Compare Listings

The Barker House

1975 Crandall Rd, Tiverton, RI 02878, USA
$238,000

Description

The Barker House

Sometime back in the late 1600’s, my family received a land grant from England and came to the Colonies to build what would become one of Rhode Island’s oldest privately owned properties. Through the years, the property was owned and farmed by the Barker Family. And then, in the 1800’s, a young Barker woman married into the Simmons family and changed the last name associated with the property to Simmons. And until 1999, the last Simmons to live here was my Great Grandmother, Grace Seabury Simmons. My wife, my son, and I moved in at the turn of the century and have lived here ever since.
On February 17th, 2020, NewportRI.com wrote an article about a pre-Revolutionary war house less than 3 miles from here that is slated for demolition unless the town can afford to move it to another location and preserve it. The town’s historical society doesn’t have the house listed as a “protected” site, and therefore can be torn down, legally. A house with no historical protection can be rebuilt, or torn down and replaced with a new one, and not much can be done to stop it. Unless the town can find the funds needed, another piece of history will most likely be erased.
My house is in the same situation in terms of historic protection. My family was approached in the 1980’s about adding it to the register, but, sadly, it never happened. Photos were taken, and one was added to a summary of all the historic homes in Tiverton. But the house was never listed as a protected site.
The house, as well as my family, have been here for over 300 years, making this house older than the town itself! The land was part of the Dartmouth Colonies in Massachusetts, until around 1746, when Tiverton, and the neighboring towns were annexed by Royal Decree to Rhode Island as a final settlement over a long colonial boundary dispute. The house is located on the southern end of Tiverton, and is only 20 miles from Newport, RI, known for its mansions, shopping on Thames Street, and the famous cliff walk. The house is also located only 8 miles from the new Tiverton Casino.
The Hurricane of 1938, the blizzard of 1978, Hurricane Bob, and Hurricane Gloria, and all of the storms that went unrecorded back in the 1700’s and 1800’s. This house weathered them all.
And what about the history that this area has? The King Philips War was happening around the time that this land was being cleared and the house was being built. Who knows if there were ever any interactions with the Wampanoag Indian tribe here?
The interesting part is that the house remains in somewhat original condition with only 8 rooms on the first floor, and two crudely finished rooms in the attic. These small rooms were at one time extra living space for a growing family, and as renters’ suites during world war 2. As the family grew, an addition was added to the east end of the house. It is about 100 years newer than the rest, and this can be seen by the change in the size of the granite slabs that make up the foundation. The newer addition’s foundation has smaller stones and are cemented in place. There is also evidence in the attic that shows where the newer addition joins the original part of the house.
The frame is of the “post-and-beam” construction, common to antique houses throughout New England. Looking at the framework in the attic, you can see where all the mortise and tenon joints are held together by hand carved spikes.
And it is all still here! The interior walls of the house have been painted, wall-papered, painted again, etc.… But beneath a century’s worth of wallpaper and paint is the horse-hair plaster and lathing strips that make up the walls. Over the last forty years, all the plaster ceilings were replaced with sheetrock. And in 2013, the bathroom was renovated with a new sink, toilet, vanity, walls, and floor. The porcelain-and-iron tub needed to be broken into pieces in order to remove it from the house. The contractor couldn’t get it through the door, so we decided to keep it in place. It must have been installed before the entryway was added to the house. The bathroom’s subfloor was replaced at the same time as the plumbing and an electric heater was added as well.
The electrical system was replaced back in 1999, just before we moved in. There is 100-amp service throughout the house, and there are no less than two outlets per room. Because of how thin the horsehair-plastered walls are, some of the electrical outlets are mounted on or near the floor. The outlets are thicker than the walls and couldn’t be recessed.
The floors, in the living room and attic are made from heart-pine planks. The floorboards may have come from scraps left over from the frame’s construction. Some of the planks in the attic are over 12 inches wide. There are even a few planks that have worm holes in them from when the tree was still standing. The other rooms have hardwood flooring placed over the wide planks. All the floors will need to be refinished.
There are 16 windows in total, all with 24 individual panes of glass in each (the attic windows are missing some of them). Some of these panes are antiques and have waves and ripples in the glass. Each of the first-floor windows has a storm window covering it. These were added in the late 1960’s.
The house used to have two chimneys, but the oldest of the two started to deteriorate. The top of the chimney was removed while the roof was being re-shingled. The remainder of the original chimney still stands, just below the roof. The house has two non-functioning fireplaces which were closed off many, many years ago. The house will need to be re-shingled and some of the trim boards will need to be replaced.
The basement has a full 8’ ceiling and a few light sockets. The propane water heater and oil furnace are located at the east end of the house. At the other end of the house, there is the old, hand dug well, which is on the outside of the house. There is a pipe that goes through the stone foundation into the well, where a water pump, that still worked in 2012 drew water from. We recently found the invoice for the pipe’s installation, back in 1919. Total cost? $8.23
In 2012 a 140’ deep artesian well was dug, and produces cold, clean water good for drinking and cooking. At the west end of the basement, there is the base of the main fireplace, made of stone. In various land preserves all over New England, where old homestead ruins are still accessible, you can see where almost every house had a rectangular basement with a stone tower in the middle. These stone bases were almost always even with the top of the foundation walls, putting the fireplaces at floor level inside the house. Most houses had stone steps that lead down to the basement on the same end as the main fireplace. This house has a similar set of stairs that have been blocked off for over forty years, right near the main fireplace structure.
Unfortunately, the oil burning furnace no longer works, and needs to be replaced. The rest of the forced hot air system is intact and warms the house quite nicely. Insulation was blown in ten years ago and has made the house easy to heat with only three electric space heaters.
The somewhat private, 1.3-acre lot has a large backyard and still has two original stone walls that New England is known for. The surrounding properties, which were once part of this property, show where the bar way and fields were. The bar way, which was a lane bordered on both sides by stone walls, still have some of the “gate openings” where fields and pastures used to be. The bar way was a convenient way to move cattle from one field to another for grazing. There are still a few of the forged pins and hinges that were used to secure gates to the stone end caps. On the opposite side of the street, there is a recently protected conservation area, which will be linked to a conservation area in Westport, Mass. in the future.
One nice feature about the yard is that it has an authentic mulberry tree growing near the house. These trees were brought over from Europe to help establish the silk industry, but the climate wasn’t beneficial for the silkworms, and the silk industry never took off here in New England.
Our mulberry tree seems to be a popular place for birds during the spring and summer. After wet winters and springs, the tree usually produces big mulberries that are fine for eating. We’ve put some in baskets and sold them out on the side of the road in the past. Birds love them. Any bird watcher will love to stay for an hour or two just to see the Bluebirds, Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers, Nuthatches, woodpeckers, and so many other birds that our neighbors never get to see in their yards. This old tree also provides quite a bit of shade in the summer. Other wildlife includes deer and coyote and can be seen on occasion, passing through the backyard.
We have spent the last twenty years trying to figure out how to “do some good” for the house. There are no relatives that are interested in the house, so we keep coming up with the idea of selling it to a contractor or a private party that wants to give this house a new family name.
The house has never been sold before, and that is the reason we want to sell to a serious buyer only. Sentimental value and karma do play a part in the asking price, and we will consider slightly lower offers from the right, restoration-minded, buyers. This is not a first-time buyer’s home. The property will be sold in “as is” condition and will be quit claim or warrantee deeded to the purchaser.
New photos will be added as we go along, and we will take specific pictures for those who ask, so please check back frequently.
I would like to thank you for reading this and hope to hear from you soon.

