Sandwich Historical Commission wants 1927 Wing exterior preserved

By Paul Gately, WickedLocal.com

When it comes to preserving parts of the past in general — and the old 1927 section of the Wing School off Water Street in particular — the Sandwich Historical Commission thinks it is better to be pro-active than re-active.

Commission members on May 6 said they were somewhat surprised by the news that the architectural Wing review to date has found “nothing unique about the building.” Member Carolyn Crowell said the old school was built in “a faux-colonial style and that there is not that much architecture like that around town, if any.”

The distinctive 1927 Wing section is on the National Register of Historic Places, and members say it still is an integral part of the gateway to Sandwich center. The original roof was slate and it included a widow’s walk, long-since removed during repair projects, Crowell said.


Sandwich to discuss plans for Clark-Haddad, Deacon Eldred buildings

SANDWICH — The Henry T. Wing School isn’t the only town-owned building on the minds of town leaders. At 7 p.m. May 11 at Sandwich Town Hall, a forum is being held to discuss the historic preservation and reuse of the Clark-Haddad Memorial Building at 16 Dewey Ave. and the Deacon Eldred House at 4 Water St. Once again, architects will be on hand to provide an assessment of the buildings. The Clark-Haddad building has been vacant since the school administration moved out in 2007 and the Deacon Eldred last housed the Thornton W. Burgess Museum until 2013. Like the recent Wing School forum, town officials are looking for ideas from the public at the May 11 meeting.
— George Brennan, Cape Cod Times

Historic Town Neck Brickyard Exposed by Erosion

Update: Jan. 2, 2015 – Sandwich Scrambles To Fill Beach Cut on CapeNews.net

It’s not news to anyone that Town Neck Beach erosion is worsening due to the blockage of longshore transport of sand by the canal. Recent efforts to secure dredge material from the canal have highlighted the exposure of bricks and ash from the historic brick kiln. Our own Don Bayley was recently interviewed for Cape Cast. There will be a test at the end.

What year did the kiln start operations? How did the brick kiln save Sandwich from shelling by the British? And what war was it?

And there’s this, from WBZ Chanel 4 in Boston, shown on their evening newscast November 20, 2014. Catch a glimps of 3 Historical Commission members, Don Bayley, Lisa Hassler, and Carolyn Crowell. The rest of us ended up on the cutting room floor.

Sandwich grist mill wheel needs replacement

Wicked Local Sandwich By Paul Gately
Posted Nov. 1, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

Sandwich Grist MillSandwich Assistant Town Manager Douglas Lapp says it has become imperative to replace the wheel at the historic Dexter Grist Mill downtown next to Town Hall.

Lapp said the work is needed to avoid the mill being shut down for a prolonged period should the wheel fail.

“The wheel won’t last,” he said. “We need to do this replacement as soon as possible.”

Lapp said a Community Preservation Act funding request is likely; the replacement project would probably cost $50,000.

“We don’t want it to fail and go off-line for a period,” Lapp said. “The wheel can’t be repaired any longer.”

The grist mill in the heart of the village may be the most photographed historic element in the area, situated between Town Hall and Shawme Pond along the mill stream, whose wall was reconstructed earlier this year as part of the Phase II pedestrian-plaza and bubbler project at Town Hall.

Sandwich Seeks Bidders for Deacon Eldred House

GEORGE BRENNAN, Cape Cod Times, January 19, 2013

SANDWICH — The town is seeking bids for the Deacon Eldred House, a 1756 house located on Shawme Pond in the town’s historical village center.

Deacon Eldred House

Deacon Eldred House, Sandwich, MA

At a 2011 town meeting, voters authorized the selectmen to sell the property with a preservation restriction. The building is used by the Thornton W. Burgess Society as a museum. At the time, there was strong indication that the society would bid on the property and that ownership would allow them to raise money needed to do an estimated $400,000 in repairs.

The total assessed value of the house and land is $554,100, according to town assessors’ records.

The property is a little more than three-quarters of an acre and is just a short distance from Sandwich Town Hall.

