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  • Writer's pictureAmy Boyce

Historic House Disassembly, Scituate, MA

This three-bay, center chimney, east-facing cape was slated for demolition. It was far past the point of being repaired in situ and the owners wanted it gone.

The house was/is a curiosity. It consists mostly of reused materials, much of which appears to be first-period. This includes the frame, built of a combination of oak and pine. The framing members seem generally oversized and had disused joinery that appeared to be unrelated to the house. Behind lath and plaster, some material reused as strapping had first period molding profiles. Some subfloor and sheathing were also reused. Many of the studs and joist were pit sawn and hewn. The bricks match first-period size regulations. Bricks were reused at least in the history of the house's existence. The chimney appears to have been rebuilt in the 1850's along with a new stairway.

The house has various clues that it was built pre-1800, though I have yet to research existing documentation. One oddity is that the house had been set back rather far from the road. Hidden below a patio backing up to the house, there was a trash pit of clinker and coke. Many archeological finds under the house within the soil were discovered, including fragments of long-stemmed clay pipes, redware pottery, diamond pane casement window glass shards, animal bones, hem weights, and many other common items.

It's not surprising given the amount of work required to produce materials to see so much reused. Hopefully, additional research efforts will provide more information.

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