Pingrey Hill

Many years earlier, on leaving Alfred, we had agreed that on my retirement we would return to the area around Alfred. Now, as we spent another two summer weeks or so camping on our land in Alfred, we started looking for a suitable building site on one of the surrounding hills with a good view, where we would build a house. We eventually found a beautiful site in nearby Andover with an old, dilapidated house on it. It had been the old Pingrey House, on Pingrey Hill Road.

While still at Brandeis, we bought this old house and worked for a number of years during vacations to get it into shape. This was a major project; we moved partitions around, had it rewired, put in an additional bathroom, and made other major repairs in which I was mostly engaged. Peg did all the finishing and seaming on the new sheet rock, wall papered all the rooms, refinished several doors, and painted all wood surfaces such as door frames and floor boards. Of course, there soon was a garden.

At one early point, all five of us in our family were busy giving the entire house two coats of paint, after we had replaced many clapboards and used tons of putty and reset the loose clapboards. The house was on a dirt road on a corner at the top of one of those beautiful hills, and we later heard that as local farm people drove by and saw us all working hard and restoring that dilapidated old house, our stock went up among them; we were their kind of people!

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