Home Buying

A historic ‘Stone Ender’ house hits the market in Rhode Island for $539,900

Organization spends $600,000 to restore it to its former glory.

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The home, which was built in 1696, has three bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.

One of the oldest homes in Rhode Island has hit the market for $539,900.

Built in 1696, 1147 Great Road, known as the “Valentine Whitman Jr. House,” is a valuable piece of Rhode Island history. It’s one of the few remaining “Stone Enders,” an early Colonial architectural style named because one side of the buildings is constructed out of stone. They also contain a massive fireplace and chimney, while their other three sides are made of wood. There are at least 14 Stone Enders that remain standing in some form, according to the nonprofit Preserve Road Island. 

Photographs of the Eleazer Whipple House and the Valentine Whitman House in Limerock
. – Preserve Rhode Island

“As stone enders go, our research has verified that of the stone enders remaining, it’s the crown jewel of them,” said Tom Peterson, director of development and communications at Preserve Rhode Island. “It’s the scale of it, the size of it, the amount of details of the interior, and sizes of the rooms. It’s quite a big house.”

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. – Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.

Located in the town of Lincoln, 1147 Great Road is a three-bed, 2.5-bath home measuring 2,448 square feet. Previously owned by the town,Preserve Rhode Island bought it in 2021 and undertook a $600,000 renovation.

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. – Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.

“They transferred the property to us a year ago for $1, and we invested $600,000 into the house,” said Peterson, who notes that the renovation included a new roof, new shingles, as well as a heating system, which the house didn’t even have. Every detail was considered to restore the interior to its former glory while making it livable for the 21st century. 

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. – Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.
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. – Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.

Inside, the transformed home has a crisp, bright interior that maintains the original wood floors and plaster walls. There are two living room spaces, each with historic fireplaces on the first floor. A new custom-designed kitchen is connected to one. The main floor also has a bedroom space, as well as a half bath. There are two staircases, one from each of the home’s entrances. Upstairs, you’ll find the primary bedroom, which has a historic fireplace and is connected to a spacious bath with a walk-in shower and soaking tub. There’s also a walk-in closet. The upper level has an additional full bathroom equipped with a laundry, as well as another bedroom. A bonus room upstairs could easily function as an office.

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. – Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.
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. – Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.

Set on 1.09 acres, the home comes with a permanent historic preservation easement. Held by Preserve Rhode Island, it ensures that the building will be maintained, interior and exterior architectural features will be preserved, and proposed alterations to the house will require prior approval.

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“This is a way that we can ensure that a house that’s managed by luck to survive for 320 years is able to survive for another 320 years,” Peterson said. “Our philosophy in historic preservation is that the world doesn’t need another house museum that no one goes to, but we need to take these buildings and put them back into active use with owners that care for them.”

See more photos of the home below:

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. – Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.
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. – Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.
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. – Chris Whirlow/Residential Properties Ltd.

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