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Ancestral Home of the Manning Family
The Manning Manse was constructed in 1696 by Samuel Manning. The house is a wood frame structure, and stands today (2007) on the south side of the Billerica-Chelmsford Road (Mass. Rte. 129), about a half mile east of exit 29 from U.S. Route 3 (which connects Boston and Lowell).
The house faces south, following the style of the period in which it was built, and as a result has its back to the road. It is a two story building with a large central chimney. There are three fireplaces served by this chimney, facing three different ground floor rooms. The fourth side of this chimney is occupied by an elaborate stair leading from the entrance foyer to the second floor. There is a modern wing, extending away from the road, of only one story. The original house measured 41 feet along the road, and 31 feet from front to back. The front is a full two stories tall, with a roof which slopes sharply down to the rear (toward the road), giving the structure a kind of lean-to appearance when seen from the road. Land in the vicinity of the Manse is known as the Warren H. Manning State Forest. Warren H. Manning was a direct descendant of Samuel Manning. He was born in 1860 at Reading, Mass. In his life he became famous in New England as an authority on botanical topics, and he was a dedicated forester. In 1899 and 1900 he was instrumental in efforts to preserve the Manse, and was a founder of the Manning Association which owns the house today. In 1902 (as of the publication of the Manning Genealogy) he resided at Brookline, Mass.