The Tannery House – Circa 1825
52 Tannery Road
This charming building is the oldest house on Tannery Road. Property records date it to circa 1825 but the exact age of the house is uncertain and may be earlier. Christian Rhuland paid 68 pounds for the property in 1825, selling it to Jacob Sperry for 135 pounds in 1839, the price difference suggesting that the house was built or redeveloped in this period. The first tanyard was in operation by 1754 and Rhuland acquired much of the land in this area, which became known as “Rhuland’s Tanyard.”
A small creek ran through the rear of 52 Tannery Road, providing the fresh water needed in the tanning process. A group of buildings where the tanners worked was located behind the current house.
Situated close to the street, the house retains its original early Cape Cod style with low-slung appearance, windows tight to the eaves of the steeply pitched roof, and hand-hewn timber frame construction sitting on a dry stacked stone foundation. The current owner, of Blue Rocks Timber Framers, is a skilled craftsman and has renovated the space to expose elements of the structure, and highlight the original interior with an open concept feel. The original timbers are exposed, along with portions of the original floor and ceiling. The massive central open fireplace has been lovingly restored using the original stones on the façade. It is the main feature of the house along with the original chimney.
Many thanks to owner Shane Pittman