Excerpted with minor edits from the project: If This House Could Talk (Author: Laurie Sheffield)


If this house could talk it would tell you that it was built in 1895 as a boarding house―a neighbor’s grandmother boarded in this house as a young woman. In 2000, the house still had a dirt floor.

From 1962 to 2000, Walter and Phyllis Sullivan owned and lived in 217-219, raised four children and were active participants in Cambridgeport life. Walter was a founding parent of Central Baseball League and Phyllis served on the Morse School PTO as well as working as a teacher’s aide. She also knit beautiful mittens and gave them away.

Current owners have found medicine bottles, a horseshoe, crumbling old oyster shells and a darning egg while digging in the backyard.

Fragments of the 1885 Boston Herald were found in the walls of 217-219 during renovation—sadly unreadable!