Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spring on High Street in Ipswich, Massachusetts

It was an unusual sighting on Monday when I happened to be giving a grand tour of the Daniel Lummus House to an interested party. Spring was in the air because neighbors of the slowly deteriorating first-period house started to come out and cross the street to say "hello" to the potential prospective owners, giving a piece or two of nostalgic or historic "town legend" information. All in the hopes of saying something so poignant, that it would send people running to sign on the dotted offer line.

Van Buskirk -- one such resident --revealed that the Victorian portion of the house was actually the old freight station and subsequently the Union Telegraph office, which was located originally "around the corner" on Mineral Street. At some point, according to Buskirk's recollection of the town legend, the structure was moved and attached to the Daniel Lummus House.

Mat Cummings and I considered it but when more of the ceiling was pulled away between the union of the two houses, it did not seem to be able to be the roof structure just above indicated a much older frame.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Old House Restoration Done the Right Way...

Mat Cummings, well-known for his restoration architectural prowess here in Ipswich and the Cape Ann area is really rocking with some great stuff these days. You may recall he did a structural assessment report for the Daniel Lummus House.

Recently, he and Jim Whidden, a celebrated woodright, scored the Captain Sutton House project on Water Street.

Here is an excerpt from his recent e-newsletter:

The most recent exciting news you may know about is the ca. 1687 Captain Sutton House in Ipswich that we are restoring and expanding with Jim Whidden, a “woodwright” with whom we’ve collaborated on several other projects like Ipswich’s Day-Dodge House and the ca. 1850 Glover’s Knitting Factory (learn more on my website, Recently, the Salem News did a feature story on Jim’s work at the Sutton House (, and we thought you’d enjoy learning more about him. You can learn more about Jim at and I have also created an educational program called “Old House Restoration: How to Do It the Right Way” which we are presenting throughout the North Shore in 2008. The schedule is posted on both of our websites. We do this free of charge at historical societies, small museums, and community groups as a way to educate old house owners and give them a chance to ask questions. We recently provided this seminar at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers in November 2007, and we were a hit!

Anyone who has a passion for antique homes and restoration should log on to the above websites and get informed! Cheers. wait a bit more...sorry we can't answer you for over 120 don't qualify...but maybe in a few more months...ARGHHHHH!

Pardon me but I must vetch...after waiting several months to launch regularly scheduled posts on my blog in order to continue following the Daniel Lummus House restoration, I get this lame email from The Blogrush team notifying me that since the Phase I approval and Blogrush's subsequent falling off the face of the earth to conduct Phase II modifications and improvements (the email they sent sounded like a crazed monologue from a CIT dedicated to wearing all black, drinking black coffee, smoking a ton of cigarettes and staying up all me I've known plenty of start-up IT folk since I used to consult them) I was now regrettably unapproved and uninvited to have their little widget on my blogspot due to infrequency of postings. LAME-O excuse.

Whatever happened to the "strict criteria of quality" which they espoused ad nauseum in their emails apologizing for why Phase II was taking so long to complete? And what happened to my help email during Phase I after I had been APPROVED? fell in the circular file I suppose.

Like a child spanked and sent to his/her room I pouted for a minute and then felt compelled to spout about today's internet customer service (or lack thereof). Okay I'm done now. Onto better posts! Cheers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lecture on the Daniel Lummus House featuring Sue Nelson of Goodship Research

Antique enthusiasts, restoration experts listen up.

New Discoveries in Early Eighteenth Century Ipswich Architecture: The Sutton House and the Daniel Lummus House Join us on Wednesday evening February 20, 2008 at 7:30 PM at the Heard House for a slide presentation and lecture by architectural historian Sue Nelson and local architect Mat Cummings on two long-known Ipswich historic houses with newly discovered First Period origins. The Sutton House on Water Street is presently undergoing an intensive restoration while the Daniel Lummus House on High Street awaits a serious restoration-minder buyer. Both houses boast previously unknown First Period framing and decorative elements that push us to rethink their dates and origins. Come share in our excitement as we present these special buildings to you.

No demolition derby buffs need attend. Serious investors and folks who understand preservation work should want to be here.

The Captain Sutton House on Water Street--BTW-- has been taken down piece by piece and eerything numbered including each brick from the foundation to the walk way. Mat Cummings and his restoration crew are about to make history with the before and after on this project.