On Saturday, the Windham Historical Society invited residents and visitors to have a look inside several of the oldest homes in the area including the oldest home on the tour, the Parson Smith House at the corner of River and Anderson roads.

Built in 1764, the Parson Smith house was built by Peter Thatcher Smith for his wealthy and proper Massachusetts bride. The home was built in stages and now boasts four different architectural styles: Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian.

“It really is quite interesting to see how they added on to the house in different eras,” said current owner and tour guide Elaine Dickinson. “Each section of the house has a different style.”

Elaine and her husband, Donald Dickinson, bought the home in 1994 after Donald fell in love with it.

“He decided one day he was going to find an 18th century home for us to live in,” said Elaine Dickinson. “I wanted no part of it.”

Donald Dickinson validated his wife’s story with a laugh.

“I went searching for my 18th century home,” said Donald Dickinson. “And Elaine stayed home hoping I wouldn’t find it.”

Over the years the Dickinsons have made adjustments to the home but have been careful to hire contractors familiar with the various older styles.

“We have been very good at making a 250-year-old house able to grow old with us, while keeping the integrity of the original craftsmanship,” said Elaine Dickinson.

The tour ran throughout the day and consisted of ghost stories, architectural beauty, post and beam attics and refreshments.

“We’re happy to share our home and a piece of history with people,” said Elaine Dickinson. “Hopefully people enjoy taking the tour as much as we love giving it.”

For more information on the Windham Historical Society, visit www.windhamhistorical.org.

Elaine and Donald Dickinson hosted tours of their home, The Parson Smith House, during the Windham Historical Society’s Historic House Tour on Saturday. The Dickinsons bought the 250-year-old home in 1994.
The sitting room in the Parson Smith House remains in similar condition to when the home was built in 1764.


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