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Sep 08, 2017

Remembering Abbott Lowell Cummings

Abbott Cummings remembering

Image couresty of J. David Bohl.

Full obituary article can be found at

Abbott Lowell Cummings wrote the book on New England’s first houses, and it wasn’t a simple task. He was in his 20s when he began his research and in his 50s by the time “The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, 1625–1725” was published. In 1979, his work received the Laurence L. Winship Book Award at the Globe’s annual book festival.

“I worked 30 years on my book,” he told the Globe upon hearing that “Framed Houses,” which included more than 300 illustrations, would be honored. “I’ll concede 30 years is a long time to work on a book, but I started this research for my master’s thesis in college.”

Though he focused on the homes that the earliest settlers from England built in Massachusetts, Dr. Cummings saw in their work the foundation of a larger part of US history.

“He was one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met,” said Peter Lynch, who for years was a trustee and treasurer of the preservation society, which is now called Historic New England