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 192 Front Street. Marion is fortunate to have a home designed by one of America’s most famous architects, Henry Hobson Richardson, who is noted for designing the Trinity church in Boston. This Shingle-style home at 192 Front Street was built in the fall of 1881 for Rev. Percy Browne (1839-1901) as a “country house.” This was one of the smallest and least expensive structures that Richardson ever built. In fact, Richardson designed the house on a wager, when Reverend Browne bet that Richardson could not design a small house for $2,500. The Shingle style of architecture is a uniquely American style in which the building is unified by a skin of wood shingles.