Historic Barrington home torn down

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It served as a tavern during the Revolutionary War and later was home to a cable ferry that ran across the Barrington River.

But on Wednesday morning, Dec. 11, the James Bowen House at 24 New Meadow Road in Barrington, reached the end of the line, as crews demolished the 243-year-old house that sat upon a little more than a half-acre of land on the western side of New Meadow Road.

The owner of the property, Paul Mainella, pulled a demolition permit for the home on Nov. 25, and abutters to the property were notified by mail shortly thereafter.

Mr. Mainella, who lives at 32 New Meadow Road, said the home was badly damaged last February when its hot water radiators froze and burst, unleashing 100,000 gallons of water throughout the home. Mr. Mainella said work was done in an effort to salvage the structure, but the damage was too great.

"We loved that house," he said.

The James Bowen House carried a Barrington Preservation Society plaque, noting that the property was historically significant. It was also listed as such in the town's comprehensive  community plan: "Two-story, center chimney Colonial house enlarged by a two-story gable roof ell on the west side. Bowen was a farmer who ran a cable ferry across the river. During the Revolution, the house was used as a tavern. The site includes a late 19th century barn close to the river."

Mr. Mainella said another resident, Roger Cole, stopped by prior to the demolition to claim the historic plaque. He said Mr. Cole was actually related to the original owner, James Bowen.

It had nine rooms, including three bedrooms.

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