Dole-Little House (c. 1715)

An early eighteenth-century survival

Dole-Little House was built c. 1715 with materials salvaged from an earlier structure. Its first owner was Richard Dole, a cattleman, who built a two-room, central-chimney house with a small kitchen shed at the rear. This shed has since been replaced with a larger lean-to. Decorative carpentry and finishes include chamfered edges, molded sheathing (especially in the hall and parlor), and possibly original stair balusters.

Acquired by Florence Evans Bushee in 1954, the house was subject to an extensive restoration. Workers discovered that new mortise and tenon joints and various other changes were made to many of the salvaged framing members to allow them to conform to the plan of the “new” house. During restoration, the lean-to was rebuilt with new timbers, and sash windows from the front of the house were reinstalled in the lean-to. Decorative paneling was removed and reinstalled in the National Museum of History and Technology in Washington, D.C

Plan Your Visit

Location

289 High Road
Newbury, Mass. 01951

Days & Hours

June 3 (free admission)
October 7
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Admission

$6 adults

$5 seniors

$3 students

Free to Historic New England members and Newbury residents.

Directions

Dole-Little House is on Route 1A just before the Parker River Bridge.

Parking

There is a small lot in front of the house, and street parking is permitted for short periods of time.

Contact Information

Exterior

Dole-Little House is located on the banks of the Parker River, near the site of the earliest Newbury settlement.

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  • Exterior

    Dole-Little House is located on the banks of the Parker River, near the site of the earliest Newbury settlement.

  • Hall

    The fireplace in the hall measures nearly twelve feet wide. The paneling around it is reconstructed based on boards found throughout the house.

  • Parlor

    The parlor fireplace is smaller than the hall fireplace, measuring only six feet. Hall fireplaces were often larger and more decorative.

  • Rear Lean-to and Garage

    The lean-to and garage attached to Dole-Little House were added in the twentieth century to allow for modern convenience

2-nineteenthcenturyexterior_-_364_x_253Family Home

Built around 1715 with materials salvaged from an earlier structure, Dole-Little House was constructed for Richard Dole, a cattleman. The house was built on a two-room, central-chimney plan with a small kitchen shed at the rear. This shed has since been replaced with a larger lean-to. Decorative carpentry and finish include chamfered edges, molded sheathing (especially in the great hall and parlor), and possibly original stair balusters.

Dole-Little House - May 14, 2016Restoration

Acquired by Florence Evans Bushee in 1954, the house was subsequently restored to reflect the original period by restoration contractor Roy Baker. Baker discovered that new mortise and tenon joints and various other changes had been added to many of the salvaged framing members to allow them to conform to the plan of the house. During restoration efforts, the lean-to was removed and reconstructed with new timbers, and a small-paned sash from the front of the house was reinstalled in the lean-to. The paneling from one chamber was removed and reinstalled as an exhibition room at the National Museum of History and Technology in Washington, D.C. A copied version was reinstalled in the chamber. The stair balusters, removed by Baker in 1955, are now on display in the house.

Exterior view of Dole-Little House, Newbury, Mass.Becoming a Museum

Dole-Little House was given to Historic New England in 1975 upon the death of Mrs. Bushee. It is operated as a “study property” with particular emphasis on mid-twentieth century restoration techniques.

Property FAQ’s

Find out about parking, accessibility, photography policy, and more.

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  • Are there restrooms at Dole-Little House?

    Visitors are welcome to use the restrooms at Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm, located approximately three miles up the road.

  • Is the museum accessible to people with disabilities?

    A tour of any Historic New England property requires a considerable amount of standing and some walking. Folding chairs can be provided for visitors who would like to use them during a tour. Dole-Little House is not equipped with handicapped accessible ramps, elevators, or chair lifts. Service animals are always 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 Dole-Little 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.

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

    Join Historic New England now and help preserve the region’s heritage. Call 617-994-5910 or join online.

  • How can I get inside Dole-Little House?

    Dole-Little House is open twice per year, usually on the first Saturday in June and October. A tenant lives in the house, so private tours are possible, but only with advance notice.

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

    All visitors to he the house receive a guided tour.

  • Why are the windows so small?

    Dole-Little House had double-hung windows before its extensive renovation in the 1950s. The windows were replaced by restoration contractor Roy Baker, who replicated what he believed to be the original size and placement of the leaded glass casement windows.

  • Is the Little in Dole-Little the same family as the Littles of Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm?

    The first Little family member to own Dole-Little House was Francis Little in 1878. Though he is a descendant of first settler George Little, and so are the Littles of Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, they are not directly related as far as we know.

  • Is it true that part of the house is in a museum in Washington, D.C.?

    The decorative paneling from one of the chambers at Dole-Little House was removed and brought to the National Museum of History and Technology in Washington, D.C., now the National Museum of American History.

  • I think I saw a new building in another part of the country that looked very much like this one. Is that possible?

    Several companies have reproduced the floor plan and appearance of Dole-Little House, and sell plans to contractors who can reproduce it, with key modifications for modern living. Reproductions of Dole-Little have been built as far away as California.

Related to this Property

Visit nearby Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury.

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Visit nearby Coffin House in Newbury.

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Become a member and tour for free.

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