Bassett, A. Waldo House

2020 Pleasant St

1850

Architectural Style

Greek Revival, Italianate

Significance

Architecture

Use Type

Single Family Dwelling House

Neighborhood

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

Exhibiting elements of the Greek Revival and Italianate styles, this charming cottage is picturesquely sited on a pine tree shaded lot opposite Pleasant St. and the southern shores of Lake Nippenicket. Composed of a 1 1/2 story main block, with an encircling porch and two rear ells, this house's main entrance is located on its side (west) wall. Three full length 6/9 windows on its street facing gable open onto the front porch which displays turned posts and sawcut brackets. In general, doors and windows feature cornice headed lintels in the Italianate manner. This house is enclosed by a gable roof with return eaves. Its edges are defined by wide, paneled Greek Revival corner boards.

Historical Significance

Apparently built at the time of A. Waldo Bassett's marriage in June 1850, this cottage is situated on land that had been owned by the Bassett family since the late 18th century. Ownership of this land may be traced back to Dr. Benjamen Church, physician/surgeon, secret British loyalist and convicted traitor to the patriotic cause (see J.E. Crane's "History of Bridgewater" in Hurd's History of Plymouth Co). Dr. Church had settled here in 1757 and after his estate was confiscated in 1775 it passed to a James A. Starr and eventually to Joseph Bassett Sr. The old church house on this property burned in 1830 and a Joseph Bassett Jr. subsequently built a house (no longer extant) to the east of the present A. Waldo Bassett House. A. Waldo Bassett was born July 21, 1819 and "attended Common schools and Bridgewater Academy." Like his father and grandfather he was a farmer. He was also a justice of the peace and active in local Republican politics. He lived in this cottage from c. 1850 until c. 1880. By the early 1900s Waldo A. Bassett, farmer, lived here and a Joseph A. Bassett owned a house to the east (no longer extant). By the early 20th century southern shores of Lake Nippenicket were being utilized as a recreational facility with a boat house, wharf and a green space named Pilgrim Park.