Norwell homes featured in Historic House Tour

NORWELL MARINER –  The Norwell Historic House Tour kicked off its third season with seven historic homes open to the public.

Each home had its own unique story attached to them and eager residents filing in throughout the day to see what a lived in historic home looks like on the inside.

“This teaches people that living in an antique isn’t hard to live in nor is the upkeep,” said Sarah Baker Norwell Historical Society member.

The tour is as a fundraiser to raise money for the James Library, which became a community arts center in 1991 and offers high-quality and affordable concerts, art shows and literary lectures throughout the year.

The James co-sponsored the tour with the Norwell Historical Commission whose goal is to protect and preserve the historical integrity of the town.


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The historical commission oversees Jacobs Farm, the Stetson-Ford and Sgt. Samuel Stetson houses as well as holds preservation restrictions on historically-significant properties.

The Norwell Historical Society, a non-profit volunteer organization that works to preserve historic Norwell artifacts, provided the historical research for all seven of the homes.

“We chose homes that we’ve always wanted to see inside of,” said Wendy Bawabe, president of the Norwell Historical Society.

In the case of the Elias E. Pratt House, located at 45 Stetson Road, the sitting room on the left hand side of the home was brought over from Hanover around 1900.

Also in the home is an oil painting above the entrance way of ship at sea painted by a former owner and local artist around 1925.

This particular home is for sale.

At the Dr. Joseph Whittemore House, located at 647 Main St., there is a piano from the Governor’s Mansion in Vermont.

Owner Fred Bousquet is a woodworker and made the beautiful kitchen table that visitors were able to admire upon entering the home.

The Warren Sylvester House, also known as “Acorn Cottage”, is located at 115 River St. and showcased various kinds of artwork, be it by the homeowner or from the James Library’s own collection.

“We wanted to focus on the artwork in this home,” said Baker. “Some were taken by the homeowner, a local artist, and some other works from the library.”

The house tour opened up the doors to Norwell’s history this past weekend and in doing so, people learned more about their community and how historic homes evolve with each new owner.

This year the homes featured on the tour included:

The John Ewell House- 31 Central St., built circa 1798. Click here for the history of the Ewell home.

The Charles Cole House (Alfred Litchfield House)- 10 Summer St., built circa 1786. Click here for the history of the Charles Cole home.

The Dr. Joseph Whittemore House- 647 Main St., built circa 1838. Click here for the history of the Whittemore home.

The John Humphries House- 100 South St., built circa 1775. Click here for the history of the Humphries home.

The William Briggs House (Major Elias W. Pratt House)- 53 Stetson Road, built circa 1754. Click here for the history of the Briggs home.

The Warren Sylvester House (“Acorn Cottage”)- 115 River St., built circa 1770. Click here for the history of the Sylvester home.

The Elias E. Pratt House- 45 Stetson Road, built circa 1851.

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By Kate Walsh