Thursday, September 4, 2003
Mary Ellen and Al Dahm bought their Pacific Grove home for the great views of Monterey Bay. But its history was a bit of a selling point as well. Mary Ellen holds genealogy papers showing the lineage of the von Leuchtenberg family, which can be traced back to the kings of Bavaria and Sweden.
"The woman who lived up on the corner from here was a Duchess from Russia, and her daughter wanted this house," Mary Ellen says. "It was just a one-story cottage, and her brother, a Duke, designed a second story addition for her."
The remodel, which added a second story suite to the cottage, and replaced all the pipes and electrical in the house, took place in 1981. The Dahms bought the property from the Duchess in 1992.
But today the royal connection in the house has been mostly supplanted by teddy bears. Shelves, rafters, beds and rocking chairs are covered with stuffed bears, some huge, some tiny. One teddy, with a nod to the royal theme, wears a crown and sits on the Dahm''s bed.
"When I married Al, he started to buy me mugs," Mary Ellen says. "I said, ''no, this won''t do. Let''s do teddy bears.'' Now everyone gives them to me-I have to give them away."
But while the three-bedroom, two-bath home has definite feminine touches, including a downstairs bedroom with floral wallpaper and pink and purple paint, it''s still well-tolerated by the men in the family.
"I put in this bedroom when my sons moved out," Mary Ellen explains. "When you''ve raised three boys, you put in a bedroom that''s anything but boy. But it didn''t dissuade one of my sons from moving back in with us for three years."
Cute details punctuate the blue-painted house, including a stained-glass window on the front door, arches leading between rooms, and a breakfast nook complete with a custom-built table built out of a tree. The table is staying with the house.
"It would seem wrong to move it," Mary Ellen says. "The Duke designed it."
Solid cherry cabinets give the kitchen a warm feel. Behind the kitchen, a laundry room leads to a small back patio, a large storage shed painted to match the house and a single-car garage.
But it''s the upstairs that makes the home unique. An open staircase leads to the vaulted open-beamed ceilings in the 500-square-foot master suite with its own bath, TV watching area and computer space. A small balcony off the bedroom is decorated with flowerpots and provides water views.
"When they built it, it was the tallest house in PG," Mary Ellen says. "What''s nice is that nobody could build anything to take this view away."
Now preparing to move to southern California to be closer to her three sons, Mary Ellen has mixed feelings about leaving.
"I still can''t believe it," she says. "I never thought we''d leave this place."
Price: $715,000. 410 Cypress Avenue, Pacific Grove. Contact Mark Wilson of The Mitchell Group Real Estate at 238-5446.