend most of their time in this room with its cozy leather couches and chairs, large screen television, and a small kitchen table.
The spacious, modern kitchen features arched columns, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances including a six-burner gas stove with a pot-filler faucet. Jennifer’s collections of cookbooks fill a nearby bookcase and one of the kitchen’s many wooden cabinets lining the island. Another bar area provides extra seating.
The couple frequently hosts Jennifer’s large extended family – 30 members and counting – for Sunday dinners. The Wrights host holiday celebrations but mostly their guests are Jake’s teenage friends, said Jennifer.
Behind the kitchen is a formal dining room. Another tray ceiling and a stunning brass and crystal chandelier, overhanging the large oval table, give the room a luxurious but warm and inviting feel. Another Oriental rug provides protection for the cherry hardwood floors. It opens into the large family room, complete with built-in bar, whose two-story picture windows look out to the flagstone patio and inground pool.
Accented with potted flowers and a waterfall, collections of lounge chairs and tables circle the pool. The couple added a pergola and an outdoor kitchen and bar area when they refurbished the patio. A step-up hot tub is tucked into the far corner of the patio just beyond the landscaped waterfall.
Beyond the front circular driveway, wooden stairs descend to a boat dock where two small boats bob in the gentle breeze. Jennifer calls the small dock building with its bar, kitchen and bathroom the Tiki hut. It is used frequently in the summer for lakeside dinners.
A short distance down the driveway, a new 150 by 50 foot metal building houses a spacious gymnasium. Half basketball court, half indoor football field, it is a favorite hangout for now 16-year-old Jake and his friends.
The Wrights have worked tirelessly to restore the home and property, which provides them secluded lakefront living in the community they have always called home.