History buffs and vintage house enthusiasts are getting the rare opportunity this month to tour Windham’s Parson Smith House.
Windham Historical Society president Linda Griffin announced recently that owners Donald and Elaine Dickinson will host visitors on October 25 and 26. Docents will be on hand to interpret the significant features of the 1764 Georgian style mansion. Griffin says the house, listed on the National Register of Historic Properties, was the official residence of Windham’s second settled minister, the Rev. Peter Thacher Smith.
The post and beam home, according to Griffin, was finished in stages over a number of years, and includes distinct architectural features of the Georgian, Federal and Greek Revival eras. A Victorian ell was added later.
The colonial kitchen features the original large fireplace with iron swing-out cranes and side bake ovens. Doors throughout the house function with latches, hinges and other hardware crafted by the 18th century blacksmith. Rooms display pumpkin pine floors, wide board paneling and wainscoting. In an early sitting room all windows have built in, so called, “Indian shutters.” Each of the eight rooms has a fireplace.
The mansion and its surrounding acres played a unique role in local history. Within shouting distance is the town’s oldest burial ground, the site of the first schoolhouse, and the site of New Marblehead’s (early Windham) Province Fort which served as temporary protection for the founding families as they battled native tribes over natural resources and cultural differences.
The Parson Smith open house and tours, 93 River Road, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donation: $10 per person (children under 12 free). Parking will be available along Anderson Road with handicapped parking (only) in the Parson Smith driveway. Parking along River Road is not allowed.
Attached are two photos , one from the mid 1900's the other around 1900.