In addition to this year’s homes, the Fairbanks House, the oldest timber-framed building in North America, will again be on the House Tour. The Society’s current exhibits will also be on view. Houses included on the tour include:
The Rev. Alvin Lamson House, 1847: Rev. Alvin Lamson, minister of the First Church Unitarian, built the residence in 1847, in the fashionable Italianate style, with strong Gothic Revival overtones.
The Waldo Colburn House, 1870: The honorable Waldo Colburn, (1824-1885), a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, prominent local politician, and descendant of Dedham’s early Colburn clan, built this robust Second Empire style dwelling on an extensive plot of land which originally incorporated the entire street and extended down to the flats of the Charles River.
The Waldo Colburn Carriage House, 1870/1952: This residence was originally built as the carriage house for the Waldo Colburn house next door. The original utilitarian structure is now a charming residence, hidden from the bustle of downtown Dedham. The Carriage house was converted into a dwelling in 1952, when the property was split off from the main house. It has subsequently been added onto and, most recently, remodeled extensively by its current owners. It sits above the flat marshes extending to the banks of the Charles River.
The John Gardner House, 1845: John Gardner, a local Dedham builder, built and occupied this Gothic Revival style house, rare in Dedham. The current owners have created an oasis of gardens and paved terraces, which encompass and enhance home.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1859: The present church is in the Gothic Revival style, modeled on medieval parish churches of the English countryside. The Church is built of rough-cut Dedham granite. In 1869 the two-stage tower base forming the main entry was added along with the tall spire and gold cross. Structural flaws in the steeple required it be reconstructed in 1928. This year the church celebrates its 250th anniversary.
The Gay Tavern, c. 1745: One of Dedham’s most historic structures, the Gay Tavern stands at the junction of the Old Boston Post Road (Highland Street), and the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike, (Court Street). The tavern was established about 1750 by Benjamin Gay, whose grandfather John paddled his dugout canoe up the Charles River from Watertown, to found the Town of Dedham in 1636. Upon Benjamin’s death, his son Joshua kept good cheer within its walls until his death in 1781. His widow and son Timothy served food and drink, and provided lodging to travelers until the inn was sold 1807.
The John Coolidge House, c. 1812, is a late Federal house, believed to have been built for the Coolidge family. It may have started life as an early blacksmith’s shop operated by Jonathan Guild on land obtained under the Colburn Grant. The classic Federal dwelling visible today has been altered and added to over its almost 200 year lifetime.
For more information, call the Dedham Historical Society at 781-326-1385