New house on the Harvest to Holly Walking Tour

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:02

Warwick — The Ketchum House will be on the Warwick Historical Society’s Harvest to Holly Walking Tour for the first time when guests visit the society’s properties from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19 and 20. All eight properties, including the Shingle House and 1810 House, will be decorated for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The American Federal-style Ketchum House at 26 Church Street provides a setting for decorating that is unusual in Warwick. Some say it is the village’s only house of that architectural style, popular during the time period from 1783 to 1815 when the nation was developing its own personality. The revolution was past and the constitution establishing a federal government was being written and ratified in this period. Azariah Ketchum, a Revolutionary War veteran, fought under Col. Hathorn, who lived in the stone house at County Highway 1 and Hathorn Road. In addition to that tie with Warwick, Ketchum married the daughter of a Warwick farmer in 1781. The couple spent years in New York City where Ketchum’s excellent carpentry skills were in demand, often for Federal-style townhouses that were very popular among new housing stock. When the family moved to Warwick in 1809, Ketchum built the home on Church Street with a floor plan like the townhouses he had built in New York. The house also emulates Manhattan town houses, with its semicircular fanlight carving over the front door, narrow 12 over 12 glass-paneled windows, shutters on the windows, and six-panel doors. High ceilings, a staircase that is continuous to the attic, and elaborately carved mantles make a wonderful backdrop for holiday finery. The original wood carvings, inside and outside, are of excellent quality and have survived well. They are worth seeing even when they aren’t “dressed up” for the holidays. The tour is a fund raiser for the society. In addition to money from ticket sales, the society sells sponsorships for each building. Thus far Seeley and Durland Insurance is sponsoring the Old School Baptist Meeting House, and Mary Bradner is sponsoring the Carriage House at Baird’s Tavern, where an early physician’s office has been recreated from items used by her father-in-law, Dr. Morris Refrew Bradner, Sr. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for youth 5 to 17, and $15 for seniors 65 plus. Capacity is limited so reservations are a must. When making reservations, customers should indicate the day and time they wish to tour, and allow at least two and a half hours for the tour. Tickets can be purchased at, at Port of Call at 40 Main St. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on November 5, 6, 12 and 13, and by calling 986-3236.