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Babcock House (Whistling Chimneys)

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Whistling Chimneys
c. 1700 and later. 163 Sunset Dr.
  • Babcock House (Whistling Chimneys) (John M. Miller)

The Babcock House is picturesquely sited in a marshy area, surrounded by old stone walls and set in approximately forty acres of what is now conservancy land, hint at its original agrarian use. Oral tradition as well as its adjacency to the water also suggest another early function as a trading center. It may have been built by the Stanton family. At its core is a massive hearth of huge granite stones, which has anchored it through numerous hurricanes. Its asymmetrical five-bay entry elevation incorporates later alterations, including double-windowed dormers and a more recent bayed central window added in the 1940s.

The hearth, the structural framing, and the composition of window openings offer indications that the Babcock House probably started out as a smaller one-and-one-half-story structure that was enlarged with an early eighteenth-century two-story addition before the elevation of the original section was itself enlarged by the addition of a second floor. The house has well-preserved interior spaces and finishes from its earliest period as well as from its later life as an inn and, in the twentieth century, as a residence. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


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William H. Jordy et al., "Babcock House (Whistling Chimneys)", [Charlestown, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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