Packard - Fearing - Washburn - Pratt - Aldrich Hse

77 South St

1799

Architectural Style

Federal, Greek Revival

Significance

Architecture

Use Type

Single Family Dwelling House

Neighborhood

Bridgewater Town Center

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

Although a dwelling has been located here since the late 1790s, 77 South St. has the appearance of a c. 1830 Federal/Greek Revival house. Sheathed with clapboards it is composed of a 2 1/2 story 5 bay by 2 bay main block with a 2 story rear ell. Resting on a hammered granite block foundation, it is enclosed by a gable roof with pedimented attics. Particularly noteworthy are the central entrance enframements—including pilasters with modified Greek Key motifs and an entablature with shallow cornice. In general, windows contain 6/6 wood sash. Brick chimneys project from the east and west ends of the roof's ridge.

Historical Significance

The first evidence of the presence of a house on this lot is a reference to a "dwelling house and other buildings" in a deed dated January 26, 1799. At that time Dr. Noah Fearing purchased this house for $600.00 from Simeon and Hannah Packard. By the mid 1820s the building on this site was sold to Jonathon Washburn, a tailor. Mortgage records indicate that the house began to assume its present appearance c. 1 30 with "the addition of a third story and an ell to the rear." By the 1870s Dr. Calvin Pratt and his family were living here with his aunt Sally Washburn. Born in Bridgewater in 1842, Dr. Pratt graduated from Bridgewater State Normal School, Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, class of 1866. He practiced medicine in Minnesota and Duxbury before establishing a practice at 77 South St. He was president of the Board of Trustees of the Bridgewater Academy and consulting physician at the State Farm. Dr. Pratt died in 1922 and this house passed to his daughter, Mrs. Henry K. Aldrich.