July 18, 2021 by Nancy and Frank Mellen
Our home at 182 North Street, known as the Samuel Lincoln House, was struck by a car on July 15th, crashing through the left front of the house and largely destroying the front den and various antiques, etc. It was a truly horrific experience to jump out of bed and run into our den to see an SUV half-buried in the remains of the outer wall and a roomful of shattered furniture and other possessions strewn throughout the space.
To all the wonderful neighbors on or around North Street and friends in other parts of town, we were so touched by so many people’s response to our situation. The offer of houses and guest suites for weeks and months were multiple and even included people we hadn’t previously met. The Historical Society made some of its facilities available so that we had access to a bathroom, shower, stove, etc., if needed. Neighbors brought food, drinks, and well wishes. In addition, we received an offer of two teenage boys to move rubble if needed. The responses were so heartfelt and goosebump-inspiring! Thank you all for everything you have offered and done. We were able to get back into our home later that day, but this fact has no bearing on the tremendous support we received from so many good folks. We will never forget your kindness and generosity.
On another note, we strongly believe that the town will need to do something about this stretch of North Street. Prior to this car having landed in our front room, there have been at least four prior hits or near-misses on our house. One hit the telephone pole before our house; two hit the telephone pole at the end of our house; and about 20 years ago, one snapped off our front door granite posts which hit the house and dumped the gas tank at the front door. Not only houses have gotten hit, but there have also been a number of close calls between cars and pedestrians. North Street, where it enters and exits the Square, sees people frequently exceeding the speed limit, which we believe is already too fast. North Street is currently being repaved, which will exacerbate the speeding problem immensely. Due to the density of houses in proximity to the Square, the speed limit should be posted and enforced at 15 miles an hour. We would like to see at least a couple speed bumps/humps along our section of North Street, one near the pedestrian crossing just west of us, and one near the Lincoln statue, to slow these cars down. We simply cannot continue to live in constant fear of reckless, distracted drivers crashing into our home or those around us.
Nancy and Frank Mellen
182 North Street