Monday, January 6, 1997

Dr. John Howard Pugh House

Located at 214 High Street, the Dr. John Howard Pugh House, also known as the Counting House, was constructed as two houses circa 1709 and 1716. The two houses were converted to one large house after 1768, and further alterations were made in 1860. The house is an example of Georgian/Federal architecture.

Between 1767 and 1776, the house was occupied by Samuel Allinson, who authored a compilation of state laws from 1702 to 1776, and as a member of the Friends was prominent in local anti-slavery movements. His grandson, William J. Allinson, later opened a pharmacy in town.

Born in Pennsylvania, Dr. John Howard Pugh moved to Burlington in 1854, and lived in the house from 1857 until his death in 1905. During the Civil War, he served without compensation at the United States general hospital in nearby Beverly. After the war, he served in the House of Representatives from 1877 to 1879, then resumed his medical practice. Pugh was president of the Mechanics' National Bank of Burlington for thirty-six years, and served on the State board of education.

In 1945, historian Henry "Doc" Bisbee purchased the building. After some time it was sold to its present owner, John A. Hammer, CPA. The original marble stoop, white cedar floors and fireplaces of rare blue swirl marble on the first floor of the house have been preserved by Mr. Hammer, who regularly opens the building to visitors during street fairs and other special events. The second floor, which also retains its original cedar flooring, is currently undergoing restoration.

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