Sprague, Holmes House
44 South St
Single Family Dwelling House
Bridgewater Town Center
Massachusetts Historical Commission Report
This unpretentious, 2 1/2-story frame house may be loosely classified as Federal/Greek Revival. It has a central hall plan. A Colonial Revival porch projects from its five-bay main facade. Added in the 1890s, the porch may have been inspired by the more elaborate Colonial Revival porch of the Bridgewater Academy's 1897 addition. A-one-story, open porch projects from the north wall, as well. A large, brick chimney rises from the center of the gable roof. The windows have simple frames.
Built c. 1825, this dwelling is mentioned in Miss Clara W. Crane's essay, "Bridgewater in 1835." Its first owner was apparently Holmes Sprague. His "team" transported "rum, sugar, molasses, flour and small groceries" from Boston, Plymouth, Taunton and New Bedford. Sprague's "team" consisted of "a number of frowsy horses and a large green baggage wagon with sides about 3" high, bows over the top covered with sail cloth and a high seat." By the early 1870s, John Hassam Fairbanks (1835-1929) owned this property. A tinsmith by trade, he was active in Bridgewater's business community for many years. He operated a hardware store at 48 Central Square from 1865 until his death at age 94 in 1929. In 1903 W. Bassett owned the house. 44 South Street dates to the first decade of Bridgewater's prosperity as an iron and cotton gin manufacturing center and predates the building boom of the 1840s and 1850s.