About Me

Growing up in a small New England town with a mother who was an antiquarian it was inevitable that I would be exposed to old things. After graduating from UMass/Amherst I lived in Connecticut, taught school, married, and raised three children in suburbia. A move to Newburyport MA renewed my interest in all things old. This background has now evolved into research, writing, consulting and all the things I love to do.

Prudence Fish

Sunday, January 7, 2018



Wherever you are you probably know that New England along with other parts of the country have been putting up with severe cold temperatures compounded by high winds pummeling the area.

The last time I went by the Hannah Jumper house it looked worse than ever.  It was jacked up high in the air and more sheathing boards had been removed.  I was shocked as there was a wide open view of Rockport Harbor where the house should have been snuggled down close to the ground.  Unfortunately, I was not able to take a picture.

Things took a turn for the worse on Thursday when a blizzard struck.  As it approached there was a frantic move to lower the house.  The snow blew and the wind raged on flooding area that had never been flooded before and people evacuated.  I would guess that Hannah Jumper's house clinging there on the edge of the water must have been battered by the water.  It probably ran right under the house and out to the street.

Anyway, Rockport held its collective breath.  The contractor for the project was frantic.

But guess what?  It is still there.  Shaky, pathetic, a shadow of itself, it is still standing after being exposed to nearly hurricane force winds and sub zero temperatures.  The old bones of the house are still hanging on.  It has been tested.

I think it wants to remain right where it has been since circa 1738 and I hope it does.  So far it is a survivor, sort of, but much the worse for wear and what it has been through.  It is almost at the point where even the die hard preservationist might say, "Is it really worth it?".

The blue gate in front of Hannah's house is almost as famous as the house and has been painted by many, many artists.  I just noticed that it is still there behind the orange mesh fencing.  That's good!

I will keep you posted and crossing my fingers that it turns the corner soon and begins the long road back before the house is buffeted by the winds of another northeaster winter storm.


  1. Hello Prudence, The Jumper house is apparently a survivor, although it is being pushed to the brink. It seems as though (despite his methods) the contractor is somewhat sincere in saving the house, so I am hoping that as soon as the weather permits, there will be real progress in reestablishing the house.

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