As part of the request for proposals, the town has agreed to put an article on a future town meeting warrant to use $50,000 in community preservation money to help with necessary repairs, according to the bid documents provided by the town. Strong preference will be given to bidders who propose using the building for “philanthropic, museum, tourist or educational uses,” the documents state.

The bid specifications also require that the new owners provide access to the pond for “boating, picnicking and other recreational purposes.” The town retains a first right of refusal to purchase the property back in the future for $1 if it is ever put up for sale.

Town leaders have promised to honor a lease with the Thornton W. Burgess Society through the end of 2016, no matter who the successful bidder is for the property.

Bids will be accepted through March 29. At 10 a.m. Feb. 6, the town will offer site visits to prospective bidders.

Preservation, not demolition!

Hamlin Barn

Hamlin Barn. Photo: Paul Gately

Paul Gately, March 19. 2014 2:24PM
This is the course being considered by the historic district committee as it deals with Kevin Hamlin’s request to demolish the centuries-old barn on his property at 45 Water St. across from the Wing School.
Committee Chairman Bill Collins said the so-called demo-request has prompted “considerable public interest” in the structure and lots of phone calls. One call came from Thomas Keyes, who is Hamlin’s neighbor across Water Street.
Keyes is willing to send a team of archaeologists to measure the Hamlin barn, which badly leaks through the deteriorating roof, and perform a survey.
“That’s not a bad idea at all,” Collins said. “Mr. Keyes would be interested in moving pieces of the barn to his own property and rebuild it there.”
Ian Ellison of Ellison Timberframes, meanwhile, has visited the Hamlin barn, which is situated in the Town Hall Historic District and remains a part of Sandwich history.
Ellison says the barn must come down given its deteriorating condition. But he would rather this happened in pieces instead of via the wrecking ball.
Ellison says the fate of barns is a continually developing topic across North America. He has also worked on palaces in France and remains a preservation enthusiast.
District committee member Betty Allen, meanwhile, cites a barn preservation/stewardship program and says there are considerable tax credits available to property owners who try to preserve – one way or another – their barns.
At this point, the Hamlin barn is private property so Community Preservation Act funds cannot be requested for preservation efforts. But if the Town of Sandwich stepped in and bought the structure, then the barn could be taken apart, with pieces stored in a secure and dry place until they could be used again. That path would allow for a CPA funding request, district committee members said last week.
Collins said the barn is in “a prominent location and deserves special attention. This is something on which, I think, we have to move slowly.”
Hamlin agrees, to a point. He agreed to a two-week review period before returning to the district committee. But, he said, the barn roof continues to leak and if dismantling piece-by-piece is to be pursued, the holes in the roof would have to be covered in the interim.
Parts of the barn that might be preserved include tie-in joints in the roof system; the windmill could be stored out of the weather; and both the wooden frame and some metalwork could be saved for later restoration or reproduction.
A small section of the roof joinery would likely prove invaluable to historians as an actual example of construction work from the 18th century; perhaps more so than photographs of the barn that would be placed in the Sandwich Town Archives.
“We need time to explore the alternatives to demolition,” Collins said. “To consider ways to save the historical aspects of the building and to determine if the barn can be secured until things are worked out.”
The district committee in the last year dealt with two other barn-demo-applications: one at 108 Main St. and another at 158 Main St. The structure at 108 Main St. was demolished but the property owner agreed to replace it with a garage with so-called “Streetscape” worthiness, reflecting what was removed.
The 158 Main St. structure was also razed. The property owner promised a design similar to the barn, but the new place will not be a replica.

Reprinted from the Sandwich Broadsider.

31 Responses to Home

  1. Carol Andrews says:

    I am impressed with Bill Daley’s biographical sketch of Timothy Ruggles. I am a collateral descendant of Timothy Ruggles (from his brother Benjamin) and I live in New Braintree, MA a town adjacent to Hardwick where Timothy Ruggles went to live after moving from Sandwich.
    I wonder if Mr. Daley has visited Hardwick and seen Timothy Ruggles’ campaign chest in the collections of the Hardwick Historical Society and his “noble” stone wall (1774) enclosure for a “kitchen garden” recently restored by the East Quabbin Land Trust. The site of his house and the boulder that served to hold a flag pole still exist on Upper Church Street.

