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VINEYARD GAZETTE - Documentary Filmmaker Buys Historic Whiting House

September 23, 2013

Remy Tumin Monday, September 23, 2013 - 1:23pm

 

The Old Parsonage house in West Tisbury, believed to be the second oldest home on the Island, has new owners.

 

The 17th century farmhouse owned by Tara Whiting and her brother Daniel Whiting sold to Eric Burns and Bonnie Lafave of New York city for $600,000. The deal was completed on Friday, Justin Manning of JJ Manning Auctioneers confirmed.

 

The house was scheduled to go to public auction on Sept. 28, but Mr. Burns and Ms. Lafave's pre-bid offer was accepted beforehand.

 

Reached by telephone on Monday, Mr. Whiting called the sale bittersweet.

 

"It's mixed emotions," he said, adding: "We're satisfied and hopeful that the new owners and the historic commission can do something together to preserve the house in West Tisbury as it stands.

 

"People have different feelings about the historic commission and designating houses there, but as far as my position on it, I'm glad that whatever goes there is going to look like it fits in West Tisbury."

 

The house dates to 1668 and served as the parsonage house for the West Tisbury Congregational Church from the 1700s into the 1800s. It has been in the Whiting family since 1852 and sits on three acres abutting the family sheep farm.

 

The house has been on the market since 2011. Tara and Daniel Whiting recently hired JJ Manning Auctioneers, a Yarmouth Port auction and brokerage firm, to sell the property. The property is assessed at $1 million and was listed in LINK, the Vineyard's multiple listing service, with an asking price of $833,000.

 

The center of the house is 17th century and was designed by Josiah Standish, son of Capt. Myles Standish, a Mayflower passenger and military advisor to Plymouth Colony. The house is one of 215 properties located in the town historic district. Mr. Burns and Ms. Lafave appeared before the historic commission earlier this month to inquire about the historic and building restrictions on the property.

 

Mr. Burns is a documentary filmmaker and Ms. Lafave is a documentary and radio producer. They are seasonal residents of Chilmark.