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Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby gregV on Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:08 am

On the 1811 topic.
I have always dated my house somewhere between 1790 and 1810. I think I always felt it was closer to 1810 but there seemed to be more evidence in the archives that it was earlier. The architecture seemed to always point to post 1800, but as I do, I take most all of this dating expertise with the entire salt shaker!
Records show that Nathan Jennings, who built this house, and family were here on the 1790 census of Hampton. This house? just don't know, but I more doubt it now then think it true.

Why 1811? With all facts aside, all reality, all common sense, I am going on a 'spiritual' feeling. Uggg, I know, I probably lost you here.. LOL
I walked away from caring about this house over 8 years ago, about. I wanted little to do with it anymore, lost my heart and passion for it. Though I did bits of stuff here and there, That desire of seeing it done the way I wanted it done those first few years here had gone for good it seemed.
In the earlier days I was head deep into wanting to know everything I could about my home. I honestly tried to do everything so that if Nathan Jennings were watching that he would be smiling. I feel confident in saying that I am the first person to ever own this house since the Jennings sold it to the Martins that really cared for it the way they must have. This house was left abandoned for quite some time it seems. Many attempts at covering up the way it first stood were taken, and early on.
I took on this house to preserve it the way it was during the Jennings residency. There was father Nathan, mother Zerviah (Richardson), sons Abel and Asaph, and daughters Eunice ,Lucy, Olive, and Betsey (I believe as I lost all of my records!) One of the daughter may have poisoned herself her in the house. Anyway, I would lay in bed sometimes and ask if there were any ghost that they would come talk with me...LOL. Not sure what I would have done if that had happened?!

So, why 1811? Well, it was right about Jan 1, 2011 that my passion for this house hit me again. It has become stronger then ever and the need and desire to have this house DONE this year is quite strong. 1811? Well that's 200 years ago this year and I am taking it as a sign. Crazy yes, and do I take this really seriously, probably not. But the fact hat I feel somewhat reborn to the commitment of this house is a 'sign' that I will run with.

So I do feel more comfortable with dating the house 1811 until I can really prove otherwise, which I am hoping to get to again soon. I can't believe all my notes and documents are missing! I searched the house yesterday and only came up with that journal. Maybe that's another sign and in fact a ghost has come to straighten me out. LOL

By the way, the name Jennings was confused often back then. JENNINGS, JINNINGS, GINNINGS, GENNINGS: are all correct when researching the name.
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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby gregV on Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:45 am

My original house colors.

Outside was painted red.

Front entry hall was white plaster with blue trim and doors.

South Parlor was as follows. Lower wainscot walls, paneled fireplace wall, doors and door trim, windows and widow trim were a medium to dark green (with a shape of blue). Four inch dark brown mop stripe along bottom of walls and doors. Upper plaster walls were a light goldish mustard color with some stenciling of orange and black quarter fans in all corners of walls and windows Floors showed signs of being red.
Image
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North Parlor. Lower plaster walls were deep red. Chair rail, baseboard, crown molding, fireplace surround, all doors and door trim, windows and window trim were painted a deep rich goldish mustard color. A dark brown mop stripe along the bottom 4" off baseboard and doors.. Upper plaster walls were light grey with much stenciling of orange, black and green, as far as I can see as 99% of it is lost. Floors unknown.
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Kitchen (keeping room). Lower wainscot walls were red.. All wood including doors, door trim, windows and window trim, and pegboard were also same red. Upper plaster walls were red wash with lack stenciling on all boarders of ceiling, chair rail and all wood trim. Floors unknown.

Small north bedroom off keeping room. Same as keeping room with the addition of orange quarter fans in the stenciling. Upper and lower plaster walls were red wash with red woodwork.

Pantry (next to small bedroom off keeping room) Evidence is showing that all wood was originally unpainted, but not 100% sure. No traces of plaster left to tell color

Second floor was not plastered and outer walls were just whitewashed. Very litter traces of anything original up there. Most likely all open but for one room on the north end with a fireplace.
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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby gregV on Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:17 pm

Spent time today searching and talking with a good friend who is most knowledgeable in Hampton's history. Funny how you walk away from something that you can come back to it with more success. Also amazing how much is on the Internet compared to 12 years ago!!

Have some clues. My friend says that he feels my house was in fact built by Jonathan Clark (who's partial journal I have). He has a much more in depth study of this journal and has already pulled from it, several years ago, all of the houses mentioned that Clark built. Will see if we can find a link. I'm feeling possitive about all of this now. Maybe I will finally get a firm date.
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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby jharkin on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:34 pm

Great to hear you are solving the mystery!
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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby cfisher057 on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:43 pm

glad to hear, Greg and how fortunate to have a journal from the builder?

--Chris
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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby V-Man on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:49 pm

Wow, great story and chronology, thanks for sharing. I especially appreciate your "1811" post. I think its safe to say that a lot of folks here can relate. Although we are in Virginia, my better half's family is from Mass and I love the history, architecture and historical records available in Mass and the surrounding New England states. Keep the posts coming.

Vince
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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby cfisher057 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:22 am

Greg, I am shocked to see such a brilliant red on the lower part of the plaster walls. Jenny and I painted what would have been the keeping room in our home red- almost the exact shade. There has been much debate between the two of us whether we will keep it or not. Do you ever plan on rehabing the stenciling? It really is gorgeous

--Chris
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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby gregV on Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:20 am

Vince, thanks, and yes, I hope to keep posting old stuff and new discoveries!

Chris, to find such brilliant colors was quite common, I feel. There are only a few real purist restorers that are brave enough to replicate them. One of the first 'true' restorations I ever saw on this topic was Michal Dunbar's house. He is a very well know Windsor chair maker and period furniture. Has written at least two books.
BUT, let me be clear that I am not 100% sure at all if the red was in fact THAT bold or if that was an attempt years down the road in a re-paint of what may have been more washed.
In our federal period homes bright bold and some may say 'tacky' color schemes were very often used.
I have contacted someone, AGAIN about my stenciling. I say again because I had contacted a few people years and years ago, including Sturbridge Village to ask for help and guidance on these stencilings. None came forward with any interest.
BUT, just a few days ago I did find someone who seems to still have the passion in her heart and she is quite interested in learning more about what I have. She is already onto some clues. Her name is Suzanne Korn of Vintage New England Stenciling. Visit her website, it's very interesting. There are also some great pictures of some boldly decorated rooms.
http://www.vintage-stenciling.com
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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby cfisher057 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:36 pm

I actually really love the raspberry and red color scheme on her site. The stenciling really makes it work, though. Keep up the good work, Greg!
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Re: Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby Old Colonial on Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:08 pm

Greg,

I believe this is the room you are talking about. The picture is from one of Dunbar's articles on restoration. http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/download/file.php?id=7126

Jeff
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