The Page family gathers historical evidence for their Bedford Homestead
Photo: Keller + Keller
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Gathering Evidence

Historians have had reason to believe the Nathaniel Page homestead was built between 1600 and 1720, an era known as the First Period, when British colonists first settled New England. Records show that the land was purchased in the mid-1600s, and the house's wood framing and original central chimney (long since dismantled) are common features of this era.

But homes built during the Georgian era, which followed the First Period and lasted from roughly 1720 to 1790, often resemble their older cousins. "We looked for details that would make this house fall into one camp or the other," says Cornish.

He and Grady inspected the rooms one by one and noted an attic door that likely dates from the 1600s. "What tells me this are the iron strap hinges, the thumb-latch closure, and the board-and-batten construction," says Cornish. The front door is built in a similar way.

Shown: Joe Cornish and homeowners Joe and Becky Titlow consult a reference book on early New England houses to match up architectural details.
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