Preserving History: Moving an Eighteenth Century Colonial Home from Massachussetts to Maine
Home construction was done a little differently back in 1740. Foundations, for those that could afford one, were generally made of stone. There were no power tools, so every little thing had to be done by hand. Workmanship had to be very precise to build long-lasting, quality homes under those circumstances. The attention to detail and pride of work was very obvious to one couple who recently purchased a disassembled colonial era wooden home. Originally built in Boxford, Massachussetts, the nearly 3,900 square foot came to them at its new location in Maine packed up in a semi-truck.
Thankfully, the team that disassembled the home was very thorough in documenting the process. Each individual piece was labeled with a numbered tag, and diagrams showing the original configuration were included as well. There were a few instances of guesswork that cropped up during reassembly, but in most instances the evident care and craftmanship of the original builders made things go quite smoothly, and the framework was almost entirely intact.
The couple decided that in addition to authentically rebuilding the original house they would also make a few additions using salvaged historic building materials. Again, the evident high quality of the original work mean that interfacing with other building materials was not as difficult as it might have seemed. On top the original home’s layout, they added a large kitchen, a mudroom, a master suite, a keeping room, and an extra staircase.
Other highlights in this beautifully restored home include:
- Unfinished red cedar siding, fastened with reproductions of colonial era nails
- Four fireplaces in the original home, plus a fifth one added in the new keeping room, all tied to a central chimney
- Salvaged historic building materials used whenever possible, including a wood floor originally from a church
- Custom built, wavy glass windows throughout to give a time period appropriate look.
- Radiant heat floors housewide
- Historically accurate color palette
- Plaster and wood panel interior walls
- Claw-foot bathtub in the master bathroom
- Furniture is a combination of antiques, auction buys, and reproductions
- An 1800s carriage house was also relocated to the site
It’s not 1740 anymore – the method are different, but Wholesale Log Homes has milled logs for homes around the planet. Like those that came before us, we are proud of our work and attention to quality. Some of our homes have been disassembed and relocated just like this one, meant to stand the test of time.
Check out the slideshow here: