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Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-13)
I haven't had much luck finding information in the sources I have at my disposal. I want to consult several more and I'll fill you in on what I find or don't.

By the way, rookdygin, I did stumble across something else of interest. Do you happen to remember West Main Road in Portsmouth?
rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-13)
Kecoughtan, If you have the time and actually get the chance to research anything about this home I shall be in your debt. I cobbled together what I could, but even to this day I'm not sure if it's all accurate. I see from your profile you have some background in this sort of thing (😉) so any clarifications or corrections would be welcome. We even did a spot of genealogy on Mr. John Chase and even though I never had a chance to verify those findings, he was a member of the church just up the hill from the house and it is possible that he is buried in that cemetery. We where going to stop at the church and ask for information but were not sure how to approach them about this.

Still looking for those pictures. Soon as I find them I shall post them. Thanks again everyone for all the comments and feedback.

Rook
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
+1
12 years ago (2008-10-13)
WOW.Now this is what I call a realy haunted place! I realy enjoyed reading this story. It is going into my favourites. I don't know what would have happened if you two had knocked on the door but to be honest I wouldn't knock. But then again you two were more curious about the fact WHO was rebulding the place. The next day when you saw the place I'm sure you were glad you didn't knock. Thanks fro sharring. I hope to hear from you soon and take care
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-13)
It's my turn to say thank you Kecoughtan for the valuable information you offer in your posts! It sounds like it won't be an easy task acquiring all the necessary information about this house but, at least, there is hope.

Thanks for offering to reseach yourself.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-12)
Thank you, Rhodes, for all your input on this; I really appreciate you sharing! There is a way to ascertain some of the household objects, but it requires some research, luck, and is dependant on knowing the owner. At the death of the owner, executors of the estate compiled probate inventories. In the eighteenth century these were fairly thorough and usually compiled by room and included moveable property. If, for instance, you were interested in a oval walnut/mahogany service table with silver punch bowl & matching cups, chances are it would have been inventoried. Books, clothes, linens, etc. Were often described less specifically in bullk. In the nineteenth century probate inventories became less detailed.

Rookdygin, I know it requires some effort and time to locate, scan, and upload those photos; however, I would absolutely LOVE to see them. As for blueprints, you probably willn't find them, per se. In the eighteenth century blueprints were rarely used. Instead, contracters--then called undertakers because they under took construction projects--worked from a fairly standard knowledge and, if at all, used simple, crude, working sketches with info as to the windows, doors, and general layout. Sometimes they even did it on wood timbers (which were then used in the building) one of which have been recovered at Gunston Hall in Virginia during renovations. It is possible, however, that some time after construction blueprints were made retroactively. If John Chase renovated in the early 1900s, a firm may have created blueprints for the entire house. Or historical architects from Winterthur in Delaware may have documented it. I'll go on line and see if during Depression architects documented it and get back to you. Out of work draftsmen and architects photographed and made floor plans for thousands of historic sturctures during the Depression. All that is now digitized and availabe at the HABS website.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-12)
Rookdygin, thanks for responding. Kecoughtan and I were talking about this particular house. I hope you can take some pictures of the enterior so we could look at them. Maybe the couple at the antique shop knows what happened to the artifacts and furniture that were once in this house. And yet, I have to wonder, even if the artifacts are found who would take them back to a house that is literally falling to pieces?

I'd be grateful if you could take a picture of the fire place if it's still there. If what I think is true, it should have something like arches on either side.

Thank you
Tonith (1136 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-12)
I wonder had you knocked would the shiny door and the lights just vanish? Would you have broken the spell so to speak? Maybe it was something of a residual haunting that couldn't fully manifest itself more than just the front door. You could have been looking back in time so to speak. I don't know if I would have had the nerve to knock on that door either.It's a wonderful stately looking home in the pics from yester year. Too bad it was left to go to ruin. I do know that when people see something like this there is usually a density to the atmosphere and it has a surreal vibration about it. It's like the time and space you are occupying is not real and you can feel it. There is a theory that all time is happening at the same time past, present and future simultaneously. I guess it's possible to enter into a time warp so to speak. How? I don't know but it has happened to other people as well. They will see a room or a house that looked like it did in it's prime only to find out later that it really doesn't look like that in the light of day. I'm sure you will take this experience to the grave with you. Good thing it happened to both of you because it's highly improbable you were both hallucinating the same thing.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-12)
Wow, look at the discussion. 😁 Once again thanks for all the comments and feed back.

As far as 'artifacts' are concerned I was able to get some pictures of the interior, now don't get excited, I have to find them, scan them and upload them before I can post them. (disposable camera when I was on my way home from work one afternoon.) With the exception of the hard wood floor, which was down to the sub-flooring in places, there was nothing on what I could see from a lower rear window that the plywood had been pulled from. I'm not sure why the plywood was down but I could see into the house and there weren't even any walls between the window I was at and the front door. (the door itself was worn and faded with no hardware). I could see the entrance to the basement from the window I was at, door hanging open leading to the stairs. The walls were blank and empty, they didn't even look like they had paint on them.

