Untold Stories of a Local Landmark

If walls could speak, the Bradford House in Duxbury would have a lot to say. The Duxbury Rural & Historical Society recently launched a multi-year Re-imagine Bradford Project, aimed at shedding light on fascinating stories about the family that once lived in the historic house and preserving the structural integrity of the building. Here are 10 facts about the Bradford House and family you may not know. For more information, visit duxburyhistory.org.

The Bradford House was built in 1808, when Thomas Jefferson was the President and the Napoleonic Wars were raging.

Sarah Hickling Bradford supervised the initial construction stages of the Federal-style home while her husband, Capt. Gershom Bradford, was held captive by the French.

The family was descended from pilgrim William Bradford.

The house sits on its original 10-acre lot and boasts significant architectural features, including interior paint in both the parlor and the stairwell that is original to the 1808 construction.

Members of the Bradford family were active in many social movements including anti-slavery/abolitionism, temperance, vegetarianism and alternative medicine.

The house was owned, maintained and operated by women throughout the 19th century.

Charlotte Bradford, the youngest daughter, was a respected Civil War nurse aboard transport ships bringing wounded off the front lines, and in major D.C. hospitals. She was established as the Matron for the Home for Wives and Mothers, under the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

In addition to home furnishings, thousands of letters, log books, journals and other documents have been preserved, making the Bradfords one of the best documented families in Duxbury.

Preeminent furniture expert Brock Jobe sought Boston-made furniture in the house and featured it in the book “Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture.”

The house was donated to the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society in 1968.

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