The Shingle House of 6th street in the North end is a beautiful Cape Cod House that has always stayed true to its original design. It was built in 1926 for a woman named Ruby Farmer, who occupied the home until 1987. The first thing you see when you walk in the house is an empty archway about a foot deep, blocked off with a wall. The owner of the home explained this as what would be an open doorway if the house had been designed without a basement.
The next noticeable feature is the one hundred percent plaster walls on the first floor with rounded corners everywhere. The sunroom is absolutely beautiful with fixed windows where the old screens used to be. There is a door, which from the street looks like it should be the main door. Exiting the sun room, your eyes gaze upon the beauty of the dining room, kitchen and stairwell, as the entire house is open and flowing. There aren’t any doors downstairs to keep the rooms isolated from each other. After walking through the kitchen, that still yields the original cabinets (which are going to be gutted in a short period of time), the basement was shown to us, and it is absolutely huge. Unlike many other basements, it goes entirely under the house. There is a storage room which was once used for coal to heat the house. This basement was also completely finished in concrete, which is also very uncommon for North End houses built in the 1920’s.
Walking up the stairs to the second floor, you notice a dainty hole in the wall, where the phone used to be, as in the 1920s the phone of the house was always right in the middle of the home, so everyone could use it. The upstairs contains a beautiful stain glass window, and rather elegant hand rails. The largest bedroom was once divided, and it is almost symmetrical. The bathroom has a thermal floor which was put in by the new owners and it stays a consistent 80 or so degrees. There is a handsome claw tub and marble walls in the room, as it was completely remodeled.
The master bedroom, which is not the largest, has a carpeted floor, three closets, and a window near the ceiling. The attic can be accessed through the master bedroom as well.
When the home was built, there was a one-car garage, and for the 1920s that was a rather rare occurrence. As Ruby was getting older, she couldn’t handle the long hike up and down the stairs, so in the ’70s the garage was turned into a one bedroom one bathroom apartment with a buzzer for the help, most likely to bring her food and to help her with other quintessential needs.
In 1999 the current owner built a garage, which even the trained eye can’t tell that it is not an original feature on the house. By the end of the year, there is also expected to be a garden shed which will be styled in the same way as the rest of the home. This home has 9 closets, nearly entirely wooden floors, and a huge basement, and it was built on an old stable which was utilized for the statehouse way back in the day. The current owner still digs up old horseshoes to this day.
The cape cod style represented by the shingles covering the entire house is absolutely beautiful, and the wonderful sloped roof combined with the garden and North End environment make this home, the Shingle House, and extraordinary sight, that simply blows other shingle houses out of the water, as we found out after a careful review of the North End.