There is a private residence/antique shop just the other side of Quaker Hill Lane, but the elderly couple were reluctant to talk about the Chase House, though this seem more from disgust with the developers rather than anything to do with the house itself. It was from them that I found out what happened to the house so that the company could keep it's permit active.

It is quite possible the house wants to be restored and feel life with-in it's walls again. My wife and I have been trying to find the builders prints for this house, but with it having been built in the late 1700's there just may not be any. We tried the Historical Society, the local Libraries, heck we even spoke with a local construction company that specializes in restoration... But no floor plans to speak of. Something we never did was ask around (Historical Society, antique shops etc), to see if any artifacts from the home existed.

Kecoughtan, rhodes68? I have a question, are we still talking about this one house, or has the conversation moved on to more general matters about all structures in general? 😆 Just curious.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
I skipped the part about the emotion behind the loss. It's just sorrow, deep, profound sadness...
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Thanks for replying Kecoughtan. I actually don't know who's claiming back the objects. It would be interesting if we could somehow find out if anyone has made some sort of list of the household belongings. If there's a way of finding that out, I can describe the objects in detail.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Rhodes, thanks for the clarification. No, I haven't known what was there aside from tangible clues: carpet tacks, wear patterns on the floor and moldings, paint discolorations, scars from hinges, etc. I wish I could, however. That's a wonderful gift you have. Do you think there is anger and frustration over the moving and loss of these objects? Is it the house or the spirits that miss the articles (or do you make that distinction)? Thanks, again! 😊
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Kecoughtan, I understand exactly what you're saying about the "essence" of a house. I was asking about a particular set of items that someone has taken away. I'm sorry I don't mean to sound enigmatic-I'm just very very hesitant for an obvious reason. Has some kind of valuable piece of furniture been moved by someone else who still has it today? If yes, the object (wooden, curved...) should be returned to the house along with the accompanying set of smaller objects.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Rhodes, thanks for the quick response. In all honesty, I asked for your thoughts in complete sincerity because I know you have a lot to offer from the perspective of your many experiences and, perhaps a bit academically, I am always fascinated by how people react to structures.

I am not sure that I completely understand your question. Perhaps naively, I tend to view all structures as dramatic stages of human activity: births, death, happiness, anguish. Too, I believe all homes have their own distinct energy apart from any haunting activities. Whether this is imparted from the love of a builder, the land, or the imprint of those who inhabited it--I just don't know how this energy originates, but I can usually sense it. Some houses--like people--are intense in their radiation of that energy while others are subtler or almost non-existent. I'm not sure I understand the wording of your question about missing artifacts. I have sensed the profound dispair and sadness of houses that they were not cared for properly. I have seen "repairs" that were pink gapping scars and could feel the house cry out to have its broken bones reset and tended with love and compassion. In that sense, there are missing artifacts or do you mean artices now absent from the house that need to be returned? Does that help answer your question? Let me know and I'll try, again, if need be.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Kecoughtan, I didn't expect your question to be quite honest and now you sort of catch me off guard...

I've just read the comments and realised that most of what I had thought about this house was pretty accurate. Not knowing the historic significance of this house, I was quite surprised to be looking at a photo of a worn down residence so full of life-so filled with echoes of more than one generation. You ask what I sense. That I will restrain from commenting in public but I will gladly admit that to my eyes this is a house that has witnessed prosperity, births, passings, and has a life of its own, not simply because it is "haunted" by those who passed. It has always had its OWN life-maybe because of the love of those who built it, of those who decorated it down to the last detail.

Just a question no matter how silly it may sound. Has any of you ever stepped foot in that house or know anything about its interior decoration? Are there any artifacts that have been taken away and need to be returned home?
I apologise if I sound kind of strange to any reader but I would VERY MUCH like to know.

As for rookdygin's ultimate question why he was granted with this sight, well my personal evaluation is that what he experienced was not simply a residual haunting during which he accidentally passed by and was lucky to see the energy. I THINK this house needs to be fixed.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Rhodes, if you don't mind sharing, why wouldn't you set foot in the Chase House? Your response seems to indicate that you sense something that sets this place apart from others. A penny for your thoughts...
rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
TheUnknown - No it didn't really have that 'feel' to it. All the overgrown bushes and trees were still there, it was just the front of the house (front door with the windows on either side, the metal fence and the lamps lighting either side of the door). Now that I think about it they were oil lamps hanging on hooks that lit the front steps. When we looked out to the street it was modern day Portsmouth, RI. The right hand side of the house still looked like it was boarded up (thats the side we approched from) I know that door was real, I know we could have knocked and yet... Why or for what purpose was this shown to or offered to us?
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Rook welcome back! Looking at your first photo, I would like to say, that is a house I would NEVER step foot in regardless of your account which, by the way, it comes as no surprise! I've seen thousands of houses, visited hundrends of them but THAT house I wouldn't approach.

