Although I have never considered myself a history buff, I have always been fascinated with historical buildings. There is one particular building in Burlington that has always had my attention. The Kent Cottage is an old stone building that sits alone along one of Burlington's high tech roadways, Network Drive. From the front, the boarded up old house appeared to have darkened windows but when you look closely, you will see that they are not actually windows. They are boards designed to look like windows...very well done! From the side, the doors and windows are boarded up and a small, hidden addition sits in back.
For years, I never knew the history of this building or what it was called. But thanks to Google and lots of attempts at creative keywords, I found this great article written by Dina Accardi on www.wickedlocal.com. The article explains that the house was built in 1851 "for John Kent (1798-1870), a wealthy brewer from Charlestown who was born in Haughley, Suffolk County, England". He lived there with his daughter, Helen, until he passed away in 1870. Helen continued to live in the house until 1897. It appears that there were other residents of the house after the Kent family, but for years it has remained unoccupied.
When I read about the potential development of this building, I knew I had to get inside of the building and take pictures before it was renovated. With the help of the Burlington Planning Board, I was put in contact with Nordblom Company who currently owns the property. They so kindly allowed me access with my camera!
I was accompanied by one of their facility staff members who was armed with a flashlight. Even with that sole source of light, the building was pitch black and I couldn't see anything at all. I was shooting blindly with my camera and flash and I really had no idea what I was looking at until I downloaded the photos from my memory card. It's probably a good thing that I couldn't see what I was shooting because I may have run away! As you will see, the building was loaded with water and fire damage, mold and lots of holes in floors and ceilings. I was disappointed that I wasn't allowed up the stairs until I saw the images of the stairs and the underside of the bathroom floor with the cast iron tub exposed. Ok, I guess I am good with just the first floor.
This satisfied some of my curiosity of the Kent Cottage and hopefully will provide some insight to others who have wondered about this very old structure.