Historic home on the market


Northborough – Looking for a place that has been the home of historians, writers and friends of poet Emily Dickinson? Just a few miles from Northborough center, the house at 103 Bartlett has more than 150 years of memories and history, and is available for the right price.

Facing southwest, the L-shaped Second Empire home is twoand a-half stories tall and contains two cor- belled chimneys. Curved roofed dormers give way to a spectacular Mansard roof that has embellishments throughout and at its base. Other distinctive features are the one-story enclosed porch and the neighboring two story barn with a wooden clapboarded gable roof.

“The house is absolutely fabulous,” Realtor Susan Getz said. “They had a historic narrative done on the home and it’s one of the best examples of a Mansard roof in the area.”

Getz said that there has been much excitement about the house and that the owners are hoping to close on it soon.

“A lot of people are familiar with the house,” said Town Historian Robert Ellis. “There’s no famous name there, but it’s an interesting home.” Ellis has lived in Northborough since 1966 and has been the town’s historian for the last 15 years. Interested in illuminating Northborough history, Ellis has written features on former inhabitants of the home and joked that it “looks spooky – like something out of ‘Psycho.’”

The residence at 103 Bartlett is just as beautiful as it is historic. Northborough was settled in 1650 and was incorporated as a town in 1776. The town’s success was ensured in 1855 when a railroad was built through it. While some claim the home was built in 1850, 103 Bartlett St. did not appear on an atlas until 1870, when it was owned by George L. Chesbro.

Chesbro, a businessman and an original Trustee of the Northborough Town Library, lived in the home (occasionally keeping livestock) until around 1880. For the next 22 years, it was passed around and rented until retired Rev. Henry Emmons purchased it in 1902.

Emmons was a friend of poet Emily Dickinson, whom he met during his studies at Amherst College. The two exchanged letters and books for years and Dickinson described him as “a beautiful new friend.” Emmons even became engaged to Dickinson’s friend, Susan Phelps, before he broke it off to join the ministry in 1860.

During his time on Bartlett Street, Emmons built a windmill and pump and housed many women who were school teachers in the area. He died in 1913 and was buried in town.

Waldo Cushing was the next purchaser of the home and he installed a greenhouse and hen house that was used by the home’s next resident, William Haskel, a noted Northborough activist, writer, poultry-man and resident. Haskel was active in the Historical Society, giving lectures and readings from famous historical locations.

After being occupied by the Tibert family, the Weber family has owned the home since 1962. After the death of the family’s patriarch, the home was split up and eventually, three of his six children inherited it.

“It has a lot of sentimental value to us,” said Leslie Gustafson, one of the three children. The family has created a website (www.savethisoldsecondempirehouse.com) dedicated to keeping the structure from being leveled. The site features a detailed history of the residence and a selection of pictures that illustrate one of Northborough’s only Second Empire homes.

The house at 103 Bartlett St. will soon sell to new owners who will make their own history. With any luck, the Weber family and countless others will be able to view this historical home in all its glory for years to come.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=7956

Posted by on Sep 24 2010. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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