People before us have viewed unprecedented times through the wavy glass of our historic windows. Pandemics, wars, economic crashes, political and racial turmoil. None of it is new.
This is the view from the childhood bedroom of Myra Rowell Whitten (1803-1887). It is located in the rural Maine house her parents built in 1796. In 1830, she married William Whitten and moved 70 miles south to the house I now own, where she spent the rest of her life.
I have been involved in the restoration and preservation of both these houses. When I first visited Rowell house as a preservation consultant, I didn’t know it was connected to my house. I made the connection after learning the original owner’s name (confirmed by research). I have learned a lot about the Whittens and Rowells from research.
Myra was the daughter of a Revolutionary War veteran. She lived through the War of 1812 and the Civil War, in which her only son was a soldier and POW. She lived through smallpox outbreaks in the community and lost a teenage daughter and a young grandchild to illness. The girl who looked from this window witnessed many troubled times in her 84 years.
People who know history have evidence that life goes on, people adapt, and good times return. There is hope in the view from an old window.
The Rowell house, now known as Red Farm, is one of 13 featured homes photographed by architectural photographer David Clough for “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available in our online shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
Select preservation titles by other authors are also available in our shop!
© Scott T. Hanson 2023
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