This historic house on Great Road in Lincoln, RI was built in the late 1690s by Valentine Whitman Jr. It’s known as a stone-ender (one of the few remaining in the state), named after the stone chimney that extends across one side of the home. The town took over ownership of it in 1991, and the property was shared with the public as a historic house museum for several decades. Facing an uncertain future, the Valentine Whitman House was transferred from the town to the nonprofit Preserve Rhode Island last year. Click here for a 2-minute video of the project overall. Click here for a 2-minute video of the exterior restoration work. And, click here for a 2-minute video of the interior restoration work. Click here for a May 19, 2022 article in the Valley Breeze. Click here for an article in GoLocal Providence. Click here for an article in the Sun Chronicle. Click here for more about Rhode Island stone-enders.
Preserve Rhode Island launched a comprehensive rehabilitation from the top down. Ultimately, they hoped to reopen Valentine Whitman as a short-term vacation retreat, similar to a historic AirBnB. Unfortunately, those plans aren’t going to pan out. Recently, Preserve Rhode Island director Valerie Talmage reported to the town that, instead, they’ll be selling the home under a preservation easement.
When Preserve R.I. took over as stewards of the home, Talmage said they started by replacing the roof and 75 percent of the cedar shingles on the building’s exterior. They installed new windows and painted the house and garage in a historically-appropriate color.
Inside, contractors installed new electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, a challenge, Talmage said, considering the post-and-beam building has no wall cavities. They’re now in the process of installing a new kitchen, renovating one bathroom and adding a new one upstairs, repairing plaster and painting interior walls. The final step will be refinishing the floors, and completing exterior landscaping. Several diseased and damaged trees have already been removed, including one that was blocking the public’s view of the stone end.