Medford parsonage and later occupants.
The gambrel roof was a feature of Colonial architecture, in favor in the first half of the eighteenth century-and now again largely used.
One of its early examples in Medford
was the Turell-Porter house
, (See Vol.
V. No. 1 Register for view). Built not long after Parson Turell
's settlement, (1725) it was duplicated by the Watson house
(1738-1912) in its original construction.
It occupied a conspicuous position at the turn of highway ere descending the hill to cross Meeting-house
There it faced both the road, and the sun at noon, and before it were planted the usual New England
It differed from the Watson house
, in that there were three dormer windows in its steep roof, which also projected more over the front wall.
It had the same elaborate finish around the entrance door, and substantial window frames with heavy blinds on all.
One great chimney with cavernous fireplaces was in the middle of the house, which sat low on the ground and was doubtless in early times banked in winter for warmth of cellar.
Like the Watson house
, it was enlarged rearward at a later date, but with the same style of gambrel roof, with skylights and larger chimney.
Mr. Caleb Swan
filed the following away at about 1856 relative thereto.
After Mr. Turell's death (1778) his house was occupied by Mr. Timothy Fitch from Nantucket, who married Mrs Plaisted a Quaker widow—he had previously owned the house of Mrs Saml Swan, [Watson house] which he bought of Mrs Samuel [p. 51] Angier about 1780. Mr Fitch died 28th Sept. 1790.
The house was then bought of Nathl Gorham, (son of Judge Gorham) and sold by him to John Coffin Jones, Merchant of Boston, in Dec. 1794. Mr Jones & family passed his summers there till April 1805, when he sold it to Josiah Bradlee, merchant of Boston, for $5,000. —Mr Bradlee sold it to Mr John Prince, Merchant of Boston, for his Father Dr John Prince formerly of Salem, widower—who lived there with his two daughters, Mrs Apthorp and Miss Patty, who married Judge Hinckley of Northampton about 1811.
Dr Prince married a daughter of the Hon. Richard Derby of Salem—she died before he came to Medford—The Dr was a Royalist during the Revolution, and went to Halifax with the English army on the evacuation of Boston in 1776, He was a tall slender man, and very deaf He moved to Jamaica Plain about 1811, and his son sold the house to James Prentiss, Merchant of Boston (Bond & Prentiss, who failed in 1813, for a large amount and paid 4 cents in the dollar)
Mr Prentiss lived there one Summer and sold it to Capt. Gilchrist in 1812, who moved in, but after a month or two, Mrs Gilchrist not liking the house, went back to his former house opposite to Mr. Bigelow's, and rented the house to Capt Ebenezer Stocker of Boston (formerly of Newburyport) who lived there one or two years, until his sudden death in Havana, of fever, when his family moved into Boston
In 1813 or 1814 Capt Gilchrist sold the house to Mr William Furness, Cashier of the Union Bank, Boston.
He died in April, 1836, aged 69, and the house was soon after sold to Mr Jonathan Porter, of rising reputation as a lawyer, until ill health compelled him to relinquish his profession
Later Mr. Swan
He died 11th June 1859, aged 67.
almost wholly confined to his house by spinal infirmity, the last 10 or 15 years.——
Over date of Aug. 8, 1888, is added with pencil:—
Since the old house was built, have come Purchase and Winthrop streets, then Porter
's lane, (now Rural avenue), and now Traincroft.
It is a far cry from its earliest days to the Winthrop
square and the electric cars of today.