Please send all inquiries to:
[email protected]

Below is the write-up for the property, taken from the “Historical and Architectural Resources of Tiverton; A preliminary Report”. You can find this report on the RI.gov website.
On Pages 4 and 5, you will find a photo of the house from the early 1980’s. The picture shows the house before the original chimney was taken down in the early 2000’s, during roof reconstruction. The corn crib in the background was removed for safety reasons at the same time.
Page 91 Lists the house as The Barker House
” * 36. Barker House ( 1700 et seq.; 1975 Crandall Road): A long, 1.5 story, 1056 square foot, wood-shingled dwelling with 2, brick, interior chimneys and an extended south-facing, asymmetrical facade, with an entry toward the left side. There is a full basement at the east road side, as the house is built into a small hill. The dwelling occupies a fine site on a large lot that includes a wood shingled garage; a small, wood-shingled outbuilding corncrib; and stone foundations. Originally in the Barker family, it went to the Simmons family through marriage, and has remained in that family to this day.’ Otis L. Simmons, who lived here at the end of the 19th century, was a whaler for 13 years. 1850- Giles Barker.”

Although in need of updating, this write-up helps to show the homes age. There are dated receipts and deeds on the property with Giles Barker Simmons and Otis Simmons’ signatures written on them.

Detail

  • Property ID
    232137
  • 2
    Bedrooms
  • 1
    Bathrooms
  • Square Footage
    1056 sqft
  • Lot Size
    1.3 acres
  • Shingle Style
    Style
  • Icon
    Year Built
    1690

Updated on July 8, 2020 at 2:05 am

Address

  • Address: 1975 Crandall Rd, Tiverton, RI 02878, USA
  • City: Tiverton
  • State/county: Rhode Island
  • Zip/Postal Code: 02878
  • Country: United States

Similar Properties

$749,000

Historic Holland-Claggett Farm c.1830

2240 Brighton Dam Rd, Brookeville, MD 20833, USA

Beds: 3Bath: 1sqft: 3422

Single-Family

GaryGestson

3 years ago

$749,000

Beds: 3Bath: 1sqft: 3422

Single-Family

3 years ago

$1,399,000

Historic Pecher Farm on 73+ Acres

450 Pecher Rd, Fairfield, PA 17320, USA

Beds: 5Baths: 5.5sqft: 5079

Single-Family

Gary Gestson

3 years ago

$1,399,000

Beds: 5Baths: 5.5sqft: 5079

Single-Family

3 years ago

Beds: 2Bath: 1sqft: 1433

Single-Family

Paul Liepe

3 months ago

$12,000

Beds: 2Bath: 1sqft: 1433

Single-Family

3 months ago

The Yorkshire Inn

1135 NY-96, Phelps, NY 14532, USA

Beds: 8Baths: 7.5sqft: 6300

Single-Family

KathleenLatch

11 months ago

$449,000

Beds: 8Baths: 7.5sqft: 6300

Single-Family

11 months ago

Beds: 18Baths: 18sqft: 24000

Single-Family

Robert

2 months ago

$675,000

Beds: 18Baths: 18sqft: 24000

Single-Family

2 months ago

sqft: 1440

Commercial

Michael Carmichael

3 months ago

$127,000

sqft: 1440

Commercial

3 months ago