Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Massachusetts


Abbot House

Stephen Turner House, Norfolk, Massachusetts (42.146060, -71.308442)


a) Primary House Felling dates: Winter 1788/9, Winter 1790/1

b) Addition Felling date: Winter 1803/4

c) Reused Timbers in Basement Felling dates: Winter 1791/2, Winter 1792/3

Site Master 1641-1790 (oak) STMAx1 (t = 7.42 CHM; 6.88 semass3; 6.63 BOSTON02). Site Master 1730-1803 (oak) STMAx2 (t = 7.79 DVR; 5.77 LTN458; 5.54 BOSTON01). Site Master 1639-1792 (oak) STMAx3 (t = 9.16 3EARLY; 7.56 HH; 6.97 RHM).

The Stephen Turner House is a five-bay, two-story wood structure with a later addition.

Dendrochronological analysis has revealed that the timbers used to construct the primary house were felled in the winter of 1788/9 and the winter of 1790/1, the timbers from the addition were felled in the winter of 1803/4, and the timbers supporting the chimney stack were felled in the winter of 1791/2 and the winter of 1792/3. This spread of felling dates suggests that the primary house was built in the winter of 1790/1 or shortly thereafter, with the addition being constructed approximately a decade later. The timbers used in the chimney stack were felled between one to four years after the timbers for the primary house were felled. However, a number of the timbers supporting the chimney stack have dovetail joints in their ends, suggesting they were originally intended for use in a log structure. It is difficult to say whether they were diverted from this intended use and instead used to construct the chimney stack while the framing was being completed for the primary house, or whether they were salvaged from the log structure when the chimney stack needed repairs at some later date.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2017 The Tree-Ring Dating the Stephen Turner House, Norfolk, Massachusetts, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2017/06




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230