Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Massachusetts


Smith-Healey House

Smith-Healey House, 1350 North Street, Walpole, Norfolk County, Massachusetts (42.120647, -71.318797)

Felling Date: Spring 1797

The Smith-Healey House, which began in the second half of the eighteenth century as an unusual saltbox version of the square plan house, is two-and-one-half stories in front with a lean-to portion in the rear. About 1815, apparently, when a documentary reference suggests that the house was being enlarged, the right-hand (south) side of the house was extended by five feet. The addition made the small right-hand rooms more useable and gave the house a more nearly symmetrical front façade in keeping with currently popular architectural ideas. At the same time, the frame of what appeared to be a preexisting story-and-one-half building, perhaps an outbuilding on the property, was attached to the new right-hand side of the house before as an ell before finish materials were applied to the new side wall. The construction date of the ell frame of 1797 or shortly thereafter, determined by dendrochronology, confirms that the ell existed before being attached to the house and reaffirms the sequence of enlargement of the Smith-Healey house that physical evidence suggested.

In 1785, the property came into the hands of Isaac Smith of Walpole, a cordwainer. The enlargement of the house evidently occurred before his death in 1817. In 1868, Michael D. Healey acquired the property. Architectural information is taken from Anne Grady’s “Architectural Analysis of the Smith-Healey House” (2003). Electa Tritsch provided the title abstract of the property.

Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2006 “The Tree-Ring Dating of the Smith-Healey House, 1350 North Street, Walpole, Massachusetts”, ODL unpubl rep 2006/11




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Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230