Built in 1798 by Edward Barrett, who developed the town of Falmouth in the 1770s, this house was the finest example of a distinctive building type in Falmouth: the merchant house and store. The family lived in the (now missing) timber-framed structure on the upper floor of the house; the lower masonry floor served as a shop and warehouse. When aligned side by side, the projecting upper stories of these merchant houses created a covered shopping arcade to protect the prized pale complexion of English ladies from the intense Caribbean sun. The Barrett House sat across the street from Barrett Wharf, one of the townâ€™s major wharves. Goods from England only traveled a few hundred yards before they were stored and offered for sale in the ground floor shop of this house.
Water Square and Market Street District
“Barrett House,” The Falmouth Project, accessed October 4, 2022, http://falmouth.lib.virginia.edu/items/show/960.