Look-Coggeshall House // 1828

Believe it or not, this beautiful home was once a one-story Cape house! Built in 1828, the home was constructed for Captain Hiram Look, a sea captain, and his new wife Kezziah (Kezia) within a year of their marriage. They had two daughters. Hiram died in 1865, possibly related to the Civil War, which ended that year. After his and his widow’s death, the home was willed to their daughter and her husband, Bernard Coggeshall, who was likely a descendant of the Coggeshall Family of Bristol, RI. The Look daughter died in 1890, and Bernard remarried a year later. Sometime after 2008, this home was enlarged, giving it the second story we see today. If you look closely at photos from before 2008, you can see the matching door surround, window lintels, and window spacing seen today. While the home is completely different, the “updated” version is still appropriate and conveys the home’s history.

What do you think?

Dr. Henry Jacob Bigelow House // 1886

The Dr. Henry Jacob Bigelow House, sitting high on Oak Hill in Newton, is among the last designs (1886) of architectural icon Henry Hobson Richardson. If you already didn’t know, Richardson was one of the foremost architects of his day and is known both for bold Richardsonian Romanesque and Shingle style designs. He was hired by Dr. Henry Jacob Bigelow to provide plans for a sprawling country retreat from the noisy and cramped conditions in Boston. Dr. Bigelow was an eminent surgeon in Boston who earlier, helped facilitate the first public dose of ether as anesthesia on a patient, a breakthrough that led to the stunning Ether Monument in the Boston Public Garden. Bigelow only got to enjoy the country estate for a couple years until he died in the home in 1890. Years later, the estate (and nearby buildings) became home to the Peabody Home of Crippled Children, which worked as a sort of open-air hospital. Eventually, the home was vacated and sat, deteriorating on the hill. It was saved from demolition through the efforts of preservationists in Newton, and was restored as a part of “This Old House” with Bob Vila. It was restored as a set of five condominiums sited in a sunny interior courtyard.

Bradford-Norris House // 1792

William Bradford (1729-1808), who would become Deputy Governor of Rhode Island from 1775 to 1778, came to Bristol to practice medicine by 1758. When he arrived, he rented Mount Hope Farm (featured before), before building a home in town. When the British Navy bombarded Bristol on October 7, 1775, his home was among the buildings destroyed. He afterward went aboard ship to negotiate a cease fire, saving what was left of the town. In 1792, he built a 2 1/2-story Federal style, boxy house on this lot, close to the street. The home was willed to his son Hersey, who resided there until the 1840s, when he mortgaged the house to Francis Dimond, who resided in a Greek Revival temple front home (also featured on here previously). He gifted the modest Federal home to his daughter, Isabella, possibly as a wedding gift upon her marriage to Samuel Norris, a sugar refiner. Mr. Norris and Isabella hired architect Russell Warren, who designed her father’s home nearby, to renovate the house in the spring of 1845, moving the house away from Hope Street. The house was given its third floor and additional bay, along with the ornate design which characterizes it to this day, including the Ionic porch and Chinese Chippendale balustrade. The house remained in the Norris family until 1942 and is now a B&B.

DeWolf-Guiteras House // c.1835

This incredibly unique and flawless home in Bristol was apparently built by the infamous James DeWolf. Historic records state that the slave trader built the home for his son William Henry, but that is unlikely as he was the owner of the family mansion, Linden Place at that time. Therefore it is likely that another of James’ sons William Bradford DeWolf was gifted the home, roughly at the time of his marriage in 1835. The home was a 2 1/2-story Greek Revival home. By the 1880s, the property was sold to Dr. Ramon Guiteras, a urologist, who had the house stuccoed, fashionable Stick style trim applied across the facade, a full-width bracketed porch, and two-story octagonal tower on the side. The home is now owned by the neighboring church who restored it in the 1970s and maintain it beautifully to this day.

