Photos We Love: Unique Gambrel in Willington, CT


I photographed this house several years ago, but unfortunately, I cannot claim the above as one as my own photos.  A few days after my visit, I was contacted by the owner who sent me her own photos of her house.  The above photograph is one of hers, and it is one of my favorite old house pictures, for several reasons.  Obviously, the colors alone make for a nice composition — the blueness of the sky, the red & brown of the house, and the green & yellow of the spring flowers, grass, and budding trees against the sky. 

But what really makes this picture interesting is the character of the old house — which dates back to the early 1700s, if I recall correctly.  The picture is of the side of the house, not the front (see my own picture of the front below, to help you make sense of it).  The first thing you probably notice is the very unique roofline, which is the result of someone altering an old gambrel (“Dutch”) roof & adding an ell to the back of the house (“Saltboxing” it, a bit).  But the unique-ness doesn’t stop there.  The house’s dark weathered clapboards contrast nicely with the brighter red on the window trim, fascia board, and batten door, and the clapboards themselves have faded more in some areas than others, making for a nice, rustic texture.   On the more quirky side, the two miniature windows at the 2nd story (common for New England Cape Cods) are not at the same height:  if you look carefully, the window on the right is a full clapboard height above the left one (perhaps this happened during the addition stage?  Or maybe it just settled like that over 250 years).  Lastly, if you look above that right miniature window, you’ll see that the roofline actually “wiggles” a bit as a result of the rear roofline not lining up properly with the original angles of the Dutch roof.  Some similar quirky elements can be seen on my own photo, below, of the front of the house.   There can be no doubt that the owners of this house are stewards of a truly “one-of-a-kind,” rustic Yankee Colonial that can only be appreciated by true old house lovers!


1 Comment

  1. by Laura Mahon, on 03.07.09 @ 7:57 AM


    I’ve always loved this house too. At the end of that long dirt road through the woods. The first time I came upon it I felt like I had discovered something. It’s almost like a little time capsule. I’m dying to know what it’s like inside.

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