The historic Nathaniel Winsor Jr. House in Duxbury, Massachusetts was one of the stops on the Community Garden Club of Duxbury Hydrangea Garden Tour yesterday. Duxbury is my hometown and I am very familiar with this amazing Federal era home right in the heart of the historic district over looking the bay. To be honest, hydrangeas aren’t the focus of this property but the history and architectural beauty is, plus it has nice grounds.
From the tour booklet:” The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society (which is headquartered in this building) welcomes you to a tour of the gardens and first floor of the Nathaniel Winsor Jr. House. Built in 1807 by a ship captain, the house is an excellent example of a Federal period architecture with a grand oval stairway inspired by the Bullfinch tradition and Palladio inspired entry and portico. The veranda overlooks 19th C themed gardens with a spectacular view of Duxbury Bay. Garden highlights include the Little Girl Rose Garden adjacent to a large hydrangea bed, a circular brick patio area framing a classical urn and large pergola, and a repurposed stone path on the site of a former greenhouse. The Secret Garden on the southeast corner of the property invites visitors to sit a while on the period iron bench to enjoy the view and lovely statuary which serves as a basin for feathered friends.”
Note the Palladio inspired front door. The front to back hall hall leading out to the rear veranda offers views of the bay and cooling breezes on a hot day.
As with most home of this period, it sits right at roadside.
The rear of the building plus the ell overlook the bay.
I’m not entirely sure why there isn’t room for shutters on the 2nd from right set of windows on all floors…
Local artists were at all the stops on the tour painting en plein air. This is Christine Bodner painting the side of the house. It was a hot and windy day yesterday, Christine had herself a nice shady spot!
The Secret Garden tucked in the back of the property.
Entering into the front door…
The house is not a “museum” per se filled with period decorations. It was a bed and breakfast for many years and as said above, is now the HQ for the Historical Society, so is a workspace with meetings, tours and lots of comings and goings. I recall that at some point, the house was professionally decorated in an appropriate style for the house – maybe as a show house type of thing – but it’s not specific to the Federal era.
This gentleman above is not Nathaniel Winsor, but I can’t read the name on the placard in my photo. So, will have to research that. This lady and gentleman adorn the left side parlor as you enter the home. The room is more of a display area and general meeting room so I didn’t take full photos. The double fireplaces make me wonder if this was originally two smaller rooms.
The dining room is prettily decorated with painted floor in a creamy yellow and black theme with toile wallpaper and striped swagger valances. This room was photographed and appeared in a design book I have somewhere (or had, I may not have it anymore). I recall seeing it in the book and then walking into the room and thinking – huh, this looks familiar!
This is a formal living room that is cordoned off so you can only view it from the door. Perhaps these are some true to the period pieces. The chandelier is not Federal but in the style of Swedish Gustavian from the same late 18th/early 19th century period. American Federal lighting of the period would be traditional brass chandeliers or bell jar pendant style. The mirror is a traditional Federal style gilded overmantel mirror with carved shell motif.
Here we are looking from the rear to the front of the house. I love the subtle stencil pattern on the floor.
The lovely veranda out back has a pretty painted frieze.
This is the view of Duxbury Bay with the town pier and harbormaster. The spit of land you see on the horizon is
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I hope you enjoyed my photo tour of the Nathaniel Winsor Jr. House in Duxbury. I have more posts to come on other beautiful hydrangea filled properties from the tour!
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