I visited a friend up in Groveland yesterday and drove home in a very indirect way, east along Route 113 and south along Route 1A: I could have been home in a half hour or so but instead my return trip took several hours, because I had to stop and look at houses, of course. Much of my drive was through the Newburys: West Newbury, Newburyport, and just Newbury. These are all beautiful towns: Newburyport is the most bustling, and justly celebrated for its colonial and Federal architecture, but I’ve always been equally impressed by West Newbury, which is characterized by a line of beautiful classic colonials–interspersed with the occasional First Period house—all perfectly preserved. They’re all on Route 113, the main route between Newburyport and Haverhill and beyond–once obviously a country road running parallel to the Merrimack River but now pretty busy. There’s no sidewalk, so you have to look for spots to pull over and then walk alongside traffic until you reach the object of your adoration. Normally I don’t have time to do this, but yesterday I took the time.
Houses on the West Newbury Training Field (+ World War I Memorial): two down, an amazing First Period house (which is actually light green).
Newburyport, all ready for the Fourth.
July 1st, 2017 at 8:28 pm
What amazes me about these old houses is how many of the foundations are barely above ground. The wood siding almost looks like it touches the ground. With our moist climate, you would think there would be more termite infestations, rot, etc., yet these houses have been around for centuries!
July 2nd, 2017 at 8:12 pm
I agree–it’s particularly noticeable in the country as city house of the same era tend to have higher foundations. I think what you’re seeing here is a lot of maintenance!