“The House with the Eagles” // 1808

In 1807, a young John Howe (1783-1864), a descendent of the DeWolf family, married Louisa Smith, and built this family home soon after. He hired local esteemed architect Russell Warren (who was the same age as Howe at the time) to design the home, which is a simply designed, hipped roof home with an elliptical fanlight and sidelights at the central entrance. It is embellished with superb architectural woodwork with an ornate roof balustrade. Howe and his family lived in the home until 1822, when it passed to ship captain, Benjamin Churchill, who appears to have been involved with the transport of slaves to the Americas. According to local legend, Churchill gave the house its name by having the sailors of his ship, the Yankee, carve four American eagles, which he placed at the corners of the Chippendale balustrade that crowned his roof. Churchill’s tenure in the home was brief, and in 1825 the house passed to Byron Diman, a powerful merchant with interests in whaling, banking, and the local cotton mills who served as governor of Rhode Island in 1846–1847. The home has been restored numerous times and is well maintained.

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