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A 1685 Garrison House

Standing for over 300 years, this sturdy house provides a glimpse into an important architectural style of Early America.

The Houghton Sprague Garrison House, Harvard, MA
“Garrisons, or fortified houses, were built in almost all New England towns.…Like an ordinary house in plan and appearance, garrisons were used in times of peace as one-family dwellings but were strongly built and capable of protecting a number of families in times of danger, like the American Revolution.” –The History of Garrison Colonials, by Ray Wiese

About the author jmankowsky

This photo blog features the seasonal changes in nature observed in my own backyard and a variety of local environments. The Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary in Princeton, MA is often highlighted as a model for the positive effects a small nature preserve can have on the larger environment and the local community. Local sites of historical, cultural and recreational interest are spotlighted as well. All photographs were taken by me. Thank you so much for visiting.

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9 Comments

  1. Hi Julie,
    The style makes perfect sense when one considers the dual function of the house, but it is quite boxy. Not necessarily a domicile I would choose today.
    Nice color, though!
    Best,
    Tanja

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    1. I agree totally, Tanja. Not a style I’d pine after! Apparently, the color is a traditional one from the time period.

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  2. I certainly learned something new today! I never associated a garrison house with fortification, but it makes perhaps sense. I think it’s a lovely house, and the color is similar to our home. New England red?

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    1. I read that garrison styles were meant to hold up to five families, plus a soldier. It’s a big house when you see it, but I wouldn’t want to be in there with up to 25 other people, as I read! I liked the color a lot. To me, it looked red with a tint of tomato soup color, so it softened it a bit. A traditional colonial color.
      p.s . I took all the pics because it is for sale, so I cruised the land. 😉 It could be yours for “just” 875,000 dollars.
      Cheers,
      Julie

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      1. Wowsah! $875,000. I’ll pass. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. P.S. Meant “perfect,” not “perhaps.”

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  4. How interesting. Is the front door really not centred or is it the angle of the photo that gives that impression? The wooden chair with the checked cushion is wonderful.

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    1. Yes, the front door is a bit off center. The whole left side is and extra large room where multiple families could gather.

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      1. Seems pragmatics were the main driving force is designing garrison homes!

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