Last word on painted rooms


 “The Smith-Appleby house in Smithfield is a near-perfect example of succeeding generations building on what is already there. An 1810 addition to the house, originally built in 1696, revealed a hidden historical treasure during its careful renovation in the late part of the last century.

“I visited in 1981, just after the wallpaper had been stripped and was able to discern stencil designs in four rooms on the first floor and in front hallways and the stairway from the first floor to the attic,” Brown writes in “Painted Rooms,” as she speaks of the detective work involved with old houses. “Many of the designs suggested work by the elusive J. Gleason, but it would require finding and studying many more walls over the next 15 years to attribute the stenciling in a group of Northwestern Rhode Island houses to J. Gleason.”

Read the article, “Last word on painted rooms,” by Joe Kernan.

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