Continuing Good Maintenance Practices at the Stoughton House
Cobbler’s shop at the Stoughton site
Today the cobbler’s shop sits across the driveway from the house, but when Mary Baker Eddy was staying with the Wentworths, it was much closer to the road. Many years ago it was moved nearer the house to preserve it when Central Street was widened.
Damaged window sash in the cobbler’s shop
Constant exposure to the sun and elements has taken its toll on the two south-facing windows.
Glaze pulling away from the glass
The meeting rail and glaze had actually separated from the glass.
New window sashes installed
In early December 2011, the window frames were repaired and new sashes installed.
No more bowing
The window is weather tight once again.
Like some of his neighbors, Alanson Wentworth was a farmer and shoemaker. He made heels, soles, uppers, and other parts for the shoe factories in nearby cities like Brockton and Taunton. His shoemaking shop is one of the few local examples of a 12x12 cobbler’s shed surviving from that cottage-industry era.
A peek into the cobbler’s shop
The work table is full of shoe lasts.
Cobbler work benches and tools
Two cobbler workbenches sit low to the floor. Notice how close the benches are to the stove. Shoemaking was a winter occupation when it was too cold to farm.
Warped bulkhead doors
Bulkheads are commonly found on historic houses in New England. They cover a set of steps that lead to the basement of a house and protect the actual doorway in the foundation wall at the bottom of the steps. Bulkheads keep water and snow from getting into the basement at that point of entry.
Like some of the cobbler shop windows, the bulkhead at the Wentworth house is on the south side of the house and takes a beating from the weather. Over the years the boards warped, compromising the integrity of the doors.
New bulkhead doors
The bulkhead doors were replaced in early December 2011. They could not appear too modern, since they are visible to visitors, but they had to be utilitarian and able to withstand weather and regular use.
New bulkhead with door open
Here you can see the underside of the cedar doors and peek into the bulkhead. The edge of a granite step and the stone foundation can be seen, along with the door leading into the basement.
Rotting door sill
The sill under this door was rotting and squishy. A minor repair now, but if left undone more elements of the doorframe could rot.
Repaired door sill
The sill was repaired the same day the bulkhead doors and shoemaker’s shop windows were done. It was a full day of maintenance!
The home where Mary Baker Eddy found a quiet refuge for 18 months.