    Thank you Mr.Daley for a fine piece about a long- overlooked figure in Massachusetts/national history.

    Carol Andrews

  2. Sarah Beane says:

    I have been fortunate to trace a branch of my family tree all the way back to Sandwich in the 16 and 1700s. I am from Central Mass and will be visiting the area in a few weeks. I am interested to find any information on the following individuals:

    Rose Allen 1610-1691
    Joseph Holloway/Holley 1605-1645
    Mary Hull 1645-1692
    Joseph Holley 1636-1693
    Mary Holloway/Holley 1666-1732

    All I have are names and dates and would like to discover any further information that will shed light on who these people were.

    • SHCadmin says:

      Perhaps our Town Archivist could help you. Please contact her at the Sandwich Public Library (508) 888-0625 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.

  3. Jeremy Bangs says:

    The Town Records of Sandwich during the Time of Plymouth Colony, 1620-1692, is available, print-on-demand. For information, see the Facebook page of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum,

    Or go directly to the website of the printer, Lulu:

  4. Lee Roscoe says:


    My questions concerned information on the occupancy of the Perry homestead, later the Wm. A Nye home, and its relationship to the family of August Belmont Jr,, his mother’s father, Commodore Perry and predecessors such as Ezra Perry and his brother who settled in Manomet and Sandwich in the 1630s.

    This was for an article for one of the magazines, now complete. So now I just want to know for my own curiosity, and in case I write another piece.

    Please advise,


    Lee Roscoe
    14 D Frederick Ct.
    Brewster, MA. 02631
    508 896 3510

  5. Russell Higgins says:

    I would just like to comment on the home at 15 Water St. it is currently for sale and I have just got done looking at the interior pictures of it. How were these homeowners allowed by the town and/or historical commission to turn this house into what it is? It looks like a fine antique colonial from the outside but, is far different on the inside. It literally looks like it was completely gutted and turned into some modern European atrocity! I just shake my head at this and wonder why and how…

  6. John Rorstrom says:

    Looking through the historic houses page, I noticed that there is no detailed information regarding the history of an ancestral house of my family. The house has remained in the family since it was built in 1827. How can this information be updated?

  7. Diane and Alan Freeman says:

    Edmund Freeman is my husbands 8th Great Grandfather. We plan to travel to Sandwich in May 2014 in hopes of learning more about the Freeman family arriving in the USA and settling in Sandwich. My husband and two young adult sons are excited to do some research.
    I hope we can find documents or other information about Edmund Freeman. Any help you can provide will be much appreciated.
    Diane Freeman

  8. Thomas P. Vincent says:

    My wife, Angela, and I will be staying at the Isaiah Hall B&B Inn in Dennis on July 10 and 11, during which time we will visit Sandwich. My son and I are probably the only remaining direct descendants with the Vincent name of John Vincent, your first constable, who (though not one of the original twelve from Saugus) left Saugus in 1637 for Sandwich, and resided in Sandwich between 1637 and 1667. At some time between 1662 and 1667 he left Sandwich for Yarmouth, which later became Dennis. John’s great great grandson, and my fourth great grandfather, Joshua Vincent, left Dennis to purchase land in Ashfield in 1779.

    I hope we can find in Sandwich documents or other information about John Vincent. Any help you can provide will be much appreciated. We look forward to seeing your beautiful town.

  9. Elaine Turner says:

    My grandfather purchase 2 lots in 1914 part of the “Pocasset Park Tract”, located in the town of Sandwich. I am unable to find a map or plans of the property after extensive search. Can anyone help?
    Thanks You,

  10. Dick Housley says:

    I want to purchase the Town map that was created and for sale at the Glass Museum. They are sold out and could not tell me where to purchase one. Please where they are available. Thank you

    • SHCadmin says:

      The historic map reproductions were the product of the Friends of Sandwich Town Archives (FOSTA), a volunteer group at the Sandwich Public Library. We are all grateful for their diligent work. Please contact Joanne Lamothe via email: jlamothe@ocln.org

  11. Richard Bradford Hall says:

    I’m impressed and gladdened to find this site.

