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 152 Front Street. Another indication of Wharf Village’s rise as an important commercial and residential center is the former Handy’s Tavern at 152 Front Street. Built in 1812, it was a popular gathering place for mariners after completing a day’s work on the waterfront or celebrating the successful conclusion of a voyage. Perhaps more importantly, it was a stop on the Plymouth-to-New Bedford stagecoach route. The coming of the railroad to Marion in 1855 effectively terminated operations at Handy’s Tavern. By that time, it was owned by former whaling captain Ben Handy, who commanded a famous whaler called the Admiral Blake.