8 BOW LANE – A JOURNEY DOWN RENOVATION ROAD
It’s official, we just bought what might turn out to be our very own money pit. That said, we are really excited about our new project, and invite you to join us as we renovate this amazing antique Greek revival. Built around 1810 and located in Barnstable Village, this house is not only full of historical significance, but also personal significance. Growing up on Cape Cod, my grandmother lived across the street from our new home. My great Aunt lived next to her, and my great uncle ran his doctor’s practice out of their home. While my grandmother and great aunt passed away years ago, I have so many fond memories of spending time with them there, and have always hoped that I would find myself back in this neck of the woods.
When the property at 8 Bow Lane became available, we weren’t really in the market for a new home, and I certainly wouldn’t say that “Greek revival” was my dream style, but we still couldn’t resist the urge to check it out. I won’t bore you with all the details, but obviously we fell in love with the home. The beautiful floating staircase, the wonderful floor to ceiling windows, and the gorgeous backyard were just a few of the features that captured our hearts.…and the rest is history.
Speaking of history here are some interesting details about our new home…
Referred to as the “George Marston” home, this clapboard sheathed Greek revival is thought to have been built between 1810 and 1823. Unfortunately because of the devastating fire at the County House that occurred in 1823, many of the deeds were lost, so an exact date is impossible to establish. Named for one of it’s many owners, George Marston was and is the only Barnstable man to ever become Massachusetts Attorney General. Allan Hinckley, James Huckins, and Walter Chipman who is thought to be the original owner, all preceded Marston’s ownership. In addition, mariners, tradesman, lawyers, judges, and authors have also inhabited this Greek revival over the past 100 years. During the end of the 1800’s, the Marston House and grounds were even said to be the elegant scene of great social activity from parties to balls, all hosted by the then residents the Timkine family. A prominent family from New York City, the Timkines liked to entertain and it has been said that they brought this Greek revival to life with all of their activity.
Located in “The Hyannis Road Historic District”, the George Marston Home is one of ten properties built between c. 1790 and 1855, representing southward growth from the traditional village center of Barnstable toward the growing village of Hyannis. These ten properties lie along Bow Lane and Hyannis Road, between the Old King’s Highway and the right-of-way of the Cape Cod Railroad. The Hyannis Road Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
“The oldest house in the district is that of Deacon Timothy Phinney at 1776 Hyannis Road, built c. 1790. It is a rambling Federal-style house with an attached barn and an attractive Colonial Revival porch. The houses at 2 and 46 Bow Lane are also Federal in styling; the Bacon House at 46 Bow Lane is the most sophisticated of the group, with a five-bay facade and an enclosed center entry.
Most of the homes in the district are Greek revival in style. The Marston House at 8 Bow Lane (c. 1810-23) is a fine example, with a Doric porch and full-length first floor windows on the main facade. By comparison, the adjacent Hallett House at 20 Bow Lane, built about the same time, is more vernacular in its styling. “ (Wikipedia)
Enough talking about the past…it’s time to start thinking about the future! Follow the blog and social media as we attempt to renovate and rejuvenate this beautiful piece of Barnstable Village history. From demolition to décor, we look forward to sharing this crazy journey with you, and promise to include everything…the good, the bad, and occasionally the ugly.