Realty trust buys historic home at Seven Gates Farm in Chilmark

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A realty trust recently purchased this house at Seven Gates Farm, on Harlock Pond Road in Chilmark. — Courtesy Wallace & Co. Sotheby's

Word has spread this week that former Secretary of State John F. Kerry has bought an historic house at Seven Gates Farm, on Harlock Pond Road in Chilmark.

According to the Massachusetts Land Records database through the Dukes County Registry of Deeds, the waterfront home sold for $11.75 million to Two Sisters Realty Trust on March 6.

Ronald Rappaport and James Reynolds, of the Edgartown law firm Reynolds, Rappaport, Kaplan & Hackney L.L.C., are listed as the trustees of the Two Sisters Trust.

Bound, they said, by confidentiality agreements, the real estate brokers — Wallace & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty — would not confirm who the new owner is.

The Vineyard Gazette reported the information on March 9 (“John Kerry Buys Historic Vineyard Property”) on its website, but did not attribute the report to any source. The Times has been unable to confirm the information.

According to the Dukes County Registry of Deeds, the sellers are Michael C. Fulenwider, representative of the estate of Constance Morrow Fulenwider, Michael C. Fulenwider, Anne M. Fulenwider, and Wendy F. Liszt.

The seven-bedroom, four-bath house sits on 18.5 acres, and overlooks Vineyard Sound. It is a short walk from the house to the beach, according to a description of the house from a previous listing online.

Seven Gates Farm spans 1,600 acres. About 1,000 acres are common land, mostly in conservation, with open fields, woodlands, ponds, and miles of walking and riding trails that thread throughout the property.

Residents at Seven Gates Farm have access to roughly two miles of a community beach, two piers, and two tennis courts. Homeowners can only be leaseholders of their property, leasing the land from Seven Gates Farm Corp. There is no private land ownership.

Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, a Harvard professor of geology and onetime dean of science at Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific School, founded Seven Gates Farm in the late 1800s. As a young man, he explored the Island’s geology, and in 1888 he published “Report on the Geology of Martha’s Vineyard.”

Mr. Shaler bought the property incrementally over time, until he owned 1,600 acres. Seven Gates Farm gets its name from the number of gates Mr. Shaler had to travel through to get to his own house.