Edson, John House

450 Main St

1808

Architectural Style

Federal

Significance

Architecture

Use Type

Single Family Dwelling House

Neighborhood

Bridgewater Town Center

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

This is the only Federal style house in Bridgewater which features brick side walls. It is a substantial, relatively sophisticated house built c. 1805-1815. Its 5 bay main facade exhibits a center entrance with narrow sidelights, well-crafted moldings and a graceful eliptical fanlight windows are simply enframed and contain 2/2 replacement wood sash. The main block is surmounted by a low hip roof with tail brick chimneys at either end. To the rear is a frame addition with a 3 bay facade facing Center St. This segment is enclosed by a gambrel roof—a roof configuration which recalls early 18th c. roof types and was revived and incorporated as a feature of the Italianate frame vernacular style during the mid 1850s.

Historical Significance

The J.E. Crane map of 1801 showing the Main/Center/High St. area indicates that no houses were located on the west side of Main St., north of Center St. Deed research at Plymouth Co. Registry of Deeds was frustratingly inconclusive but seems to point to a date of 1808 (see Book 108, page 89). The house was built for John Edson, descendant of Samuel Edson, founder of Trinity Church (1748) which was located on the east side of Main St., to the South of the old burial ground. John Edson, at his own expense, thoroughly repaired and completed the first Trinity Church which was then consecrated by Bishop Griswold in 1816. John Edson may have been responsible for his own house at 450 Main Street. He was the father of Dr. Thomas Edson (born Aug. 24, 1793), the famous minister of the Episcopal Church started by Kirk Boot in Lowell in 1825. Dr. Edson was for many years a trustee of Bridgewater's Trinity Church. He died June 25, 1883. Members of the Edson family lived here until at least the 1880s.