32 India Street

32 India Street circa 1880
32 India Street circa 1880

If you’re in the market to purchase a historic Nantucket house, we may have found one for you! A new listing came on the market, 32 India Street. Listed for $2,495,000 the historic Nantucket house has four bedrooms, two full baths, one half baths, parking and even a cute little yard! Below is an excerpt featuring the history of 32 India Street from the NPT Neighborhood Book Series titled: Off Centre: The Wesco Acre Lots.

The present day yard of 32 India Street
The present day yard of 32 India Street

“In 1803, mariner Peleg West bought the land at 32 India Street for $350. He went to sea, and his wife, Elizabeth, who held a power of attorney for her husband, sold the land – along with “our part of the dwelling house in which we now live which descended to us from our honoured father Thomas Bunker late of Nantucket, deceased, being the two west chambers and a privilege in the garret and cellar and yard” – to Peleg’s father, Charles, a ship carpenter, for $725. Charles sold the property back to Peleg, for the same price, in 1807. The sale to Charles may have been a way for Elizabeth to have some cash on hand while she and her two young daughters, living in her father’s house, waited for Peleg to return; a successful voyage allowed him to repay his father and build a new house at 32 India, where the family lived until 1815, when they sold it for $1,600 to mariner Calvin Bunker.

b6b26332It may have been blacksmith Benjamin Knowles who added the Greek Revival elements to the house in the 1930s; his deed to Henry Ingman DeFriez in 1837 refers to “the same premises which I now improve.” Greek Revival doorways and proticos had become the popular architectural fashion statement of hte day on Nantucket, and must have kept carpenters busy crafting the embellishments for the houses of the well-to-do. Few on the island were on solid financial footing in the 1860’s, however, when the economy failed due to the demise of the whaling industry. DeFriez sold the house at 32 India Street for $750 in 1866, to confectioner Francis B. Washburn, who managed to get only $400 for the property when he sold it three years later.”

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