She's at home with history

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Every house has a story, and Marian Pierre-Louis is committed to discovering and preserving it.

"I've always loved old houses - I'm obsessed with them," said Pierre-Louis, vice president of the Medway Historical Society and founder of Fieldstone Historic Research, which tracks genealogical and house histories.

When homeowners learn about the people who lived in their house decades or even centuries before, the landscape of American history becomes all the more real to them, Pierre-Louis said, adding, "I would like to make that history more accessible to people."

Such research can play an important role in documenting and preserving history at any time, but nowadays there are more practical reasons for delving into a house's past. In a declining real estate market, in which homeowners are searching for unique features to help sell their properties, knowing a house's history and explaining it to buyers can make it stand out, Pierre-Louis said.

As part of the service her company provides, Pierre-Louis prepares booklets, on parchment paper, containing a summary of the home's history and previous owners, copies of deeds and census records, photographs and other materials relating to its past. She charges between $100 and $400 for compiling a history, she said.

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