Falmouth Field Guide

9 Princess Street

9 Princess Street, located on the west side of Princess between Trelawny and Lower Harbour Streets, is a classic nogged (also called Spanish walled) middling house built in Falmouth c. 1890-1930. While nogging—masonry used to infill a timber frame—was used in elite houses at the turn of the nineteenth-century, it was widely used in all construction by the turn of the twentieth century. Compared with historic plats of Falmouth, it appears that this property sits on a subdivision of a lot, an example of changes in land use and domestic organization in Falmouth at the turn of the twentieth century. The house is set back from the street to create a small front yard, and rests on cast-in-place concrete piers. The framing members of each interior wall are joined together, showing that the house was originally built as the three-room dwelling that stands today.

A timber frame building, the sills, corner posts, plates, and studs have been secured with lap joints and cut nails. The down braces, however, are simply butted and nailed together. All of the horizontal members, with the exception of the rear plate, are composed of short pieces, flat scarfed together and secured by pegs. The rear plate is a single large timber most likely recycled from an earlier house, mortised to allow for studs and posts, and slightly decorated on the interior with paint and beading. Other exposed wooden elements (door, window, and wall trims) on the house’s interior are also beaded, showing the continuation of this traditional finish into the 20th century. Yet roof framing members were undecorated and left visible on the house’s interior. The original roof was shingled, but is now covered in corrugated metal.

The plan—typical for turn of the century houses in Falmouth—consists of two large, adjacent rooms, approximately 9’ 10” square, and a smaller room at the front right. A covered porch occupies the front left front corner of the footprint and gives access to both the small front room and the large left room. Single doors connect each of the rooms on the interior and the large right room has another exterior door at the rear of the house. Windows in the larger rooms are six-over-six frame windows while the small front room features three-light casement sash windows, which may have been altered or replaced. The sidewalk to the house’s north leads to a newer, occupied, and well-maintained house directly behind the older structure.