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Built in 1685 in Madison, Conn., the Deacon John Grave House had been added to three times. The house had been used as a tavern, a court, a school, a hospital, a meeting house, and continuously, until 1978, as the residence of the Grave family. Recently, when local residents banded together to save the place, the Deacon John Grave House was a two-family dwelling of combustible construction, further defined by code as "unprotected," meaning that the structural members had no fire-resistance rating. In short, Deacon John's place was the lowest form of building life allowed to be occupied by humans. The owner's goal was to restore the main house for use as a public museum, and to keep the caretaker's apartment.