Bennett Hill was originally commissioned to be built by Michael Simpson who is believed to have been a mill owner originally from Fitchburg. The house was completed between November 1880 and November 1881. Mr. Simpson owned the house until 1887. The house then changed hands two more times before George Bennett purchased the building in 1910 and subsequently the landin 1921.
George Bennett was very successful builder at the time and constructed windmills and water storage tanks. What makes this George's achievements somewhat remarkable was that he was also handicap! At the age of 21 he had his leg amputated and wore a prosthetic leg for the remainder of his life. As you can imagine in the early 1900's it would have been quite a feat (pardon the pun :) to get around much less run a successful building firm! The (untrue) stories of the leg being stored posthumously in the attic at Bennett Hill would provide later generations with ghost stories and scares for years to come.
Since 1910 the Bennett family has kept the house as close to its original state as possible. With very few upgrades or changes. The kitchen, showers and the majority of the plumbing are still separate from the main house. Electricity was added to the house but only one outlet and light per room. To this day the visible wiring of a much older time still lines the ceilings and walls throughout the house.
The Yellow and Brown House, still in its original colors, has always been the beacon to look for to anyone who has been to the island. The first sighting of the two red chimneys is how you knew the beach was just a few minutes away. The fact that the Bennett Hill house is included in so many Plum Island paintings and photographs in stores and galleries throughout the North Shore demonstrates how much of a Plum Island icon it has become.
Bennett Hill has been maintained by four generations of Bennett's Starting with George Bennett who passed the house to Ester Bennett, a lifelong physical Therapist. Ms. Bennett worked and maintained the house well into her 80's before passing it over to Ralph Bennett, the current family patriarch. Ralph retired from the elevator union and passed the house to his children who maintain the property now - John and Sarah (Bennett)Depoian. John is a carpenter and small engine mechanic and Sarah is a human resources manager.
After the Hercules storm system wiped out most of the hill and threatened to topple the house into the sea, an emergency rock seawall was built to keep the house on top of the hill for years to come! However the cost of the wall, far exceeded what the family was expecting or situated to bare at over 120 thousand dollars. Which is why this page was created to help this blue collar working family keep this historical Landmark looking over the island.
Our goal is to raise $100,000, which is the amount needed to pay for the sea wall. If we can somehow collect enough money to pay for the wall we will have a celebratory gathering for all donatees at Bennett Hill when the wall is complete. No donation is too big or too small. We appreciate your love & support.
The Bennett Family
DonationsSee top donations
- Stephen Albano
- John Benedict
- David Wise
- Kellianne Thayer
- Bryan Deshler
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more