Our Story

The Story of the Jenney House

Catch our vision for the future!

Although the house was recognized for years, the treasures hidden within had long been forgotten until 1969. It was then that Warren Miliken and his wife Alice bought the house. During some renovations Warren uncovered curious timbers, trading beads and children’s hand prints in the 17th century horsehair plaster walls. The timbers had been skillfully notched by hand and eventually proved to be those same timbers from the 1622 fort, used in the 1675 watch house and later given to Samuel Jenney to add a dwelling onto the counting house in 1679. With the help of Dutch Reconstructionist architect Ret. B. Offringa and many years of research the design of the original fort could be determined. The surviving corresponding timbers were identified in the back addition on the house. These are now clearly seen and labeled in the lower level of the home. The recreation of what the original fort looked like can be seen downstairs in the Samuel Jenney addition as well. Along with the timbers and drawings of the original fort, one can still see the 1623 malting floor and kiln and if you have a good sense of smell perhaps a remnant scent of John Jenney’s beer, from the first microbrewery in America.

We are in the process of verifying all of the information from Mr. Miliken, but never the less we will be telling the Pilgrim story from this house. 

The Damage

In January of 2008 the Milliken trustees, not wanting to care for the old house any longer, signed over the house to our non-profit. The condition of the house was very poor as can be seen here in the photo. Drained of all its money and damaged from a water leak, the house is in dire need of repair, but we are up to the challenge!

Phase One:

We have completed phase one. We now have office space, exhibit spaces, restrooms and a gift shop. The Jenney Museum opened in 2012.  We have two exhibit rooms in which will allow us to expand all of our educational programs. We are beginning to work on phase two and need your help.

Phase Two:

We are working on the basement area this winter. There will be two rooms in this exhibit, which will focus on the family. The walls are up in most of the area. There is still work to be completed, but we are hopeful it will be ready this season. Detail about the exhibit will be announced soon. Once this area is complete we will be working on the garden area in the backyard.

Click on the link below to take a look at this video done by Mark Brown, a descendant of Pilgrim John Jenney.  Mark sees our vision for the house.  Many things are possible.  We do need help.  If you would like to help please email or call us. We need financial help, hands-on help and creative ideas.

Grist Mill Corn Exchange