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On the Block

For sale: Houses with literary pedigrees

These 19th-century properties played host to legendary local authors.

230 Summer St., Plymouth

$519,000

230 SUMMER STREET / PLYMOUTH

SQUARE FEET: 3,821

LOT SIZE: 2.24 acres

BEDROOMS: 6 BATHS: 3 full, 1 half

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LAST SOLD: 1988; price unknown

PROS Designed by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s younger brother Samuel, “Hillside” was built by Benjamin Marston Watson in 1845 as a lush garden retreat — one that his transcendentalist friends, including Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, enjoyed visiting. The large kitchen has an original fireplace, church-pew seating, and a bright butler’s pantry. A grand living room with a wood stove, floor-to-ceiling windows, and an arched library alcove seems designed for conversation and hints at the home’s history as a poet’s retreat and, later, a bed and breakfast. Three full bathrooms serve the upstairs bedrooms, with a half bath downstairs. Gothic flourishes include the graceful arched doorway that opens to the porch and yard. CONS Much to Thoreau’s likely dismay, the property now abuts Route 3.

Sheri Eubanks, Tarantino Real Estate, 339-933-3050, sheri_tarantinore@gmx.com

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$750,000

18 CHESTNUT STREET / SALEM

SQUARE FEET: 4,258

LOT SIZE: 0.07 acre

BEDROOMS: 7 BATHS: 3 full

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LAST SOLD FOR: $24,500 in 1965

PROS The Botts-Fabens House (circa 1796) in the McIntire Historic District is the oldest home on Chestnut Street, predating the boulevard itself. Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family lived here in 1846 and 1847, three years before The Scarlet Letter was published. Despite modifications made over the years, many Federal-era details remain, such as 12-over-12 windows, wide wood floors, and eight fireplaces — including in the kitchen and several bedrooms. A labyrinthine layout connects more than a dozen rooms on three floors, with a full bath on each. The in-law suite on the second floor has a small kitchen. CONS Needs quite a bit of cosmetic work.

Paula Pickett, Coldwell Banker, 781-913-6663, paula.pickett@nemoves.com