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Spacious Cherokee grew from an icehouse

Welcome to Cherokee.

The spacious North River home Cherokee started life as an icehouse, built in the 18th century.It was typical of the icehouses of that century. In form, it was circular. In construction, it was of brick, with walls 8 inches thick. The icehouse was two stories, with dirt piled halfway up its walls to provide insulation for the ice kept inside.

In 1922, William Fleet Taliaferro and his wife Elizabeth Stewart Taliaferro lived next door at The Exchange and the icehouse was part of the property. With a great deal of work, they converted the icehouse into a lovely retirement dwelling. They added a front door on the river side, grand windows, and an addition to include bathroom, kitchen and dining room. Cherokee is now home to Gayle and Hunter Merrill.

Elizabeth Taliaferro, an artist and a founder of the Gloucester Library, described the conversion for an article in the Gazette-Journal when the house was opened for Garden Week in 1956:

An ancient photo shows C...

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