Several of Boston’s centuries-old properties still stand today and are suitable as private investment residences, though they may require building rehabilitation. Each of these five properties has a unique historical significance.
735 Columbia Road – James Blake House
Boston’s oldest home, James Blake House, was built in 1661. The Dorchester residence currently sits about 400 yards from its original location. The home’s West England framing style is rare in the United States. Today the building still has many of its original plaster and lathe walls.
617 Boylston Street – The President Was Here
Located on Fisher Hill overlooking the Brookline Reservoir, the mansion at 617 Boylston Street has a family room that dates to 1680. Major additions were made to the home in the 1730s and in 1850. This home has several connections to America’s early history. It’s the childhood home of Susanna Boylston Adams, the mother of John Adams who was the second President of the United States. Adams himself mentioned visiting 617 Boylston Street in correspondence. Peter Boylston, Susanna’s father, eventually sold the home to his brother Zabdiel, a prominent physician. Dr. Boylston gained fame for introducing inoculations to the American colonies during a smallpox outbreak in Boston.
521 Hammond Street – The Judge’s House
Built in 1749, the Georgian colonial at 521 Hammond Street was once home to Judge John Lowell. Over the course of his life, Lowell served as a delegate to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, a state Senator, and a delegate to the Continental Congress. Lowell became a judge after George Washington nominated him to the U.S. District Court. President John Adams nominated Lowell to be a Chief Judge at U.S. Circuit Court. Lowell served there until his death in 1802.
309 High Street – Charles Brooks House
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Charles Brooks House is a colonial built circa 1765. The home’s name and historic significance derive from its former occupant, Rev. Charles Brooks, who was involved in the establishment of normal schools in the United States.
391 Dedham Street – Ebenezer Stone House
Ebenezer Stone was the first resident of this Georgian colonial, which was constructed as a farmhouse circa 1788. He was a direct descendant of the Stone family who had settled the area in the 1600s. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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