c. 1680 – Plymouth, MA

Added to OHD on 11/24/20   -   Last OHD Update: 1/4/21   -   20 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
Are you the new owner? Comment below, we'd love to say hi!

208 Summer St, Plymouth, MA 02360

Maps: Street | Aerial

  • $279,900
  • 3 Bed
  • 1 Bath
  • 1289 Sq Ft
  • 1.63 Ac.
Seventeenth Century New England Colonial set down privately from the street on a 1.6 acre oasis lot w/amazing exotic trees, shrubs & nature. This property has been in the same family for 60 years. The home is livable for one wanting to step back into a simpler time, into old world craftsmanship, & experience the feel of early America, one mile from Plymouth Rock, the landmark of where Colonial America commenced only 60 years before the home was built! The home also has so much potential and possibilities for one with vision of a modern renovation or addition, perhaps combining new with the old. Located less than a mile to bustling Main St, downtown Plymouth w/restaurants, shops, parks, ocean, harbor & in close proximity to Route 3 for convenience w/travel, this property offers so much for the Buyer with appreciation of history and the vision for modern day improvements. CASH OFFERS PREFERRED AS WILL NOT PASS TITLE 5- PRICED ACCORDINGLY. SOLD IN "AS IS" CONDITION.
Contact Information
Donna Geihe, LAER Realty Partners
508-591-7476
Links, Photos & Additional Info

State: | Region:
Period & Associated Styles:
Features: , | Misc:

20 Comments on c. 1680 – Plymouth, MA

OHD does not represent this home. Comments are not monitored by the agent. Status, price and other details may not be current, verify using the listing links up top. Contact the agent if you are interested in this home.
  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12125 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    What Title 5 means:
    https://www.maxrealestateexposure.com/when-a-massachusetts-title-v-is-not-really-approved/

    I’m afraid my Colonial era knowledge is limited and couldn’t say if this does date from the late 17th century.

    10
    • PuristaPurista says: 177 comments

      Title 5 violation I accept without question, 1680 not so much.

      With many surrounding ponds, and sea not far away, the water table is likely high. But even a more costly special septic system shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

      As for 1680, I do see one jowled corner post (in the upstairs shot with the naked chimney flue and post-1760 fireplace) that is facing in the wrong direction and could be First Period (up to 1725). Based on its orientation it was probably recycled from an earlier house and turned sideways so that its jowl, or, more commonly, gunstock, didn’t protrude into the room when it was plastered over. The rest of the house is closer to the Revolution, and if one were to re-plaster and restore it, 1760-80 would be the period.

      7
      • carletonhistoricalcarletonhistorical says: 301 comments
        OHD Supporter

        Wouldn’t be the first time people believed a New England house was older than the evidence supported! Within certain circles I think owning a 17th century house is sort of a status symbol…

        Could the current house incorporate a 1680s core that was expanded upon the subsequent decades? Not qualified enough to say one way or the other.

        However, I do think flush board pine paneling in the parlor looks pretty recent, probably dating to whenever the ceiling plastering was ripped out to expose the joists. The latter is a big bête noire with me–colonial builders sought to MINIMIZE the intrusion of structural members into living spaces, not to highlight them, particular in spaces of display like parlors and halls!

        So many “restorers” of colonial houses have ripped out (probably failing) plastering over the years and didn’t replace it, thinking the bare beam look is more authentic. But for houses with any pretension to gentility, which describes almost all of the colonial dwellings that have survived into our times, the rustic bare-beamed look is a big old NOPE!

        2
        • PuristaPurista says: 177 comments

          Dear CH: Yes, yes, and yes!!

          As you say, ever since, more or less, the Centennial (1876) that began to appreciate our old buildings as more than just old, historical societies and antique-collectors, including collectors of antique homes, have felt that the older, the better and more important. So everyone claimed ”the oldest house” and there was a stunning number of ”Pilgrim Century” survivors, most, of course, not really Pilgrim Century. So, raised well by my mentor, I always request, politely, to be shown the physical and documentary evidence supporting such a very early date. As it turns out, not only are many such claims off by as much as a century, many First Period houses that even legitimate academicians once attributed to the 1600s are now proving themselves, through dendrochronology (tree-ring dating), instead to be of the first quarter of the 18th century. There are very, very few houses in America left from the 1600s. Although there are some. And probably the bare frames of a few more still remain undiscovered within the walls of later construction.

