Historic Homes

Modern Living in a Historic Home: 33 Main St., Westford, MA

33 Main Street, Westford MAAs a life-long fan of historic homes, I’m thrilled and honored to share our latest listing — the impeccably restored and lovingly maintained property at 33 Main St., Westford. This home is a classic 4-square design Greek Revival with a service and workroom wing off the back of the house. It includes all original materials including hand-cut nails. And it is unique in having both the character and details of a historic home and the modern amenities desired by most families — central air-conditioning, loads of storage space with built-in shelves and cupboards, a utility/mud room, built-in pool, a 2-car garage, and much more.

Located in the heart of Westford, within in easy walking distance of the library, arts center, and town common, the 2-acre property enjoys a front-row seat for community events including Westford’s apple blossom festival and the annual group photo session for Westford Academy’s senior prom. Easily accessible from both 495 and 128 and boasting top-ranked public schools, this property is a perfect fit for families, hobbyists, gardeners, hikers, nature appreciators, history buffs, and anyone who appreciates a strong sense of community.

Historic DoorknobAnd one of my favorite parts of an older home is the story — and this home has the most well-documented story I’ve ever seen! Originally a 10-acre working farm, the first house was built in 1797 (known as the Cogswell house), which Sherman Dewey Fletcher (SDF) disassembled and then reused some of the materials when he built the current structure in 1848 — an early example of balloon framing, a technique still used today.

Sherman Dewey Fletcher is an interesting character — after serving 8 years as a messenger to the national House of Representatives in Washington, DC and marrying Emily A. Fletcher, he built this house and settled in as a gentleman farmer and merchant. Per historical documents, he operated the local general store (across the street) with his father-in-law until 1873. He farmed on the property, specializing in blackberries, raspberries, grapes, currants, and apples, which they shipped to Boston via horse-drawn wagons.

Sherman Dewey FletcherActive in town life, he served as treasurer of the Unitarian Parish for 46 years, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Westford Academy, Postmaster for 20 years, and Town Treasurer for 33 years. He was instrumental in building the town’s first bandstand and erecting the flagpole on the town common just steps from the home.

Four generations of Fletchers lived in this house, including son Sherman H. Fletcher, who served as a captain in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia during the Civil War, and their two daughters, Gertrude and Julia. The sisters never married and lived together in the house until their passing in 1965 (Julia) and 1969 (Gertrude).

Notable are the ten fireplaces in the home — lovely examples of Count Rumford fireplace design, built to reflect more heat into the room and to efficiently carry away smoke with as little loss of heat as possible. What’s particularly remarkable is they are all intact and working! As cast iron stoves became popular for cooking and heating in the mid-1800s, fireplaces became obsolete and often fell into disrepair or were bricked over. Recently restored and modernized, the chimneys and smoke chambers have been rebuilt with matching brick and repointed with new mortar, the flues received stainless steel liners and were insulated with mortar — perfect for taking the chill off a spring day or providing a cozy backdrop on a snowy afternoon.

A wealth of documentation and historical records have been preserved, including a framed accounting of the cost of materials and labor to build the house, totaling $2,724.40. Sherman Dewey Fletcher’s initials (SDF) are visible on beams in the attic and the pub room. Additional materials pertaining to the home and Fletcher family have been donated and are on view at the Westford Historical Society.

This home is an exceptional example of a historic house that has been well-maintained to keep its antique charm and thoughtfully updated to the standards of today’s discerning home buyers.

 

If you’re in the market, contact us to schedule a visit and see if it’s a good fit for you and your family!


 

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