Suzanne Poole might have the world’s best commute. All she has to do to get to her Anchorage Marina on Lake Burton is walk past the gazebo and plants lining the lake. Susy and her husband, the iconic Mr. Charlie Poole, bought the marina in the 1960s, and the family has owned and run it since.
Susy and Charlie raised their family in the one-story home directly in front of the gas pumps. Today she wonders how they managed, what with the lack of air conditioning and all that foot traffic right outside their open windows. In 2003, seeking more space and privacy, Susy and Charlie built a new home a stone’s throw away.
Visitors to Anchorage might not even see the house, tucked as it is behind greenery and trees. The most apparent features outside the home are its gabled windows and the high river-rock archways and low fence. Inside the four-bedroom structure, Susy’s love of collecting and her acute artist’s eye show themselves. A fine group of antique game boards climbs the stairs to the left, while the dining room opens up to the right.
An entryway table shows off more of Susy’s humor. Vintage billiard balls, baseballs, and wooden juggling pins fill three large glass jars while the tabletop teems with new and vintage black bear and Indian collectibles. Everywhere one looks, collections of wonderful objects appear and act as the home’s design theme. In the living room, twenty-two vintage world globes line the mantel piece, large to small and back to large. Just as clever and charming are the antique classroom maps used as valances in the bedroom.
The screened porch off the kitchen features a river rock and glass slag fireplace surrounded by vintage wicker furniture. The theme out here is ‘red, white, and blue,’ and several renditions of Old Glory decorate the walls, artwork, and fabrics. Together they create a wonderful space to relax while enjoying the view of the dock and nearby Timpson Creek.
Throughout the house, works by artists Libby Mathews, Susan Easton, Laurel Fry, and Peter McIntosh line the walls and vie for attention. There’s hardly a place that doesn’t offer a treat for the eye. The breakfront in the living room stands full of vintage pottery and Spode china, souvenir drinking glasses and miniature birch-bark canoes. Every room gives testament to a collector with a fabulous eye and a talent for seamlessly mixing elements. Such is the case in the downstairs guest room where antique souvenir pennants circle a rack of antlers to create another whimsical visual statement.
Susy built her collection of antiques and custom-built furniture with the help of Cecile Thompson at Timpson Creek Gallery. When Cecile opened her gallery in 1982, Susy was an ardent early supporter. Throughout the years as they became close friends, Cecile and Susy have worked with furniture makers Dwayne Thompson and Genesee River to create the unique pieces Susy needed. From the hickory dining room chairs and their matching pine-plank table by Genesee, to the breakfront and fireplace mantle by Dwayne, each piece works to create a well-appointed and entertaining home.
Though Anchorage welcomes and serves scores of visitors, few realize Susy’s aesthetic stands right before their eyes. It’s evident in the vintage signs and flowering plants outside. And it’s in the store’s vintage fixtures, the boat hulls used as doorways, and the eclectic selection of goods. In a sense, Susy Poole doesn’t really commutes. Her work is an extension of her home. And every visitor to Anchorage sees her eye at work, whether they realize it or not.