Phase III restoration of the 1762 Akin House has begun with a detailed examination of each room and the removal of centuries of layers (plaster, lath, 19th/20th C wall boards, wallpaper of different periods) to expose the original features.
“This little house with a big story to tell”
This little house is sharing its history and the culture of its inhabitants in ways we could not have imagined. Let us introduce you to the small parlor, first examined in 2003 with its circa 1960s paneling and boarded fireplace. We are sharing for the first time the wonders of this room as it might have been in the 18th C or early 19th C, the wide pine boards and unusual wall coverings–no insulation, just the fireplace for warmth. We are in touch with historic house experts to help us better understand this house, its early architecture, its decorative finishes, and repairs over 250 plus years. Stay tuned for more images and information as our research and documentation unfold.
Top image shows the condition of the small parlor in 2003. To the right is an “after” photo of August 2017 with a combination of wall coverings, including horsehair plastered walls removed.
Left image: A layer of early covering suggests an unusual stenciling technique.
Center image: The original pine wall boards (small parlor) revealed in August 2017.
Right image: Close-up view of the wall covering, a pattern repeated throughout this room.
Henry Barnard Worth (1858-1923), a local historian living in New Bedford, was active in the first quarter of the twentieth century. He was a member and officer of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society [New Bedford Whaling Museum] from its inception, and was the author of more than twenty essays published as Old Dartmouth Sketches. His best-known work, in collaboration with photographer Fred Palmer, documented in text and photos some of the oldest houses in our area.
Sunday, June 7th was DHPT’s first specifically kids’ focused event!
After arriving at 1pm and decorating “treasure chest” bags for the goodies they were about to find, kids had a chance to try the game of Graces- a popular 19th century children’s pastime.
As the Treasure Hunt began, kids took turns reading clues and following a treasure map around the Akin property to find hidden boxes of prizes. Each prize correlated to the piece of history Bob Barboza would then present in a set of “mini-talks” about the 1762 house at each prize location. Children were taught about some of the key facets of the Akin family history including the house’s age and Mr. Akin’s profession as a shipbuilder.
After finishing the clues, kids were invited on a tour of the Akin house, led by historian Peggi Medeiros.
The last activity of the afternoon consisted of attaching a few charms found during the hunt to bracelets and bookmarks to take home and remember their day.
To read more and see several pictures taken by Seth Thomas of Dartmouth Week, check out the article posted HERE!
THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the event, and our trusty board members and volunteers for the time and effort put into the whole day!!
On JUNE 7 , DHPT will be hosting our first ever KIDS EVENT!
Children 10 and under are invited to a TREASURE HUNT to be held on the Elihu Akin House property! From 1-3pm, kids will participate in old-fashioned games and learn about their community’s heritage while hunting around the property for prizes! Parents and children will have the opportunity to tour the 1762 house after the hunt. Event is free, donations gratefully accepted.
Treasure maps will be provided.
Hope to see you there!
Elihu Akin House property, 762 Dartmouth Street, Dartmouth MA
The Akin House along with the proposed adjacent visitor center will become one of Dartmouth’s main attractions for teaching and learning. The property will serve as a venue for the DHPT and other groups, such as the Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society to offer innovative ways to teach local history with hands-on workshops and other programming to provide a living history experience.