Real Estate

A Cohasset estate visited by presidents and film crews hits the market for $18m

The 10-bedroom property was once owned by the founder of Barron’s magazine.

An aerial view of a Georgian estate in Cohasset with an expansive lawn, a long dock, a pool house, tennis courts, a skating pond, and sandy beachfront.
The 45-room luxury estate sits on nearly 10 acres of peninsula jutting out into Cohasset Harbor. Balazs Buzsnyak

“The Oaks,” the historic Georgian-style Cohasset estate visited by Jon Hamm in 2022’s Confess, Fletch, is on the market for $18 million.

Located on the site of an ancient shipyard at 49 Margin St., the property was originally the summer home of financier Clarence W. Barron, founder of Barron’s magazine. In 1932, his granddaughter Jessie Bancroft Cox, a major stockholder in Dow Jones Co., built the current Georgian-style brick mansion, designed by famed architects Parker, Thomas and Rice on a 9.41 acre-peninsula overlooking Cohasset Harbor. Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan visited the property.

Flash forward to the present day, and the realtor on the 10-bed, 11-bath luxury listing (7 full, 4 half) had the privilege of growing up in the home. 


“Having been owned by my father for around 30 years of my life, I have countless memories there,” Chris Roy of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, who has the listing, told via e-mail. “From summer BBQs to Super Bowl parties and everything in between, the list of fond memories is long.”

Today, “The Oaks” is a grand estate that has been meticulously maintained over the years. Step inside the foyer, where you are greeted by a grand staircase that cascades up to the right and a taste of the home’s neoclassical features.

A grand foyer with a black-and-white tile floor, marble walls, and a staircase that cascades up to the right. The trends are covered in a black runner.
. – Briggs Johnson

The living room boasts coffered ceilings and a fireplace clad in wood that matches that elegance. A few steps down leads to the library, which features wood-paneled walls, built-in bookshelves, tall windows, and a fireplace.

A room filled with overstuffed furniture. The ceiling is coffered with a warm-colored wood, and the floor-to-ceiling fireplace is clad in the same material. The carpeting is white stars on a medium-blue background.
. – Briggs Johnson
A library with tall windows, wood floors, an Oriental rug, built-in bookshelves, and a candle-like chandelier.
. – Briggs Johnson

The eat-in kitchen offers a center island, extensive cabinetry, and a fireplace. There’s also a breakfast room filled with windows, as well as a formal dining room with a fireplace of its own, an elegant chandelier, and crown molding. A sun room lined with French doors is the perfect spot to enjoy the view and a cup of tea on a cool spring day.

A view of a kitchen with warm-wood cabinetry, a fireplace, a long island with three stools (the cushions are blue), and a round table set before a fireplace.
. – Briggs Johnson
. – Briggs Johnson
A sunroom in a Cohasset estate with an tile floor inlay, French doors, and two white couches sitting opposite each other with dark piping.
. – Briggs Johnson

The spacious primary bedroom suite has a fireplace, as well as French doors to a terrace. Its marble bathroom features a deep soaking tub and a walk-in shower.


There’s also a deep screening room with a stone fireplace.

A primary bedroom suite lined with short blue curtains and French doors. A canopy bed sits in the middle with blue drapes. Matching arm chairs are set before the fireplace in this room with light carpeting.
. – Briggs Johnson
A statue sits in the background of a marble bath with a blue window seat, a walk-in shower, and a soaking tub.
. – Briggs Johnson
A screening room with red leather recliners, dark green walls, a projector hanging from the ceiling, and a stone fireplace.
. – Briggs Johnson

The property’s outdoor space makes the most of its 1,800 feet of ocean frontage, which includes a private beach. There are several patio areas ideal for enjoying the ocean view, as well as a tennis court, elegant fountains, a skating pond, and a 112-foot deep-water dock. There’s a pool and a pool house with a kitchen, as well as a carriage house with a full bath.

“The Oaks” has shifted on and off the market frequently in recent years. After Cox died in 1982, it served as the corporate headquarters of Yankee Oil Co. but later became a private residence again after a special Town Meeting blocked a proposal to build condominiums, The Patriot Ledger reported. Gerald and Judith Butler currently own the property, but they are unable to travel there as often as they would like and have chosen to sell, according to Roy.

The Butlers, who lived in Las Vegas at the time they purchased the estate from Roy’s parents, bought it for $12.5 million in 2018, the Globe reported, noting that the asking price had been $17.5 million. The Roys had purchased the property for $3 million in the late 1980s, the paper reported.


Today, it could potentially be sold furnished to the right buyer.

If the asking price is met, it would be one of the most expensive sales on the South Shore.


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