Historic home for sale in Woonsocket

Historic home for sale in Woonsocket

Breeze photos by Sandy Seoane

WOONSOCKET – The historic home where architect George W. Spaulding is believed to have lived and worked at the turn of the century is now up for sale, and has many of the original features including stained glass, ornate wood doors and moldings, and a number of unique antique items.

Built in 1896, the house at 38 North Ballou St. has three full floors, and pocket doors, built in drawers and original fixtures can be found throughout the structure.

Spaulding, an industrial designer for the Woonsocket Machine and Press Co., developed his own business as an architect and engineer, and a business sign still hangs in the house. Other properties throughout Woonsocket credited to Spaulding include the Holt Funeral Home at 510 South Main St., the Unity Building on Main Street and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Chapel on Fairmont Street. The Burrillville Historical and Preservation Society, formerly the Bridgeton School, was also designed by the city native.

The house on North Ballou Street remained in the renowned architect’s family for decades, and it was here where his son ran Spaulding Funeral Home.

Spaulding’s granddaughter, Hattie Spaulding, lived in the house until 1983, and her name is on the 1973 form that documented the property with the state’s historic register.

The form notes that building features late Victorian style and at the time was a single-family dwelling.

The Queen Anne house is located within the South Main Street Historic District. Spaulding first lived in the house to the left of the property, which he also built, and he built another house on the corner of South Main Street for a local mill owner.

The North Ballou Street home has had just a few owners since Hattie, and all have left the original features virtually untouched.

“The house was in such beautiful condition when we bought it,” said owner Meg Gousie, who has lived there with her husband since 2009, when the couple bought the property for $287,500. “We couldn’t believe it.”

The bright, spacious three-story is listed as a 2.5 bathroom 3,310 square-foot home with 4-6 bedrooms for $279,900.

Structurally, every feature of the house stands as it did in 1896, save a large wrap-around porch, a portion of which the current owners converted into a three season room. It holds three stained glass windows, and a working fireplace in the dining room is framed by an original hand-carved mantel with serpentine tile. Wood pocket doors that slide with ease in their original tracks are surrounded by built-in cabinets and drawers.

“We didn’t change the structure of the original house,” noted Gousie.

Beautiful moldings and natural wood that has never been painted can be seen throughout all three floors, and a butler’s pantry features an abundance of cabinetry, original all the way down to the hardware. In the kitchen, a functioning sink from 1896 is surrounded by modern amenities including a dishwasher and garbage disposal.

A stained glass family crest looks over a landing, where stairs from the front and back of the house meet up on the way to the second floor. In the main bathroom, a claw foot tub is complimented by a large, modern tiled walk-in shower. Lights still have the original fixtures that once allowed them to run on gas or electricity, and the second floor boasts a built-in corner china closet.

There are 10 closets on the third floor and in one, a roughly three foot tall safe says “Geo. W. Spaulding,” across the top. A large sign that presumably once hung in front of the building with the words, “George W. Spaulding, Architect and Solicitor of Patents,” hangs in a studio.

Historic features are worked into the home’s functionality, but it also was repainted in 2016, the same year the owners redid the driveway. The two car garage has a remote control door, and a clean basement houses a large, 20-year-old gas furnace and laundry facilities.

While it could technically be called a six bedroom, the house historically has held home businesses and included office space, plus rooms to accommodate the varying hobbies of its occupants. The current owners are no exception, and in addition to multiple guest bedrooms, they’ve created a crafting space, an office, an artist studio and multiple areas for relaxing or entertaining.

“It’s been a great home to entertain in,” said Gousie. “We’ve managed to fill it up and use every single room.”

Taxes on the house, which is currently listed with REMax Stearns/McGee, are $4,955.

Gousie, who is moving with her husband to be closer to a job in Boston, said, “It’s a great place if you want to really enjoy the home you live in.”

The first floor living room of a historic home at 38 North Ballou St. The house is currently for sale.
A working sink from 1896 accompanies modern amenities – including a dishwasher and garbage disposal – in the historic house.
A stairway with entrances from two sides features original wood and stained glass.
A stained glass family crest adorns the stairway of a home at 38 North Ballou St.
A safe inside the home at 38 North Ballou St. is marked with the name of architect George Spaulding.