In 1998, the Sippican Historical Society commissioned an architectural survey of Marion’s historic homes and buildings. The survey was funded one-half by the Sippican Historical Society and one-half by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Due to the limits of funding, not all of the historic buildings were surveyed, but over 100 were catalogued and photographed. The results of the survey are in digital form on the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s website and in four binders in the Sippican Historical Society’s office (and at the Marion Town Clerk’s office).
Marion (Old Rochester) is one of the oldest towns in the United States, and the Sippican Historical Society maintains an extensive collection of documentation on its historic buildings. The Sippican Historical Society will preview one building a week so that the residents of Marion can understand more about its unique historical architecture.
This installment features 196 Front Street. Baxter Infirmary. Baxter Infirmary, located at 196 Front Street, was built in the early 19th century. In 1855, it was owned by John Burgess, who drove Sippican’s glassed-in hearse and always wore a high silk hat when he headed a funeral procession. Burgess is listed as the building’s owner in 1855 and 1879. By the early 1900s, C.E. Hellier owned the house. Tabor Academy acquired the house for the purpose of establishing an infirmary. Named for Dr. Raymond Harding Baxter, who had faithfully served the town since 1921, the new infirmary provided Tabor Academy students and faculty with a more up-to-date medical facility.