Announcement Details

The Panelling at the “Winslow-Davis House”

DHS_WinslowDavisMuseum

The pine panelling in the Winslow-Davis House came from the David Walker House on Somerset Avenue (State Highway 138) inĀ  Dighton, Massachusetts. This house was torn down in 1972 on orders of the Town after it was damaged by fire in a Fourth of July prank. The house at that time was owned by the Emily Lima estate. The house was built in the early 1700’s of plank and peg construction and few nails were seen as the house was carted away. The Historical Society was given permission to salvage material from this house at that time.

Somerset Avenue was the colonial highway from Newport and Boston and the house was lived in by several generations of Walkers. Several bore the name of David Walker. The panelling was saved because of its good condition and that it had a hand planed “feather edge.” It was located in the original house at the front entrance and in the kitchen beside the fireplace. The panelling was behind the plaster of a later date and badly covered with dirt and plaster dust. During the time of removal and storage one board was washed by rain. With the washing by nature we were surprised to find a knife edge drawing of a ship under sail on the board. All the boards have now been washed and studied for more ships. We have found 8 ships, several sets of initials and other drawings to date, and as the panels are refinished again other drawings will be found. It would seem from the placing of the panels at the David Walker house that someone sat on the stairs in the front entrance and on the wood box in the kitchen with his knife and recorded his memories of the ships he served upon. The big initials “DW” may have the answer.

This panelling now resides in the front entry and stairwell of the Dighton Historical Society Winslow- Davis House.

Source: Chris Pacheco, President of the Dighton Historical Society

Dighton Historical Society Sponsor - Dighton Design