Luther-Babbitt House // 1809

In 1809, Giles Luther built this two-story, 5-bay, hip-roof Federal house, which has been substantially enlarged and altered over the years in succeeding styles. Original detailing on the facade includes the Palladian window, modillion cornice, quoins, and wide-beaded window casings with splayed lintels. Giles Luther (1775-1841), a shipmaster, merchant, and farmer, was more importantly the first Grand Marshall of the Bristol Fourth ofJuly Parade, which is believed to be part of the oldest Fourth of July celebration in the country. In 1825 Luther’s business failed; the Commercial Bank took this house and sold it in 1828 to Jacob Babbitt. Babbitt owned part of a wharf in town and in his will of 1849, he left the “use and improvement” of this house to
his son Jacob, Jr. (1809-1862). The younger Babbitt was wealthy and likely made the mid-19th century modifications to the home, including the Italianate triple-arched door and full-width porch with delicate cut-out posts and railings. The home was occupied for much of the 20th century by the Bristol Nursing Association, and sold in the 1970s to a private owner. The home was for a period ran as a bed & breakfast but appears to be back to a private residence today.

William Jefferds House // 1804

William Jefferds Jr. was born August 30, 1779 in Kennebunk. On October 25, 1802 he married Sarah (Sally) Walker who was born in Arundel on March 4, 1783. Twenty years later, in 1803, Captain Daniel Walker gifted his son-in-law, Captain William Jefferds, Jr., “80 square rods of land, with love and affection” on the lane leading to Walker’s Wharf (he also gifted land to his other son in law, Nathaniel Lord. In 1804 the 2-story, Federal-style building that now houses Captain Jefferds Inn was built as their private home.

Capt. Jefferds was a ship owner and captain in the West Indian trade; he later became a merchant in Kennebunkport. He and Sarah had 11 children, and their family was considered one of the most aristocratic in Kennebunkport. Following Sarah’s death at age 88 in 1871 (her husband had predeceased her in 1851), the household furniture was sold at public auction and the home sold outside of the family.

The house was a two-story hipped roof Federal style dwelling, somewhat outdated by the latter half of the 19th century. By the 1880s, the Agnew Family who owned it at the time, had the home remodeled with Colonial Revival detailing, including the portico and large central dormer. The home was eventually converted to an inn, and is known as the Captain Jefferds Inn.

Check the Inn’s website for more images and history!

Gideon Walker Farmhouse // 1745

One of the older extant homes in Kennebunkport is the Gideon Walker Farmhouse, built in 1745. The home once sat on a larger parcel of land, on the outside of the village, which at the time, only had a handful of other homes nearby. At the time, the town was named Arundel, and was later renamed Kennebunkport, in reflection to its economy becoming one of shipbuilding and trade along the Kennebunk River. As the village population grew, the Walker land was sold off and developed for other large estates. The Georgian house featured a small, one-story projecting entry, typical of the period. In 1910, owner Anson McKim of Montreal, hired Portland architect John Calvin Stevens to update the home, which included the addition of the front entry’s second story and a large side addition approximating the size and location of the former barn which once stood there. The home has since been renovated a few more times on the interior and exterior, yet it still retains its historic integrity.

Saugus Town Hall // 1875

The Saugus Town Hall was built in 1875 and is one of the most visually striking buildings on the North Shore of Massachusetts. The original Town Hall for Saugus (after the separation of church and state required a separate buildings for town matters and religious gatherings) was built in 1837 in the Greek Revival style. The first town hall was built to serve a community of just 750 residents, which by the last quarter of the 19th century had grown to more than 2,000. The current town hall was built in 1875 to serve “the needs of a progressive and growing municipality”. As planning for the town hall was underway, it was established that the town’s high school was becoming inadequate to a growing population. It was therefore proposed that the new town hall would also serve as a “High School House”. It was also deemed appropriate to locate the public library in the building as well. Even the police department and jail were located in the basement, making the Saugus Town Hall a one-stop shop for governmental functions.

The architectural firm of Lord and Fuller designed the grand building, who that same year designed the Topsfield Town Hall and the next year, designed the iconic Abbott Hall in Marblehead. The building features delicate stick style detailing and is capped with a central clock tower with a tent roof cupola, all painted historically appropriate paint colors! By the 1990s the town hall had fallen into disrepair and the town proposed tearing it down. However, the Saugus Historical Commission pushed to save and restore the building. The structure reopened in 1998 with a final cost of $3.5 million dollars, with nearly half supported by preservation grants and fundraising, effectively saving the town money compared to the demolishing and construction of a new town hall. Preservation wins!