Browne House repairs shed light on early restoration

Aug 30, 2011

This summer, Historic New England’s carpentry crew is at Browne House in Watertown, Mass., repairing the sill of the nineteenth-century north ell.

This repair, like the floor work at Boardman House, presents a rare opportunity to examine a part of the building that is usually hidden. An added bonus of performing simultaneous work at these two houses is the chance to compare two different, contemporary examples of the work of carpenter Frederick R. Mosher.  Mosher, along with mason Frank C. Sargent, worked with Historic New England founder William Sumner Appleton on the restorations of both the Boardman and Browne houses in the 1910s and ‘20s. Mosher worked on many important early restorations, including the Cooper-Frost-Austin House, the House of the Seven Gables, and the Paul Revere House. We stand to learn as much about the techniques of the early preservation movement as we do about the original builders.

View a photo gallery of the investigation.