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Category Archives: Allin house

serendipity in a basement evidence-room

Two weeks ago I attended my first annual meeting of the American Society of Genealogists, meeting several of the other Fellows for the first time. Five days after coming home, I was in the dim, cavernous basement of the Registry of Deeds of Bristol County, Massachusetts, when someone approached me to fight over an index […]

a past ‘distant and unknown’? — a clipping from the loft

A fine Father’s Day gift was time to putter in the attic, pulling down pine planks (some flooring and some wall planks) that had been repurposed as ceiling furring, being nailed to the underside of the tie beams to support a modern lath & plaster ceiling in the west end. Above the tie beams lay […]

a new old map of Barrington

Here’s something that seems to have flown under the radar. A 1993 book, Historical and Architectural Resources of Barrington, Rhode Island, reproduced two fine old maps, from 1851 and 1870, demonstrating the growth of this town, especially since a railway station was put in at West Barrington in 1868 and development of farmland into bayside […]

visiting the Prudence Island Allins

Prudence Island: our Allins came to Barrington from there before 1680; and the story goes that in the winter of 1682, Narragansett Bay froze solid enough for William1 Allin to haul his house over it (presumably minus the stone-end chimney), a few miles up the bay from Prudence to Annawomscutt in West Barrington. Now it’s […]


One update after last Wednesday’s talk. The night before, fleshing out a slide show, I went back up to the attic to look at the 1798 Federal direct property tax valuation page pasted on the partition wall under the eaves, and took a closeup of what I realize is Thomas Allin’s signature, since it is […]


A clinched nail, tip curled like a snail, caught in the low afternoon sunlight coming through the 18th-century window at the west end of the attic, last November. I’ve hardly blogged at all since we moved in January. I’m finally going through and organizing hundreds of photos taken during the course of our renovations, while […]

out of the depths

Part of the long process of settling into any house seems to be the endless shifting of stuff in basements, attics and garages. This sunny weekend I extracted from the basement an enormous pile of old storm windows — full height wooden sashes, mostly two over two, the style of the ‘modern’ replacement windows which […]

ceiling cat is watching me (in the Allin House)

As of Monday, two households of stuff have now been moved into the Allin House, leaving two tides of debris in the basement — — the second tide so large that our troglodyte feline has actually become ceiling cat. Sure enough, she was watching me, last night, as I tried to make some sense of […]

welcome home

Well, we finally moved in — in a break between blizzards, and almost a year after first concocting the idea. Happy Candlemas, from the Allin House!

snow on the seat

Christmas Eve I heaved a toilet into the dumpster, reducing our backyard ‘pottio’ from two holes to one. Yesterday’s blizzard put a hat on our hardy remainder: Happy New Year, from the Allin House!