PORTSMOUTH -- Anyone with $289,000 to spend and without an aversion to ducking through doorways can pick up one of the oldest houses on the island.
The Philip Sherman House, 168 Fairview Lane, has been for sale for more than a year, according to Bill Maynard, who, with partner Mark Anderson, has owned the house since 1987.
"Rhode Island Colonial Records 1636-1663," an 1856 book edited by then Secretary of State John Russell Bartlett, lists Sherman as one of the signers of the Portsmouth Compact. He held several offices in Portsmouth, including being a member of the Court of Commissioners for the town.
The house dates to 1670. It originally was on what became East Main Road but was moved to the present location in the 18th Century.
Maynard said he and Anderson bought the house to restore it and have taken great pains to ensure the house retains it's historical flavor.
The pair spent about a year researching and restoring the house to conform to 17th and 18th century specifications. Putting 18th Century glass in the front windows was one of the projects.
Maynard declined to say how much the two spent on restoration except to say it was a "sizeable amount."
He said they did all the work themselves. With time and labor, "It's difficult to put a finger" on the amount spent on the house, he said.
"We're not going to make much money" selling the house at $289,000, he said.
The house features wide-planked pine floors, with the original upstairs floor worn down by traffic over the years so that the knots stick up. The house also has beamed and [sentence missing from article] -inal doors and hardware and four fireplaces, three of which are safe, Maynard said. One in an upstairs bedroom is too shallow for a safe fire, he said.
The selling price originally was $375,000 Nancy Henning, agent with the Carey Richmond & Viking Real Estate Office, said the buying market in that price range has been "a little slow."
Maynard said house prices in general have fallen 30 percent in the area.
[beginning of sentence missing from article] because of its age.
The doors have been a problem in selling the house, he
said. Some prospective buyers have balked at the low doorways. Maynard,
at 5 feet 9 inches tall, has to duck.