Sanford, Henry D. House
36 Summer St
Single Family Dwelling House
Bridgewater Town Center
Massachusetts Historical Commission Report
Compared to Bridgewater's conservative and restrained mid 19th-century housing stock #36 Summer St. is unusually ornate. This Italianate house possesses a cross-shaped plan V rising two stories to a gable roof. Its return eaves have saw-cut brackets. An open porch on the main facade abuts a projecting end wall gable. This gable has a two-story, polygonal bay, pierced by narrow, round-headed windows. Substantial, finely carved double doors open onto the front porch, which retains elegant balusters, railings, and chamfered porch posts. The windows are fully enframed and are topped by segmental lintel moldings. Above these moldings is Rococo Revival, carved floral decoration. The carving above the attic window lintels is particularly ornate.
The first owner of #36 Summer St. was apparently Henry D. Sanford, c. 1865. He was a bookkeeper and cashier for the Bridgewater Iron Company. The house reflects the prosperity of Bridgewater's premier iron foundry. By the mid 1880s, the Bridgewater Iron Company was the second largest rolling mill in the United States. During the Civil War, this iron foundry (formerly Lazell and Perkins) manufactured the iron plating for the 1 Union gunboat, the Monitor. During the 19th century, Summer Street was lined with the residences of the town's leading businessmen. Nahum Stetson, manager of the Bridgewater Iron Works, lived across the street at #19 from 1835 to at least the early 1880s, and Colonel Abram Washburn of the Carver, Washburn Company, cotton gin manufacturers, lived at #9.