Quintessentials Bed and Breakfast, located in one of four 19th-century sea captains’ homes in East Marion, recently hit the market.
Longtime owner Sylvia Daley, a finance executive turned innkeeper, is selling the business to focus on her family. The property and business have been listed at $1.2 million.
Built sometime around 1870, the Italianate mansion was home to Captain William Leek and his wife, Angelina, according to Amy Folk of the Southold Historical Society.
The infrastructure has been updated, though much of the original craftsmanship remains. The house features a “treasure trove” of architectural details, according to Douglas Elliman agent Victoria Germaise, including a ribbon of stained oak interwoven in the planks of the wood floors.
“Captain Leek spared no expense in building this house,” Daley said. “He was apparently rich because he had part ownership of the ice factory in East Marion.”
A standout feature is the third-floor widow’s walk, which offers views of Long Island Sound on a clear day. Captains’ homes were frequently built with these rooftop additions so the lady of the house would know when her husband’s ship had sailed in. If enough time passed and the vessel never returned, then she knew she was a widow.
The widow’s walk at Quintessentials has a far less tragic purpose today. Daley set up a writing desk in the space, where she composed poems and wrote pages of her memoir.
Upon entering the home you’ll notice carved oak stairs leading to five second-floor bedrooms, each of which has an en suite bath. Two guest rooms also feature outdoor deck space.
The innkeeper’s quarters are on ground first floor, where you’ll also find two sitting rooms with fireplaces, a dining room with a vaulted wooden ceiling and two sunrooms that Daley uses as a spa.
She spent more than a year restoring the property after purchasing it in 1994.
“To restore, you have to scrape off a lot of paint; it takes months,” she said. “It’s a lot of work to make it look the same.”
The yard is equally impressive. The property is three-quarters of an acre and features a perennial garden, which has been the backdrop for many weddings, as well as a meditation garden, gazebo, two-story vintage barn, blacksmith’s cottage and a third outbuilding.
The listing price includes the business, though the home could also be an attractive residence for large family, Germaise said.
“We’re getting a lot of buyers out here who want big houses,” she said.
The property is currently listed on the Douglas Elliman website and will soon be on Multiple Listing Service of Long Island as well.
The bed and breakfast, which is currently booked through November, has been a successful venture for Daley. She said not a week goes by that she doesn’t host a repeat customer or someone who was directed to her via word of mouth.
She takes pride in the farm-to-table meals she prepares for her guests, often using ingredients from the backyard garden. She also offers treats like hot chocolate, made with a recipe from her native Jamaica, and skincare spa services.
“It’s a place people call their home away from home. It’s a place where people love to explore the garden, which is huge and beautiful,” Daley said. “It’s a perfect place to continue.”
One thing the home does not have is a spectral presence.
“Me being Jamaican, if I ever heard [Capt. Leek’s] horn or saw a ghost, I would leave this place immediately,” Daley said.