Hyde, Joseph A. House

6 Bedford St

1850

Architectural Style

Greek Revival, Italianate

Significance

Architecture, Industry

Use Type

Machine Shop, Single Family Dwelling House

Neighborhood

Bridgewater Town Center

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

This appealing Greek Revival/Italianate house and the adjacent Gothic Revival New Jerusalem Church create a picturesque backdrop for the eastern side of the Bridgewater Academy park. In scale and materials, it echoes the appearance of nearby Central Square commercial blocks and public buildings. Constructed of wood, its side hall plan rises two stories to a wide gable with return eaves. To the rear is an off-center wing that was added sometime between 1852 and 1873. Its three-bay main facade features an entrance with a bracketed hood. Its simply enframed windows are 6/6 wood sash. This house and certain landscape features, such as a tall, old fir tree, offer a glimpse of life in mid 18th-century Bridgewater and, more specifically, of the home of a prosperous businessman.

Historical Significance

This house was apparently built for Joseph A. Hyde c. 1850, To determine whether or not it or any of its sections served as a shop for the Bates, Hyde, and Company will require further research. Joseph A. Hyde was "the managing agent and leading proprietor of Sates, Hyde, and Company, later the Eagle Cotton Gin Company. Initially, the Bates, Hyde shops were located near the corner of School and Bedford Streets (c. 1835-1846). By 1846, the company was known as the Eagle Cotton Gin Company, with factory buildings at 100 Pearl Street, Bridgewater. This business "was mainly involved in the manufacture of cotton processing machinery to Russia and the South." Mr. Hyde was also the first president of the Bridgewater Savings Bank (1872) and owned several large parcels of land on the south side of School Street. In 1869 he donated the land for the present New Jerusalem Church. D.H. Hurd notes that Mr. Joseph A. Hyde was a liberal promoter of the enterprise, giving the land for the church and contributing generously to its building fund. Mr. Hyde lived in this house until his death about 1875. By 1903 Darius Ford, "pattern maker," owned the property.