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. Because of 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 34 Hermitage Road.
The house at 34 Hermitage Road is situated where the main Sippican Native Americans resided under the leadership of Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag tribe. Nearby, at Minister’s Rock, was the first settlement in Marion (then called Sippican), established when 29 families of Pilgrims left Plymouth in 1678. This Cape Cod cottage dates from the mid-late 18th century and may be that of Walter Turner, who is shown on the 1855 Marion map. By the late 19th century, George Delano owned this house. By 1903, it was owned by C.L. Delano. George Delano named this property ‘The Hermitage.’ During the first visit of President and Mrs. Cleveland to Marion in 1887, George Delano offered the First Family the use of his beach because of its privacy and splendid views of Sippican Harbor.