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A Glossary

May 2024
1min read


The main room of a colonial house, used for work, relaxation, cooking, eating, and sometimes sleeping.


The second room of a typical hall-and-parlor house, the “best room,” used for both sleeping and formal occasions.


The rear part of a hall-and-parlor house, which makes it look like a “saltbox.” Capen’s house doesn’t have one; in his day it was generally an addition, to be used as a kitchen.

Overhang or jetty

The part of an upper floor that projects beyond the floor beneath it.

Summer beam

A massive beam supporting an upper floor, clearly visible in the ceiling of the hall or parlor.


A decorative bevel on a post or beam, generally terminating in a “stop.” Pendant A decorative device suspended from an overhang.


A support for a beam or overhang, extending from a horizontal surface.

Casement window

A window that opens outward on hinges rather than sliding up and down as is typical for a sash window.

Diamond quarrel

A diamond-shaped pane of glass, typically in a casement window.

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