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Hopkins–Bennett House

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c. 1800 or 1828(?); ell and porch late 19th and 20th century. 13 Walker Rd. (pole 13; .65 mile north of Briggs Rd.)

Mostly screened by trees in summer, this one-and-one-half-story, central-chimney Federal house with a gable roof appears to be a typical late eighteenth-century type—except for a puzzle which is no longer visible. Until the 1960s it had a Greek Revival transomed doorway which was considered to be a later alteration. When the Greek Revival door frame was removed during a restoration of the house to return it to its “original” condition, it became clear from the way in which the frame tied into the rest of the structure that it was, in fact, original. Was this, then, built as an old-fashioned house type by a traditionalist carpenter who was encouraged by the whim of the client or some other cause to add a newfangled door? The interior (not open to the public) exemplifies the five-room arrangement frequent in Foster at the time: parlor balancing the kitchen, with its large cooking fireplace, in front; a sizable pantry and two bedrooms behind. The white plaster walls and ceilings of this beautifully restored interior emphasize the combination of spareness and elegance in the country-carpentered woodwork. Stenciling in the small entrance hall and parlor, customary for the better houses of the period, is the work of Susan Hibbert, a local specialist in the art, who here combined traditional Rhode Island motifs for her design. From the road one expects this house to be tightly enclosed by woods; but, high on a ridge, it commands a surprising panorama down the slope of a field and off to Connecticut hills.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.

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