Historic homes signs planned for Sumner Hill

The Sumner Hill Association (SHA) is readying mini-history lessons about houses in the neighborhood.

The “If This House Could Talk” project, recently announced in the SHA’s newsletter, would post signs outside notable houses with brief facts about their history.

“We’ve got such an incredible amount of history in our neighborhood. You walk past things with history all the time,” said Michael Epp, a Greenough Avenue resident involved in the effort.

The neighborhood, known for a wealth of Victorian period houses, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It sits east of Centre Street roughly between Seaverns Avenue and Sedgwick and Everett streets. One local house at 14 Roanoke St. has long had a historic marker noting it as the former home of the Dole family of pineapple company fame.

The new signs could include such information as historic house styles, notable dates and famous past owners and visitors, Epp said.

Epp’s house at 7 Greenough Ave., for example, was home to the first woman elected to the Massachusetts state legislature, Susan Fitzgerald.

The sign project has been underway most of this year, according to an SHA newsletter.

“We’re still in the process of hitting critical mass” for the project, Epp said. “It’s going to be a while. It’s an all-volunteer effort and were still getting drafts out.”

The project is inspired by a similar effort in Cambridge.

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