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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!

Allin House exterior, 2010

The seventh and last of a meager set of exterior photos dating back to 1898.

Jump to the other photos: 1898 | mid 1930s | late 1930s | 1952 | c. 1980 | 1992 | 2010

I took this photo in April 2010. In contrast with previous photo, note the size of the holly and other ground plantings; the bluestone cap on the main chimney; the re-excavated brick front walk. And, yes, the color . . .

Allin House exterior, 1992

The sixth of a meager set of exterior photos dating back to 1898.

Jump to the other photos: 1898 | mid 1930s | late 1930s | 1952 | c. 1980 | 1992 | 2010

This was published in Historical and Architectural Resources of Barrington, Rhode Island (1993). Note that the shutters are gone and triple-track storm windows are present; the prominent cornerboard in the middle of the facade has apparently been removed with clapboard repair/replacement. The sides of house may now be shingled but it is difficult to tell. The plantings are somewhat more mature than in the undated previous photo. The brick walk from the front door is now buried; the great elm may be gone by this time (though the photo is too closely cropped to tell).

Allin House exterior, circa 1980

The fifth of a meager set of exterior photos dating back to 1898.

Jump to the other photos: 1898 | mid 1930s | late 1930s | 1952 | c. 1980 | 1992 | 2010

This is a scan of a color photocopy of an undated snapshot in the Barrington Preservation Society file on the house. Probably 1980s. The modern shutters, added in 1952, were in disrepair; but there may be new (?) triple- track storm windows; there are very new front plantings, and the sloping walk from the front door to the driveway; the present garage (apparently built in the 1970s) is visible at left. The big elm at the west end of the house is still there, but seems reduced.

Allin House exterior, 1952

The fourth of a meager set of exterior photos dating back to 1898.

Jump to the other photos: 1898 | mid 1930s | late 1930s | 1952 | c. 1980 | 1992 | 2010

Scan of a black & white photocopy of a clipping in the file on the house at the Barrington Preservation Society, of the 1952 Providence Journal article showcasing the extensive renovations undertaken by the Burgesses, who had bought the house in 1951. The porch was removed; windows replaced and were now 6 over 6; modern shutters added; the front door pediment reconstructed; plantings taken out and a new lawn rolled. The old elm, visible in the 1898 photo at the west end of the house, still looms. This is the only photo I have of the east end of the house.

Allin House exterior, late 1930s

The third of a meager set of exterior photos dating back to 1898.

Jump to the other photos: 1898 | mid 1930s | late 1930s | 1952 | c. 1980 | 1992 | 2010

Scan of a black & white photocopy of a clipping from the 1952 Providence Journal article, from the file on the house at the Barrington Preservation Society. Late 1930s (same or similar car as in previous photo, but the bushes are higher). This photo shows more detail, e.g. the pediment over the porch; the prominent corner board breaking up the south facade between the old house and the west wing; etc. It also shows (unlike the unclear previous photo) that the windows are 2 over 2.

Allin House exterior, mid 1930s

The second of a meager set of exterior photos dating back to 1898.

Jump to the other photos: 1898 | mid 1930s | late 1930s | 1952 | c. 1980 | 1992 | 2010

From the mid or later 1930s (see car); this came as a framed print with the house. Subjects are either Brazees (rented the west wing) or Cordeiro/Lambs (owned the house). Note the west addition now has a raised southern roofline whose asymmetry can be seen from the west side. The facade has a long porch stretching the length of the original house, which may have been built that way before the two halves of the house were reunited under single ownership in 1924 (the house would continue to be occupied by two families until 1950). The shed-roofed porch over the entry door on the west side does not appear to have been present in the 1898 photo; the basement bulkhead entry next to it has long been walled up: possibly there was no doorway cut through the original west foundation wall until the west bulkhead was walled up. The house visible on the right side of the photo was built in 1927.

Allin House exterior, 1898

The first of a meager set of exterior photos dating back to 1898.

Jump to the other photos: 1898 | mid 1930s | late 1930s | 1952 | c. 1980 | 1992 | 2010

This was printed in Bicknell’s History of the Town of Barrington (1898) and reprinted in his Sowams ten years later. Note the original roofline (now altered) of the 1857 addition at left; the roof access hatch by main chimney (still visible from inside, under modern roof); working shutters on windows and front door; lights and pediment over door (the door’s shutters are obscuring the fluted pilasters); original 6-over-6 windows visible on both main house and addition. At this time, the house was still two legally distinct properties, with the west wing (the addition) owned and occupied by General Allin’s great-grandson Thomas C. Cooke. The main house, however, had left the family in 1830.

floor migration (Allin House)

Some of the attic floorboards have finally been lovingly transferred from under the eaves, and installed down below, where they can show themselves off. The attic floor is a real anomaly — pine which had never been sanded or finished in any way, and, under the eaves, hardly ever walked on, since the house went up. We have used them to repair the existing old floor in our main kitchen and new back entryway. Rather than sand everything flat, we are sealing them with a tung-oil-based varnish which will follow the natural contours of the boards, especially the irregular grooves left by hand-planing over 200 years ago. The attic floorboards had been covered with a deep layer of dust and dirt, staining the top surfaces uniformly gray. After brushing out the dirt and lightly sanding the highest spots, it become apparent that a couple of the attic boards had also been painted:

This shows a marvellous floorboard now in our back mudroom, with the residual paint sealed in under the first layers of sealant. (Continued)