Keith, Summer Houser

206 Main St

1860

Architectural Style

Italianate

Significance

Architecture

Use Type

Single Family Dwelling House

Neighborhood

Bridgewater Town Center

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

This is a 2 1/2 story, side hall plan, Italianate house with a 2-story rear wing. It is enclosed by a gable roof with deep return eaves and small paired brackets. Presently covered with aluminum siding, this house retains its original form and serves as a focal point at the head of Oak St., Main St. intersection.

Historical Significance

This house was built for Sumner Keith, c. 1860. It replaced an "extremely old low house" of Simeon Leonard. Over time the Leonard house "came to be more like a hut than a house at the last, and the hardworking girls of the family had it taken away and a new house was built which was moved away when Sumner Keith bought the old place."

This house has significant local historical associations with Sumner Keith, dealer in coal, lime, cement, fertilizer and hay. He was "one of the most prominent and substantial businessmen in Bridgewater." He was born in Bridgewater Nov. 20, 1833, the son of Edwin and Saba Hooper Keith. He learned blacksmiths and machinists trade, becoming a general mechanic. He was employed from ages 16-20 at Bates, Hyde and Co. and became the superintendant of that company in 1860-1873 (upon death of his father). Sumner Keith started his coal business in 1876. He lived here until at least the early 1900s—his land extended back to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.