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Clough House In Boston's North End Reopens After 2 Years With Reimagined Look

BOSTON (CBS) – Walking into the Clough House in Boston's North End is like taking a trip back in time.

It was built by mason Ebenezer Clough in 1715, eight years before he constructed the iconic Old North Church directly next door.

In recent times, the Clough House has stood as the gift shop for the Old North Foundation, a spot for visitors to buy some souvenirs after visiting the church.

But that changed during the coronavirus pandemic. Because of its small size, the Clough House has been shut down for the past two years. During that time, the foundation decided to reimagine the House, and they're finally going to get a chance this Friday to show off the changes to the public, when the Clough House reopens.

"We are very excited to open," Old North Foundation executive director Nikki Stewart said. "It's a space that's very special to us."

Inside, guests will find souvenirs made almost entirely by New England-based businesses, and with an emphasis on diversity.

"About 95 percent of the products you see are New England-made, and about 60 percent are made by business that are led by women," Stewart says.

The products range from maple syrup made in New Hampshire, Boston-themed spices, chocolates made locally and a tea named EqualiTea, made by Vermarje. The proceeds from that tea will go to support social justice causes.

The Clough House has also brought back an old favorite, The Printing Office of Edes and Gill, a recreation of the Revolutionary War-era print shop that played a central role in the rebellion.

The owner is Gary Gregory, who has brought the shop back to Clough after a stint at Faneuil Hall.

"It took me about five years to collect all these pieces and learn how to use them," Gregory says as he shows off his collection of antique presses, one of which is an original from 15th century France.

Gregory has learned how to set type and operate the presses, using them to create copies of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

He also has prints of Paul Revere's iconic Boston Massacre depiction and is eager to explain to visitors the role the printing press had in the Revolutionary War.

"I'm not the first person to say this, but without the printing presses in Boston, we don't have a revolution," he says.

You can see it for yourself starting 10 a.m. Friday. The Clough House is also open through the weekend, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Learn more here: https://www.oldnorth.com/

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