Old Home Day
1638 - Town of Hampton - 1961
32 Mill Road
This house is a charming example of early nineteenth century Cape Cod construction. It was built by David Marston Leavitt at about 1830. For some unknown reason, Mr. Leavitt later exchanged this property with David Jonathan Garland who had built a house on Winnacunnet Road. For many years this branch of the Garland family lived in the house.
Several families have lived here in the twentieth century. Some Hamptonites remember taking piano lessons in the house when it was occupied by the Gookin family. People of a later generation recall pursuing art lessons in David Leavitt's shop when the Wholleys (Janice Newton [Wholley] Naves) lived in the house.
This old house has many unusual features for the visitor to see. An old fashioned bulkhead entrance to what was a little shop with a fireplace in the cellar gives credence to the story that the cellar room was once used by Mr. Leavitt as a cobbler's shop. Although Mr. Leavitt was a carpenter by trade, it is possible that he carried on the shoe-maker's craft between carpentry jobs.
The paneling around the fireplaces on the first floor of this house is of special significance to Hampton because it was taken from the ends of the old square pews in the fifth Meeting House erected in 1796. Visitors will also find interesting, the so-called "hate room" at the top of the stairs leading from the side of "funeral" entrance. The designation of this as the "hate room" derives from the fact that unless one was extremely wary and stooped low, the very low ceiling would give him a vigorous bump on the head, presumably knocking from his consciousness whatever hate he might be harboring. In the pantry of this house may be seen the old brick oven and laundry sink, those necessary utilitarian adjuncts to the living in the early nineteenth century.
In 1957, this house was purchased by the Misses Helen and Gertrude Clifford of Boston as a summer home and week-end retreat. The Cliffords plan to make this place their permanent home some time in the future.