          You asked if that might be the case here. From the photos, which admittedly don’t show everything, I’d say probably not. As I mentioned before, the only element I see in the photos that could possibly be First-Period is the lone jowled post turned sideways…the wrong position…in an upstairs wall. Could it have been a post in an earlier structure on that same site? Possibly. I could say definitively if I were there. Regardless, nearly all you see here is well into the 18th century…framing, fireplaces and chimney, doors. And as you say, nearly all the plaster meant to hide wall and ceiling framing has been torn off mercilessly exposing posts, beams, and braces never meant by the builders to be seen. Equally sadly, many interior walls and wood partitions have been ripped out, and, presumably, thrown in the landfill.

          This is a quiet cultural tragedy happening all over the East Coast as new owners put far greater emphasis on higher resale value, achieved by appealing to a wider audience, than on culture, history, and archaeology. It only takes one person in the chain of ownership of a 200- or 300-year-old house to destroy its cultural value to a tragic degree forever.

          When I was studying and chronicling these houses academically 35 years ago, it had happened in 10 percent of them. Now, after the real estate boom of the early 2000s, it has happened in 90 to 95 percent. We have lost a huge part of our patrimony, silently, with hardly a word of protest from any sector.

          5
          • carletonhistoricalcarletonhistorical says: 301 comments
            OHD Supporter

            Thanks for the extensive reply, Purista! Glad you share my allergy to the bare beam school of interior “restoration!” As for the conversion of any old house to an “open plan” layout, with few exceptions it can only be vandalism.

            If someone really wants to have an old house with an open plan, they should buy a high-end shingle style house or build a replica thereof, the most cutting-edge designs of the 1880s did have fairly open, flowing living areas…

            3
          • Sandy BSandy B says: 832 comments
            OHD Supporter

            2001 craftsman farmhouse
            Bainbridge Island, WA

            Well said Purista, I only wish we had more forums to educate a wider public sphere of these truths.

            2
      • brigidbrigid says: 618 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1930 Eclectic Lake Cabin
        Smalltown, OK

        Purista,
        Could you explain, to an architectural novice, why the fireplace is considered ‘facing the wrong direction’? What was the reasoning for setting them a certain direction?

        • PuristaPurista says: 177 comments

          I apologize, Brigid, for my less-than-clear writing. It’s not the fireplace that’s facing in the wrong direction, it’s the post in the wall of the upstairs room where we see that fireplace. If you look at the top of the post you’ll see it gets fatter in profile. That fattening is called a jowl, or haunch, or, popularly, gunstock. That fat upper part of the post is supposed to be facing into the room, but here it’s not.

          2
        • brigidbrigid says: 618 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1930 Eclectic Lake Cabin
          Smalltown, OK

          Thanks Purista for the info. I see and understand what you are meaning. It’s always good to learn something new about old houses 🙂

    • CarebearCarebear says: 1184 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Where I live, I believe the county is the only one authorized to do septic inspections. I know an engineering firm can do a perk test, when you build, and submit that to the town/city for your building permit to go through. My parents, when they built their home , hired a local engineer, who unknown to them, performed the perk test after a week of torrential rain, in a portion of the lot that was clay. Needless to say, it failed-despite arguing that the test should’ve been done during dryer weather, that any test would’ve failed after so much rain, my parents had to pay fir another test, a few weeks later, which passed just fine.
      When I bought my house, the county inspected the septic and told me when it was put in. It passed fine, despite being put in in 1959. I was told, the system was past its sell by date, and to be ready to have to replace it. 4 years later, no problems yet, but I have saved enough, just in case! Weird thing is, a sewer line runs down the street, but the builder of my house elected not to tie into it. I have no idea why, but he wasn’t the only one. The house across the road from me is on sewer, the house next to me has septic, but in the backyard where mine is in front. I’ve been thinking about tying into the sewer, because I’ve heard so many horror stories about septic systems, new and old. It would cost me about the same, around $15000 and my water bill would go from about $27 per quarter to around $60. But, to pay for piece of mind, I think I’d take the $60 bill every 3 months!

