Someone has picked up a onetime crown jewel, cast aside by its owners, on a glorious fall Wednesday.
An online bidder made the highest offer of $830,000, purchasing at auction 6 Quarry Ridge, a mansion constructed in the 1990s from trust fund proceeds. The structure took a fast downturn after owners Shelly and Gerard Cuisset divorced.
In addition to the sale price, Wednesday’s winning bidder also paid a 10% buyer’s premium to Joe Pyle Auctions, which oversaw the auction. The buyer paid the 10% to Pyle, instead of the Juliet Lyell Sheldon (Shelly) Alexander Cuisset Real Estate Trust paying the same percentage in commission.
Former 6 Quarry Ridge owner Shelly Cuisset is a beneficiary of the trust, Cuisset’s lawyer, J.E. White, said Wednesday. The trustee is Anna Price, White said.
The winning bidder did not wish to be identified.
Cuisset attended Wednesday’s high-noon auction, along with about 40 other people, mainly onlookers.
“I have a lot of bad memories here,” said Cuisset, dressed in an all-black pantsuit, as she piloted out of the property in an SUV. “It’s better to turn the page. I would have wanted it to go for higher. If the house had been in better shape, I’m sure it would have. But it’s Charleston.”
Wayne County car dealer James Ramey offered $810,000, prompting a booming “Yeah!” from one of the auctioneers.
“I got nervous,” Ramey said. “It’s gonna take a lot of work. I bid more than I’d planned on. I thought I’d bought it.”
Registration for the auction and inspection of the home ran from 11 a.m. to noon.
An in-person bidder started things off at $650,000, and bids proceeded in a herky-jerky manner for the next 10 minutes or so. Pyle pleaded for more bids on the six-bedroom, 6 1/2-bath, 10,000-square-foot house.
“When this hammer drops, somebody’s going to own it,” Pyle said. A few minutes later, somebody did.
Two interested, nonbidding parties were Casey Robinson, president of the Quarry Creek Homeowners Association, and Mary Schiano, who lives across the street from the abandoned 6 Quarry Ridge address. Quarry Creek is one of Charleston’s most exclusive subdivisions.
The two said they are relieved someone successfully bid on the property. Robinson had heard complaints about the property from nearby neighbors even before Gerard Cuisset, Shelly Cuisset’s ex-husband, died in 2018. The two had divorced a few years prior, after 40 years of marriage.
Complaints of various types had intensified in the past four years, since Gerard Cuisset died.
“It’s obviously been a concern,” said Robinson, 64, a retired financial adviser. “Safety, concerns about vagrants.” He said a large RV remained parked on the property for some time, against homeowner association rules.
Two apparent sweethearts had scrawled graffiti on one of the walls.
Gerard Cuisset lived alone in the house for the last four or five years of his life. Shelly Cuisset said his health prevented him from tending to what could never be a one-person job.
The property shows it. Some parts of the house, such as parallel halls upstairs overlooking a spacious foyer, are easy to imagine as glorious, as are the chandeliers hanging in the middle.
Others, such as a basement floor so hooved that one might fall over it in the dark, are not. Still, it’s not hard to imagine what it looked like not that long ago.
Schiano began telling a story about April 24, 1998. She said she remembers the night because it occurred close to her son’s birth. Shelly Cuisset had thrown a neighborhood party that day and Schiano was ready to tell a story about the family’s wallaby — a small, kangaroo-like creature normally found in Australia — when she veered into another tale about $55,000 Cuisset had spent on flowers, nourished by an impressive watering system.
She recalled how a waterfall used to begin at the end of a concrete pad outside the house and slip off the pad, cascade over rocks below, dip underground, then reappear on the other side and into a koi pond below.
Nearly 10 years into not having any care, the koi are still alive, as are small goldfish. In worse shape is a nearby gazebo, a pergola/hot tub and a grotto. Of the three, the grotto appears the most serviceable.
White, Cuisset’s lawyer, opined that the house will now have to be gutted.
Robinson acknowledged that the house’s deterioration engendered little empathy from immediate neighbors. But he said he did not dislike the Cuissets.
He recalls one of the family’s sons losing control of his bicycle on one of Quarry Creek’s steep hills. He lost his brakes, crashed into a stop sign and knocked himself out. Robinson said he gathered the child up and helped him home.