5th generation farmer Joshua Hersey built this Federal style home in 1794. The taste for symmetry in that era is immediately apparent: the front entryway leads to an office on the left and a living room on the right. The office has two twelve paneled doors on either side of the fireplace. Joshua may have been somewhat of a slave to fashion however, because one door in the office opens to the entry and the other, opens to a solid brick wall.
In an effort to retain the integrity and charm of their antique house, the current owners have updated the house with used old materials either from their property or from other sources. There are windows from an Ipswich home, beams from a Grafton barn/brewery, floorboards from the Ivory Snow Factory in Port Ivory, New York, and finally part of the altar of the Hingham Congregational Church.
This antique home has windows that have hand-blown glass, doors that have traditional H and L hinges and latches, and rooms that have original paneling and wide board floors.
A large chimney with a beehive oven is the focal point of the present dining room. The wainscoting is one exceptionally wide board. Across from the fireplace is a wall of windows that looks out on the patio and spacious backyard.
There was a “hired hand” stairway that led from the kitchen to a small room upstairs. Neither the stairway nor room connected to the rest of the house. When renovating the kitchen the owners found that the walls of the small room were covered with mid-1800s newspapers from the South suggesting that the hired hand had decorated it with hometown news. In the winter this room may also have been a cold storage area.
The current owners call the oldest room in the house “The Pub”. It has a thick wide door to the present patio that most likely was the main door in the 1700s. In cold weather animals were brought in through his door. There are hoof marks on some of the beams under the floor. It was in this room that the owners found a sheathing board with the name “Lucy” written on it Lucy was the name of Joshua Hersey’s wife. This board is now framed and on the wall for display. The room has a fireplace with a granite mantle and a bar area created from part of the Hingham Congregational Church’s old altar.
This loved colonial is as delightful outside as inside. There is a patio, and a side porch each with paths leading to a great back yard with a whiffle ball field complete with bleachers for fans and parents, gardens and a swimming pool.
A 1938 photo shows the Joshua Hersey house when it was owned by the Codman family. At the time the entire estate, with silo, milk room, barn, sheds, house and land was valued at $9,125.