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 27 Main Street. Built in 1834, the Dr. Walton Nathan Ellis residence at 27 Main Street is now the Sippican Historical Society’s museum. In addition to his duties as a village doctor, Ellis was responsible for founding Marion’s first public library in 1855. In 1872, he helped organize the Natural History Museum above the Elizabeth Taber Library. He served as the Republican postmaster of Marion at a time when the position was a political appointment designated by the president of the United States. The small foyer of his home served as a post office. Ellis’s daughter, Annie, married Sylvanus W. Hall, who was appointed postmaster by Abraham Lincoln and served 36 years.