Alden, Dea. Joseph House

768 High St

1700

Architectural Style

First Period, Georgian

Significance

Architecture, Exploration Settlement

Use Type

Single Family Dwelling House

Neighborhood

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

The eastern portion of this house, including the front door and two windows dates to c. 1690-1710. An old, undated drawing (19th c.) in the collection of the Bridgewater Public Library shows this house in its original, "half house" condition. It was enlarged at some point before c. 1750. This house possesses a distinctive lean-to profile, interesting and primitively rendered entrance enframements, including fluted Doric pilasters and a simple, molded entablature. Windows are fully enframed with raised moldings and 12/12 wood sash. Projecting from the roof's center is a massive, low brick chimney. This house's interior is said to have a fireplace wall with raised panels and built in shelf above the fireplace opening and an exceptional front stairway with a heavy banister and boldly turned spindles.

Historical Significance

This house was built c. 1690-1710 for Deacon Joseph Alden. He was a cooper by trade and the second son of the Hon. John Alden of Plymouth, Ma. and Mayflower fame. Alden herited his father's proprietary share in Old Bridgewater. The Alden House is located on High St., one of the oldest roads in the town, dating to at least 1690 and probably starting out as a path leading to Plymouth. Originally called "Prudence Street," this thoroughfare was something of an "Alden neighborhood" with several houses belonging to the Alden family including #710 High St. To the north of High St. is Sprague's Hill which possesses the highest elevation in Bridgewater. From this "eminence" is a commanding view of the Town River, to the south of High St. It was named for Capt. Benjamin Sprague who lived in this locality and died of smallpox in 1778. Apparently Simeon D. Wood, "shoe channellar and farmer" lived here during the mid-late 19th century. It is presently owned by Mrs. Francis Johnson.