Historic houses adorned with plaques populate New England like nowhere else in the country. These plaques note the construction year and original owner of the house, but they tell nothing about the rich lives of the people who lived there. In House Stories, Beth Luey takes readers on a virtual walking tour of several historic houses in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, a small New England coastal town, inviting us in to learn each house’s secrets.
Through letters and diaries, church and business records, newspaper accounts, legal documents, and the recollections of neighbors who knew them, Luey introduces the diverse cast of historical characters who lived in these houses at various times from 1800 to the 2000s, including a Japanese castaway and his rescuer, a self-made millionaire, a seagoing adventurer, a religious pioneer, and an entrepreneurial immigrant. All of the houses are still standing and all but a lighthouse are still called home. In House Stories, Luey asks readers to join her as she considers the multiple meanings of “home” for these people and their families.