Young student is hooked on Gedney House history
July 23, 2014
Eleven-year-old Alec Gibbs (pictured) and his mother Paula recently researched historic homes along the Massachusetts North Shore looking for a good fit for a school project. Eventually, they decided Historic New England’s Gedney House in Salem would be a great focus for Alec’s fifth grade project.
He and his sister Lana received a copy of the inventory of the house and learned about the house’s distinct layers of architecture from 1665, 1712, and 1800. Site Manager Julie Arrison answered their questions about centuries of life in a historic home. Alec presented his research on the house during a fair at St. John the Evangelist School in Beverly, Massachusetts, in June. He included a photo album of pictures from Gedney House, posters of how Colonial homes were built, and a small model home where he shared what he learned about history and architecture during his visit.
“Alec used the first person and talked like he was a carpenter who built Gedney House,” says Paula Gibbs. “He told the group about marriage marks, taxes, and how [owner Eleazer] Gedney showed off how rich he was by having windows and two layers of boards on the house. Even the principal told him he was outstanding and loved that he made a special trip to Gedney House. I think he’s hooked on history.”
The three distinct renovations from three different centuries make Gedney House a fascinating property for architecture aficionados young and old. Historic New England acquired the house as it was being prepared for demolition in 1967. Gedney House is open for tours on the first Saturday of the month through October. Plan your visit.