Fun fact: Essex County, Massachusetts has more First Period homes (built during the settlement of the US, with construction dating from 1626-1725) than anywhere else in the country. One example, the Porter-Bradstreet Homestead, is the last surviving private rural colonial homestead in Danvers, and it’s in danger of demolition.
Built in 1665 by John Porter, an early American settler who emigrated from England, the home housed people through the Salem Witch Trials, the Revolutionary War, and even sheltered those on the Underground Railroad.
The homestead consists of a First Period house and barn. As described by the Preservation League of Essex County,
“The house is of one-foot square hand hewn white oak post and beam construction with two 20×20 great halls, a large center chimney with four fireplaces, its original fieldstone foundation, and two Beverly Projections that formed the traditional summer and winter kitchens, each with its own chimney. It is one of the rarest American architectural style structures in the United States.”
The preservation league hopes to preserve and restore the homestead by turning it into a non-profit community arts center, specializing in the arts, theater, music, and agriculture.
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/property/2015/09/09/porter-bradstreet-homestead/
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