Friday, September 5, 2008

Timber Framing Demonstration to take place on Derby Wharf

Seventeenth Century Saturdays will be enhanced this month by a special presentation at Salem Maritime National Historic Site. In addition to hosting an open house in the 1675 Narbonne House on September 6 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, the National Park Service will welcome master carpenter James Whidden and architect Mathew Cummings to Derby Wharf. Cummings and Whidden will demonstrate traditional timber framing techniques at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. In addition to showing some of the ways that posts and beams were joined by colonial carpenters, Cummings and Whidden will talk about the work they have done on some of the most historically significant 17th- and 18th-century houses still standing on the North Shore.

About James Whidden and Mathew Cummings
James Whidden is a master joiner, including timber framing. For over 20 years he has practiced the art of recreating early American woodwork, hoping to preserve a vanishing skill. His woodworking shop is in Ashburnham, Mass., but his projects are primarily on the North Shore including the Day-Dodge House (Ipswich, ca. 1737) and the Captain Sutton House (Ipswich, ca. 1685). Jim serves on the Ashburnham Historic Commission.

Seventeenth Century Saturdays
This presentation is part of 17th Century Saturdays, an Escapes North program to open the North Shore’s 17th century architectural treasures on the first Saturday of the month from June to October. For more information, and a list of participating historic buildings, visit

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