In 1845, Charles H. Sheldon opened Sheldon’s Market; it served customers from the North Shore to New York’s finest hotels.  In 1890 Gloucester native, George H. Hobbs, accepted a wagon driver position for Sheldon.  George married Nancy F. Baker in 1887 and in 1904 they hired contractor Chester L. Crafts to construct their new home—one that would come to stay in the family for five generations!

Love forms the foundational story of the house at 9 Bennett Street: built in 1729.  Love, because it was a wedding gift from the locally prominent Capt. Aaron Bennet to his daughter Mary Bennett and her husband Jonathan Hassam, a young ship’s captain from West Manchester.  The senior Bennett lived up Bennett Street surrounded by family, so to keep Mary and Jonathan connected, he built them a beautiful home.  The proximity was, assuming for both families, convenient.

I always thought gardening was the number one past time in America. A quick Google search disabused me of that fact. Baseball and reading come up Number One, depending on which site you look at.  But gardening is still in the top ten.  Driving around Cape Ann makes me believe that gardening is the number one past time in our little corner of the world.

In 1881, Ida Agassiz Higginson bought the “old Forster homestead” and adjacent land to build the colonial-style house that currently stands at 131 Bridge Street, at the edge of what is now Winthrop Field. The house was built for Joseph Clarke, the horticulturist that Mrs. Higginson employed to lay out and manage the extensive gardens on Sunset Hill estate.

What are the bumps that happen with home decorating?  Well, the most common is sticker shock as the estimates come in. I do what I can on this front, but the estimates are not under my control and austerity measures must at times be made.  As your designer, I could grit my teeth and remain attached to my original idea and think of any other plan as a disappointing compromise.  But then I would miss out on some of the interesting challenges that come along with reining your project in.

What a month March was for me.  I lost a week to sickness - not COVID, but a flu.  Like I couldn’t lift my head from the pillow and slept 20 hours a day type of flu.  But when I finally felt better I seemed to view the world just a little bit differently.  What does this have to do with homes, you may be asking? I’m really not sure yet, so you’ll have to just bear with me. 

In September 1725, John Lee Jr., Housewright, purchased a quarter acre of land in “Newport”. By year’s end he had erected a house. The Newport section of town was situated near Harbor and Bridge Streets. Records state the home was located on a property with apple trees. Lee Jr. apprenticed as a carpenter at the age of 12. Throughout his life he served as town constable, clerk, treasurer and selectman.