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Cogswell's Grant shingling leads to new discoveries

July 19, 2010

Rear ell with shingles
The rear ell after the shingles have been installed.

The shingling project on the rear ell at Cogswell’s Grant has been completed. The work led to some exciting new discoveries about the property, including physical evidence of an eighteenth-century lean-to. We uncovered four different generations of shingles, two using cut nails and two using more modern nails. The oldest sheathing boards had a beveled edge and used hand-wrought nails, while the later sheathing used cut nails.

We also discovered scribe marks (Roman numerals carved into the structural elements of the building to help the builders match up posts and beams to their proper location) and identified a section that might have accommodated a door during an earlier time. 

In order to ensure that future building managers and scholars can understand what we found, we made drawings and took photographs to document everything we discovered before the shingles were reattached.

Projects such as this one demonstrate that responsible upkeep of our properties can allow us to learn more about their history. This project was part of the Preservation Maintenance Fund.

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Cogswell's Grant shingling leads to new discoveries