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Are there restrooms at the Gedney House?

Visitors are welcome to use the restrooms at the Phillips House, located nearby.

Is the museum handicapped accessible?

A tour of any Historic New England property requires a considerable amount of standing and some walking.  Gedney House has not been equipped with handicapped accessible ramps, elevators, or chair lifts. Folding chairs can be provided for visitors who would like to use them during a tour. Visitors with limited mobility may be able to enjoy a first floor tour of the house. Service animals are welcome. We encourage visitors with concerns to call ahead. We are happy to work with you to make your visit an enjoyable one.

When can I visit the Gedney House grounds?

The museum grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk.

Can I take photographs at the museum?

Interior and exterior photography for personal use is allowed at Historic New England properties. For the safety and comfort of our visitors and the protection of our collections and house museums, we ask that you be aware of your surroundings and stay with your guide. Video, camera bags, tripods and selfie-sticks are not permitted. Professional/commercial photographers and members of the media should visit the press room for more information.  

Do we need to take a tour or can we just look around?

All visitors to the house receive a guided tour.

How do I become a member of Historic New England and get more involved?

Join Historic New England now and get involved in preserving and celebrating the region's heritage.  To join, call the Membership Office at 617-994-5910 or join online. You can reach the Gedney House staff at 978-744-0440 or by e-mail.

When was the Gedney House built?

The Gedney House was originally built in 1665 by Eleazer Gedney and his new wife, Elizabeth Turner.

Why doesn’t the Gedney House look like a typical seventeenth-century dwelling?

There were three major renovations that took place in the first 135 years that the house existed. The house was first built in an oblong shape with an attached lean-to and central chimney. In 1712, likely after Gedney’s daughter Martha and her husband James Ruck inherited the property, they renovated the lean-to into a second parlor and added a second floor above it. In 1800, two townhouse-style units were added onto the west elevation of the house.

Why is the Gedney House yellow?

The original color of the Gedney House exterior is unknown, as is the color choice in 1712 or 1800. Yellow was likely chosen as a fashionable color for the 1800 renovation, so that is what visitors see on the exterior of the property today.

Did the Gedney House have this many windows?

It is difficult to say how many windows the original structure had. Windows were an expensive, often imported addition to a home and owners were taxed based upon the amount of windows they had. Therefore it is unlikely the original structure had this many windows. Today, the original 1665 walls are located on the east and south elevations of the house. There is one area in the chamber where there is a difference in width between the two-story studs that is unlike the difference between other stud work. Historians agree this could be a location for an original window in the home.

What kind of wood was the house framed in?

According to the 2002 dendrochronology completed for the Gedney House, the home was framed in oak, felled circa 1665.

When is the wallpaper from in the attic?

The origin of the wallpaper in the southeast attic room is unknown. Historians who have looked at the details of the paper have guessed that it is machine-printed and possibly c. 1850 or later.

Why is the foundation part fieldstone, part brick?

The brick portion of the foundation is part of Historic New England’s preservation efforts that took place at the Gedney House following the 1967 acquisition. In the seventeenth century, it was customary to build foundation walls inside the sills and supports on the exterior of the sills. These supports gave way over time. The resulting repair work in 1968 consisted of poured concrete below grade and brickwork above grade.