Fireworks, barbecues, and parades are not all that Swampscott has to offer this holiday weekend. In fact, there is a once-a-year opportunity available on Monday, the Fourth of July.
The , one of the oldest houses in New England, will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m
This house, located on 99 Paradise Road, is often visited by students in elementary schools, yet is only available to the public once a year.
During the open house, tours will be given by, a member of the Swampscott Historical Society's Board of Governors.
“We give lighthearted tours and I tend to fool around a lot," Gallo said. "But there are things in the house that people need to know about."
According to Mary Cassidy, also a member of the Historical Society's Board of Governors, the John Humphrey House was built in 1637 on Elmwood Road. The land was given by the King of England to Sir John Humphrey, deputy governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In 1891 this house was moved from its original site on Elmwood Road to its current location, said Cassidy
On Monday, visitors can see the remains of a secret panel that hid a passageway leading into the chimney. This is where the homeowners could hide in a time of danger.
The Humphrey House is a museum of Swampscott’s history.
“Everything in the museum is either from Swampscott or related to people in Swampscott,” said Gallo.
Cassidy said that a few of the historical treasures held on display are a “Brown Bess” Revolutionary War rifle, a portrait of Civil War Colonel George Stetson whose large estate was near Stetson Avenue and an early Edison record player with six sets of earphones.
The Humphrey House has a long history of owners but in 1922 it became the home of the Swampscott Historical Society.
It continues to be maintained by the Historical Society and is on the National Register of Historical Buildings, she said.
“We’re hoping and would like to have the Humphrey House open to the public more often,” she said.