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The use of carving wood in imitation of stone was unusual for a whole house in Providence at the time. Employing this material was more common both for the houses of the very rich in Newport during the mid-eighteenth century and for corner trim on houses here in the early nineteenth century. Barnes and his wife Joanna, daughter of Joseph Jenckes, built this house on land she inherited upon her father’s death; the clustering of family members near one another is a fascinating, not unusual, yet little-studied phenomenon (Nightingale-Brown House, John Brown House, Elizabeth Hazard Sturges HouseThomas Poynton & Hope Brown Ives House, Mary L. Hartwell & Joseph C. Hartshorn Houses, Mary Elizabeth Freeman Clifford House, and Clarke Freeman, Jr. House).

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