This New England house was built around 1750 by Major Jacob Miller of Holliston, MA. Jacob fought in the revolutionary war with Paul Revere, who most certainly was in this house. They fought together at what is now castle island and Jacob was at the battle of Lexington, too. During the war, Jacob gifted Rever land at the bottom of the hill we live on – Miller Hill – to hide his family out during the war. And John Adams’ family had a house around the corner on Adams Street. The place is storied.
This house has a spirit of its own. It was home to the family that built it for over 100 years and to several families since. Now, I live here with my children, partner of 7 years, and our two dogs and cat. The energy of the place has a way of welcoming people and making them feel safe. Many have remarked on it when they’ve visited.
I dare say the house hasn’t changed much from when Jacob built it. It retains its old beams, its old horsehair walls, its old floors, the revolutionary irons in the fireplace, the old chimney stack…
The old kitchen, called “the keep,” has a great old mantle and parson’s cabinet – a hidden panel that concealed a shelf for liquor, in case the parson turn up – liquor was strictly forbidden in colonial times, apparently. I am thinking of using it to hide my booze from my teenagers.
We’ve been here for almost four years, now. We reinforced the floors, adding columns in the old fieldstone cellar to support the sagging old wood beams, swapping wallpaper for colonial color paints, and trying generally to keep up with repairs and updates to plumbing and electricity. The previous owners did a beautiful renovation, replacing 12 over 12 windows and generally updating electricity, fixtures, siding, etc… and the grounds. There are 3.5 acres of land previous owners have grazed their horses on and, rumor has it the Millers grew hemp. We’ve saved 2 of 3 giant old ash trees and my boyfriend has learned a lot about John Deere tractor maintenance.
We’ve made a kind of project of the place, creating a reasonably large vegetable garden and I’m creating a kitchen herb garden, too. I prepare food from our garden, we keep chickens, and I cook with and make tea with the herbs I grow. And it seems to me that all of this effort on such an historic property deserves to be shared, so I’ll be posting updates and stories about the house here. I may even change the title of this blog if this sticks.