One of the interesting aspects of the house is its growth over time.  This is fairly common with New England houses; the classic farmhouse that keeps getting lengthened.  It is not common with the surviving summer houses/estates built in the post Civil-War era.  This is a permanent tension in the house’s history, generated primarily by finances, no doubt its level of charm depends on the bank book.  The questions of identity so beloved of curators spring immediately to mind.

But a bit more on simple (ha!) dates:

c.1790-1810 for the center section, your classic post and beam cube.  Two and a half stories with a full height basement.*  Ceilings are sevenish feet.

c.1830-40 for the first dining room/southern extension.  At this time the facade is changed.  The house now appears as a Georgian farmhouse with a small southern kitchen ell, which is as long as but only half as wide as the cube.  This extension has a full-height basement, but is not as tall as the cube, being only one and a half stories above-ground.   The basement is now daylighted at its south end.

1874: the dining room is expanded on both sides; the two rooms above are created by popping the roof.  The height of the extension now matches the cube.   The dining room is painted PINK.  The length of the house does not change.  The southern extension is now about two-thirds the width of the cube. 

1875?: the extension to the west of Opposite-To-It, one of the rooms in the original box, its west wall is popped out by about four feet, creating a lovely, sunny bay…unfortunately it leaks cold air like a proverbial sieve.  The west and south sides of the cube are now obscured.

1878: the South End is added.  What was a three-story barn originally is refinished inside and tacked on to the south wall of the kitchen/dining room.   The bottom two stories are post and beam, presumably the third is as well.  It is the same width and height as the southern extension.  Three sides of the basement actually open at ground level.

1893: the North End is added, along with the porches.  It adds another quarter in length and is the width of the cube plus a bit.  It is a true three and a half stories in height, putting it a story taller than the cube and southern sections.  This massive section gives the house its distinctive appearance as an apparent early Shingle-style building instead of the rambling Georgian/Federal farmhouse with a few Queen Anne flourishes.  This section is not post and beam, rather it is balloon-framed and consequently a very different building to work with.  This building buries the original cube almost completely, it is now only visible on the east facade.

1890s-1960’s: the three-story porch on the west wall of the South End is gradually enclosed, making it wider than the dining room section.

?? Now, those of you that know the house, should spot a missing bit: ‘Hole In the Wall’ the distinctive feature built out over the east porch with the round red window.  There is a problem.  Lucy Creevey puts it down to 1881.  The photographs and oral history have it placed around 1873-75. ..this requires some research.  And is what I get for trying to run the dates off the top of my head???

However, having happily confused all of you who don’t know the house!

*what’s the ‘and a half’ story? Attic crawlspaces, really simply the roof structure above the ceiling of the rooms below.  Unfinished and uninsulated.