  2. roxxxroxxx says: 63 comments
    OHD Supporter

    It is basically that it isn’t able to pass because of not having a functioning septic tank or can’t be hooked up to the public sewer. The article states some people have to prove they can pay to remedy the situation BEFORE the house goes into escrow. I don’t know if it would also include having to clean up some of the ground or not.

    4
    • JosephJoseph says: 435 comments
      1790 Northborough, MA

      Yes, here in MA Title V is a hassle. If it doesn’t pass, you need to factor this in as you would any other property defect – a price adjustment, or the seller has to fix. But if the septic fails – it has to be done, you can’t just live with it. Some properties may not be able to handle a typical system due to geology, etc., and there can be some very complex, expensive solutions.

      8
    • TheDaringLibrarianTheDaringLibrarian says: 211 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Coastal Cottage

      But wait, it has a toilet. I saw it. So…where does the flush go?

      1
    • CarebearCarebear says: 1184 comments
      OHD Supporter

      I wonder if you can take the cost of repairs/replacement off the sale price of the property?

  3. AmyBeeAmyBee says: 830 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1859 Mod Vern Greek Revival
    Lockport, NY

    “Modern” renovations or additions?
    Visiting Plymouth as a child, a large part of what makes its history come alive is the presense of all the historic homes/buildings.
    Clearly in this case work needs to be done to address contemporary code issues, or frankly to make it better adapted to 21st c. living. A proper home inspection should reveal the key ones, including the septic. (I grew up with septic, and understand full well how expensive it is to repair or replace!) From the photos, it appears to have all the modern mechanical systems and HVAC. Age, condition and capacity will determine if replacement is in order. The kitchen and bath appear functional, but the kitchen might use some updating. Personally, I’d love to see an historically sympathetic kitchen installed by Crown Point Cabinetry.
    Homes from the 17th c are rare treasures indeed, and should be treated as such.

    10
  4. Sandy BSandy B says: 832 comments
    OHD Supporter

    2001 craftsman farmhouse
    Bainbridge Island, WA

    Yes, serious restoration on all fronts are needed, but it is a treasure and deserves it. Done right, it would be adorable.

    13
  5. KarenBKarenB says: 321 comments
    1885 KY farm center chimney cape style
    KY

    Idyllic, tranquil setting. The house is very charming and actually is in such a condition that many would question the 1600 build date. The house has so much to love with minimal work but possibly a big investment up front for a septic if that is the issue.

    6
  6. WadeWade says: 8 comments

    As others have mentioned, a house in MA needs to pass a Title V. I think this part of Plymouth has wells/septic. The last sale of this house was 1963 (I wasn’t born yet). The owner is 94 yrs old and he and his late wife loved old homes.

    6
    • Angie boldly going nowhereAngie boldly going nowhere says: 673 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Aw, bless his 94 year old heart! I just knew that this house had to belong to someone who loved old homes. I bet this was quite the place back in the day however long ago that was. Am I correct in assuming that the current owner was the person who bought the house in 1963?

      5
  7. Barbara VBarbara V says: 1197 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1800 cottage
    Upstate, NY

    An early Plymouth house – perfect post for Thanksgiving, Kelly!

    6

Comment Here


To keep comments a friendly place for each other, owners and agents, comments that do not add value to the conversation in a positive manner will not be approved. Keep topics to the home, history, local attractions or general history/house talk.

Commenting means you've read and will abide by the comment rules.
Click here to read the comment rules, updated 1/12/20.

OHD does not represent this home. Price, status and other details must be independently verified. Do not contact the agent unless you are interested in the property.