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Edward Cook House

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Early 19th century; ell possibly later. 4340 Main Rd.

Almost next-door neighbors, although separated by spacious sites, these two farmhouses are of the familiar five-bay formula, which meticulous restoration around 1990 elevated from years of shabby decline. They possess a somewhat commanding, abstract demeanor, with aspirations, one suspects, to status a tad more removed than other examples of their type from their vernacular origins. This assumption arises from the volumes of these houses, which broad side elevations especially seem to inflate. Both boast exceptionally well-proportioned fronts, with center doors and windows separated from the four windows on either side by an interval just wide enough to emphasize the axis, yet not so wide as to jeopardize the elevations' unity.

The shingled, clapboard-front White Homestead has a gable roof with center chimney and a simple transomed door. It is turned sideways to the road so that its front faces full south. The Edward Cook House faces the road, although angled slightly south. Its paired chimneys spread to anchor the angles of the hipped roof, thus opening the center of the house to a through hall. Although it is shingled on three sides, the front is clapboarded with an edge bead. Pilasters and pediment frame the transomed door. In all these respects it displays a somewhat grander aspect than its neighbor, as well as other details typical for its slightly later date. Its view down sloping fields, across a pond, and off to the distant ridge on which the Cook-Bateman Farm is spread is among the beautiful pastoral views in the state—for the present at least.

These scattered early farmhouses and their handsomely stone-walled fields, now lovingly and reticently maintained mostly as country places for the well-to-do, are a prelude to the continuation and culmination of the idyll in Little Compton.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Edward Cook House", [Tiverton, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 488-489.

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