Westport’s Historic Handy House a Must for Local History Buffs
An artisan fair on the grounds of Westport's historic Handy House one recent Saturday was the lure it took for me finally to stop and explore. What makes the Handy House so incredible is how remarkably sound it is after all these years.
The Cadman-White-Handy House, also known as the Handy House, is a historic house museum operated by the Westport Historical Society at the northwest corner of Hix Bridge and Drift Roads, both roads equally historic as the home.
The Handy House is a 2.5-story wood frame structure with a side-gable roof and clapboard exterior. The house was built in the early 1700s, somewhere between 1710 and 1713, and was occupied by various residents until its most recent owner Eleanor Tripp passed away in August 2003 at 93 years old.
The Handy House, a "Rhode Island stone ender" design, was built in three stages through 1825.
The original owner of the Handy House, George Cadman, owned at least one Black slave, James, who was freed upon Cadman's death. The descendants of George Cadman may have also held slaves.
Cadman gave the house at 202 Hix Bridge Road to his only child, Elizabeth Cadman White, wife of William White. The Whites sold the property to Dr. Ely Handy of Rochester in 1794. Thirty years later, Handy's son Dr. James Handy took possession of the property.
New Bedford businessman Abbott P. Smith purchased the Handy House property in 1920 and Louis and Eleanor Tripp in 1936.
The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
The Westport Historical Society offers free tours of the Handy House on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of October. The Society also provides a rich history of the property and the region on its website.
Both are worth your time.
Check out the inside of the Handy House here: