69 Townsend St. (Solomon House) - Heritage House Tour 2023

Solomon House - Circa 1775-1797  

69 Townsend Street

Solomon House ranks among the earliest of the larger 18th century houses in the province. It was built by “gentleman and sawmill owner” Henry Koch and wife Elizabeth in 1775. then sold in 1849 to Judge George Solomon, a notable legal figure, remaining in the Solomon family until 1917.  

Late Georgian in style, specifically in the British Classical tradition, it boasts a typical nine-window front and a handsome front entrance. It was built on a massive stone foundation, with post and beam, plank wall structure. The first-floor construction is plank-filled walls with massive hand-hewn timbers and the spaces between the planks are filled with mud, oakum and birch bark. In typical Lunenburg style, it has clapboard cladding, wide fluted corner boards, and the front door opening directly on the street. All the woodwork is original to the 18th century style, except the mantle in the drawing room to the left. The hardware, doors,wide plank floors, wainscotting, slanted door frames and transom above the front door are original and intact. Two huge chimneys serve the eight fireplaces and the bake oven in the basement. The present kitchen, originally the dining room, has one window larger than the rest called a “Coffin Window”, as it was considered bad luck to take a coffin through the front door. In 1885, a typical Lunenburg “bump” was added to all three stories, then removed in 1975 to restore the building’s symmetry. Solomon House was the setting of Captain Ahab’s home for the filming of the 2011 miniseries Moby Dick.

Many thanks to owners Janet and George Palmer

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