People have been telling me I should blog about this lovely house and the things that are going on around here since we moved in about 3 years ago. But I’ve been resistant. I’m not a writer. I’m a Nurse Practitioner. My husband, George, is a writer. He has actually published a couple of books and is quite the wordsmith. He also just happens to be a nurse. It’s sort of a sideline for him. 😉
The house is a beautiful Gambrel roofed Dutch Colonial that was built in 1765 by John Brown in anticipation of the birth of his son, Isaac. John was the grandson of the great Reverend Samuel Brown, who graduated from Harvard in 1709 and was the first minister of the Abington, MA parish. History has it that the reason the town of Abington,MA became an entity at all is because the townspeople at the time appealed to the crown to break away from what was then Bridgewater. One of the requirements to do so was that a dedicated parson had to be in place. Reverend Brown was given 30 acres in the area and the First Congregational Church of Abington was founded. It still stands today.
The Reverend’s son, Woodbridge, was the father of John, builder of our house. John was Isaac’s father. The house is named for Isaac. It is called the Isaac Brown House. Isaac’s son, Isaac, Jr, went on to fight in the War of 1812. In New England, it is customary to name the house for the original owner. Our house carries a slight variation on that tradition.
The house was owned by the Brown family (or Browne–depending on which document you are reading) from 1765 until it was sold in 1965. 200 years in the same family! And as it turns out, the Browns were pretty good at documentation. They kept up with documents and who owned what when. It’s really a nice thing that we have an archived lineage of this house. We have the original deed to the land framed and on display in the room that George calls his “tavern” (see picture below). The deed is pre-revolution and is signed by the King’s men. The fact that we have this document in our possession and it’s not in a museum somewhere is mind boggling to me. In fact, sometimes it’s a little bit baffling to me that regular citizens live in houses this old in this part of the world. In Georgia, where I’m from originally, you don’t generally see such. Houses this old that are still standing would be museums.
But back to the Browns. The last of the Browns to own this property were Percy and his wife, Gertrude Gove Brown, pictured below. Percy was a pulmonologist. Gertrude was a housewife who must have been an avid gardener. She kept very detailed documentation of the flower gardens she planted every year. Some of the pictures we have from that era are astonishing! We still see some of the things she planted. The Irises and day lilies are beautiful every Spring. And the row of lilacs we have in front of the house blooms every Spring. The blooms don’t last long, but the scent is 2 weeks of Heaven!! I’d like to replicate some of those gardens that have gone by the wayside, but I’m not promising anything……..