Saturday, September 03, 2011

Bird Homestead in Rye Made it Through Irene Unscathed

I had been wondering how the Bird Homestead, on Milton Road in Rye (and the Rye Meeting House, which is next door) fared in the coastal flooding that that part of Rye is notorious for, so I sent an email off to Anne Stillman, who heads the Committee to Save the Bird Homestead. Both buildings back onto Blind Brook, where it flows into Milton Harbor. Here's what she said:

The buildings did quite well. The Meeting House took in some water, but it flowed out again relatively quickly with the tide. Nothing inside was damaged. We had lifted the furniture off the floor, and the floors dried out nicely with all the doors and windows open the following day.

A large branch fell on the roof, which punctured partially, but we need to repair the roof anyway. I figured it survived the hurricane of 1938, so it's chances were pretty good.

Meanwhile, despite flooding on the property all around it, the Bird House stayed dry. Greek Revival houses are generally built on a rise in the landscape and have high foundations that require a flight of steps to the entrance, in imitation of Greek temples. These characteristics have served the house well through many floods.

I thought the had a new website but I can't find it. Here's their Facebook page tho.

9/5 Update: The website is


Blogger Sam said...

Glad to see positive reports like this, and I'd like to comment about related posts below about the "immeasurable amount of toxics" from the sewage and runoff. These storms actually are a way to naturally blow out the lands and back-bays so as to clean them out from all that bad stuff, and flooding allows silt and organics to fertilize things as well. With the spring tides, good flushing, and some cooler temperatures, I thing things will be better in the net sum.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous M. Bird-Buendia said...

Their new website (which looks AMAZING, and has almost all of the basic text it needs most) is:

They are having a "First Look at the Meeting House" fundraiser, with hors d'ouerves & comments from an architect, on Saturday, September 24th. I hope that some of the followers of your blog will attend, and support the hard work and dedication of the amazing volunteers -- like Anne Stillman, Suzy Allman, and many others -- do to protect, preserve, and restore this unique little place.

I won't be there, because I live in Portland, Oregon. But I am one of Junius Bird's grandchildren, and dearly love the house that was in my family for so long, and the tidal inlet it sits on. Thank you for writing about it in your blog, and I hope to stay in touch with you, to be in touch with anyone else who is interested in that special place, and to help in any way I can with the work that's underway there.

I don't have AIM or a Google account, which is what is asking me for, but if someone out there is interested in the Bird Homestead/Meeting House project, please feel free to email me, at:

1:11 AM  

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