I'm glad you didn't knock for whatever reason that was.
TheUnknown (1 stories) (192 posts)
+1
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Did it felt like going back in time,rookdygin? I like to know, since the house is old and might have attracted some lost or wandering spirits to live in this house, or the original owners of the house came back to haunt the living.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
A bit more information I found on the net...

As of 09DEC02 the Portsmouth Town Council was looking into a possible use of the Chase House...

"Mr. Little suggested that the art group wants Chase House at the bottom of the Quaker Hill, but perhaps consideration could be given when School Administration goes to Pennfield (Coggeshall) perhaps they could use the School Administration Building and the auditorium at Pennfield (Coggeshall)."

The quote is from town concil meeting on 09DEC02. It's not much information, but it is something.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Thanks for all the comments, let's see if I can answer some, if not all of your questions.

SnailBug- The house, for tax purposes, is/was valued at approx 6,500 dollars, the property it is a part of is/was valued at 1.6-2.0 millon dollars. At one point of time a construction company (developer), in order to keep it's building permit current, did some 'restoration' on the house... They removed the copala from the roof and knocked off the rear wing of the house. Once they were cleared to build on the back part of the property the 'restoration' was forgotten about.

Kecoughtan- The house was built in the late 1700's. John Chase lived there from 1876-1911. The address is/was 2492 East Main Road. The city re-numbered the blocks at one point in time. This house is on the corner of East Main Road (Hwy 138) and Quaker Hill Lane in Portsmouth, RI. It sounds as if you have the the right place, but life moved my family and I out of RI in 2003/04 and I didn't keep up with the details any longer.

I'm in Austin, Texas now. Retired Navy and returned to my home state so I don't think I'll be able to drive past the house anytime soon. The first picture I posted was from the tax records but it shows the house before the plywood was put up over the windows, when my wife and I had this experence there was plywood over the doors and windows of the first floor, a big reason we stoped when we saw the front door and the lamps on either side of it. When we went back the next day it was boarded up same as it had been. Which made us happy we chose not to knock, if I'd been single or if we didn't have kids we more than likely would have knocked but what would we have seen? Where would we have gone and could we have returned? I'm very happy to have my childern and to be a large part of their lives, I believe my wife and I made the right choice by not knocking.
BYLUYSTER (11 stories) (78 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
rookdygin-what a great story. It makes you wonder if you'll notice anything again as you drive by. I would certainly check it out every chance I had, especially with Halloween coming. Keep us posted. Take care. 😊
succubiluv (1 stories) (365 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Uhhhh, FRAWIN---I'm a male.

But that's a nice little scenario you paint.

What a shock if ol' man Chase showed up in the back seat of the car as soon as we got out of it!

😆 😆 😆
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-11)
Do you have any details on the date of construction of the house, rookdygin? Also are those small oblesik gravemarks in the foreground of the photo or just the remnants of a fence with stone posts?

Curious for details on the house, I searched Google. In 2003 the town commissioned the firm of Taylor & Partners to prepare a report recommending how they might fashion a Proposed Town Center. Tayler & Partners recommended using the Chase House as a cultural center because of its central location in town. Their brief summary also mentioned a petition with 1,600 signatures to save the house which was--at least, in 2003--privately owned, so usage would depend on sufficient financial incentives for the owner. But they provide no further details. Do you know anymore about the town's plans?

Transforming it for a cultural center means a lot of renovation and probably the removal of walls and altering the flow and a lot of the original fabric. Despite its forlorn exterior, your experience suggests that this stately house has quite a bit life left in it. Just a guess, but I imagine the inhabitants would prefer people living with them to massive alterations and the constant influx of strangers, befuddled tourists, and loud kids. Please let us know if you return for a visit. In the event that you never leave the house then at least FRAWIN can warn us not to enter, too! 😁
FRAWIN (guest)
+1
12 years ago (2008-10-10)
Hello rookdygin. I've got an idea, why don't we take succubiluv up on her offer. The four of us go there and wait and when the lights come on, the three of you go knock and I'll wait in the car. If you don't come back then I'll write The Chase House II 😜.

Seriously, when you think of the possibilities that laid on the other side of that door- knocking would be mighty tempting. Thank you for sharing your story with us, it was very interesting. Take Care.

FRAWIN 😊
PrincessKatie (7 stories) (420 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-10)
When I look at the house its a strange house to me. It doesn't look scary though. Its making me want to go for some reason. You should of knocked.
SnailBug (61 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-10)
I find it hard to believe that property is only valued at $6,500 - when and where was this appraisal? The home has historical significance due to its previous owner, and for its age as well. When was it built? Even a dismantled early 19th century home would be worth more than this one, and this one is not dismantled. Anyways, I enjoyed your story a lot.
succubiluv (1 stories) (365 posts)
 
12 years ago (2008-10-10)
Thanks for this story.
I find myself wishing you had knocked.
The account would be considerably extended had you done so.
A surprise ending, indeed.
And no one could have been playing a trick, right?

Let's all 3 of us go back there, and if its lit up again---let's knock! 😲

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