Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At Home: It Was Love at First Sight with Clayton Cottage

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At Home: It Was Love at First Sight with Clayton Cottage

Article excerpt

"I think of my home as a Wordsworth cottage in the Lake District of England," says Susan Waugh describing her Clayton residence. "Every time I pull into the driveway I think how lucky I am to live here."

Waugh discovered the 1928 home in 1972 when she walked past, and it was love at first sight. "I knocked on the door and asked the owner to keep my name if she was ever interested in selling," she relates.

Two years later the owner died and Waugh received a call from the owner's niece, who had found Waugh's contact information in the bottom of the woman's purse. "She invited me to see the inside, and I purchased it from the estate one day before I was to close on another home. That was 43 years ago."

Waugh vividly remembers it was not easy for a single woman of 26 to get a mortgage in 1974, even though she presented a third of the price as down payment. "Little girl, do you know what you are getting into with an older home?" she recalls the banker asking.

Outside, the white brick residence features a steep roofline, and the home seems to peek out from behind a front-yard woodland. A stone walk climbs and winds up a small hill to a curved-top front door, inset with a small leaded-glass window. A decorative black hinge crosses the surface.

"It really is a cottage," Waugh says giving voice to the impression any visitor is probably thinking on a first visit.

Rooms in the three-bedroom, one-and-one-half bath house are small and cozy. The living room features a high, dark wooden beamed ceiling and a large ornate stone hearth with a firebox blackened after years of use warming the room. Intertwined into an ornate wreath pattern across the front of the hearth are the words "Good befall both hearth and hall."

Soon after she moved in, Waugh answered a knock on her door to find J. Robert Herrt, the home's architect, asking if he could come inside. …

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