I’ve been watching this rundown beauty for years praying that someone would buy it and restore it to its’ former glory. The last person to live in this house was a woman who lived to be 99. Born in 1879 (bustles and corsets were du riguer), a mere 100 years post Revolutionary War, Marion Aurelia Story Barr lived here her whole life until her death in 1979 (jean shorts and tube tops were common).
Peering into the windows, it seems that nothing has been disturbed since then. Relics of an earlier time are evident: Torn lace curtains in a front window convey a feminine touch and class aspirations, an early 20th century zinc ice box lays dormant in the backyard, an old writing desk and chair lay discarded. The curious girl expects an old sea captain to come out and scare her, pipe clenched in mouth, “Get off my property.” But, it hasn’t happened. Yet.
This was made when they still called them “ice boxes.”
Back paneled door that connected to an ell (now torn down). Notice the coat rack complete with hanger.
This home was once one of the finest homes in Essex, MA. It’s a respectable vernacular Federal-style home built in 1803 for Colonel William Andrews and his wife (possibly Betsy Goodhue). Although most of the original six-over-six windows have been replaced by slightly newer ones (still probably 19th century), the front door remains unchanged. Stately symmetrical Ionic columns and signature Federal fanlight adorn the door and has a charming later addition of a Victorian door light. A similar-style overhead globe light can be found about 2 miles away.
Images taken from the book: Images of America: Essex by Robertson and Wilhelm
Please, someone, save this ancient beauty! In the meantime, stay tuned to this story. There are rumors that the grandson of Marion Aurelia Story Barr lives nearby and that he may be willing to talk about her.