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PhotographsThe Pierce House was built in 1683 and was lived in by ten generations of the Pierce family before it became a museum in 1968.  In its first 200 years, the Pierce House changed dramatically as family members adapted the house to meet their needs and changing styles.

When Thomas Pierce purchased the house in 1696, it had two rooms on each of the two floors, casement windows with diamond-shaped panes of leaded glass, gables, and wood shingles covering the roof. Around 1712, Thomas’ son John enlarged the house on the west end, adding an additional room on each floor, making the house more symmetrical. Samuel Pierce inherited the house in 1744 and by 1765 he had added a lean-to across the rear of the house to create additional, dedicated workspace.  His son, Samuel Pierce Jr., remodeled the house in 1765. He extended the east end of the house, replaced the now old-fashioned diamond pane windows, and removed the gable from the roof. He built a more fashionable door, complete with a decorative triangle, called a pediment, over the top. 

In the mid-nineteenth century Lewis Pierce installed a second exterior door, leading into the east room.  Since then the house has remained largely the same. Lewis and his descendants were particularly proud of the house’s colonial past and conscientiously chose to preserve it.

Do you have any old photographs of your home?  Compare the way your home looks today to the photograph.  Has anything changed?

Related Activity: Home Exterior (PDF)