    My interest in the historic preservation of the Town of Sandwich has been, since my childhood, intensely important to me. All my boyhood summers were spent in East Sandwich.
    This site can only serve to enlighten people in the “less is more” philosophy of historic conservation. Congratulations on this website which I only happened on by chance! After all, we are only stewards for the time we own any old house. And it’s up to us to preserve as much original fabric as possible when approaching the preservation of and conservation of a period house.

    Thank you.

  12. Chief Larry Marsell Holliston Police (Ret.) says:

    I have digital pix of building on Tupper Road that was destroyed by fire last week end.
    They were take +/- three weeks ago. If they are of any interest to you let me know.
    Larry Marsell

  13. Dick Carey says:

    My wife and I are the sixth family to have owned the Tobey House located at 44 Water Street. I went to the web page of street addresses to see who was listed at 44 Water Street. There is no mention of the first owner and builder of this home. His name was Nathan Tobey (Tobie) the son of Thomas Tobey.

    According to Thomas’ will, he gave Nathan the land in 1681. In 1685 Nathan married and lived in this house and they had two children. His first wife died in 1690 and he remarried that same year. A book written by a local historian stated that the house must have been built in 1690 as a result of Nathan’s second marriage.

    In doing my research of our residence and Nathan’s home it must be assumed that since it took two to three years to build a home due to the daily responsibilities to provide food and other necessities of life that Nathan would not have built a second home at the time of his second marriage in 1690. People didn’t move out of their home because a spouse or offspring passed away. The actual date of finished construction is someplace between 1681/83 and 1685.

    The house was first built as a hall and parlor design. It maintains much of its original interior features including five working fireplaces, gunstock and summer beams and low ceilings in the original first period part of the house. It appears the home was last added on to around 1820. I should also mention this house was never torned down and moved to another location within the town.

    The last male owner of the home was Ansel Tobey. He died in 1895; his daughter Vesta Tobey Brown sold the house that same year to a Miss Julia Yard and her brother Robert Yard of New York City. The Yard’s maintained the home for a number of years as a summer residence. Later, Julia moved into the house full-time and passed away in it in 1935.

    • SHCadmin says:

      Thank you for this remarkable biography. I have posted this story on the page for 44 Water St. We will also include the information on a new MACRIS form.

  14. Bill Coburn says:

    I, too, am impressed with this web site, adding onto the comment by Kaethe:
    As I recall in recent readings about King Philip’s War, there was an instance after one of the battles with native Americans, when one of the colonist leaders retreated to Sandwich, after a battle. The constant friction/war/ murder and mayhem which was, unfortunatly part of everyday life in 17th and early 18th century Massachusetts and New England deserves greater attention. It is akin to the generalized fear about nuclear war from the 1950’s, but it was probably more strongly felt than that (as the ‘enemy’ was in everyone’s backyard) and for a much longer time. Understanding the very complex relationships between the colonists and native Americans puts into sharp focus one of the major themes of everyday colonial life and deserves more attention for those wishing to understand the everyday experiences of early settlers and their native American neighbors.

  15. Martin says:

    We visited Sandwich in September 2009. A wonderful nice place!

    We also visited the Hoxie House and this is my point of approach. Inside the Hoxie House there is an exponat, a metal box with a complicate closing mechanism. The nice lady leading the visit, said that there are no informations about this box (age, function, owner etc.).

    During a recent vacation near Passau, Germany we visited a castle with a mediveal exposition. And we saw a similar box.

    Now I try to get in touch with responsibles of the Hoxie House to send them informations and pictures about this box.

    However I cannot find any mail adress. Can somebody help and provide me a mail adress of a responsible person of the Hoxie House?

    Thanks in advance!

    Martin from Wiesbaden, Germany

    *Site Admin Note: Response sent with the email address of the SHC.*

  16. Lisa Hassler says:

    Wow! This is a wonderful website. Looks great and a fantastic resource for anyone interested in the history of the town. Thanks!

  17. John Hackett says:

    I thank Bill Daley for acquainting me with the website. What a terrific historical introduction to Sandwich. Though I have been living in Sandwich for 12 years I know little if its history. Thank you to the publishers from a” WashaShore.”

    Jack Hackett
    51 Holly Ridge Drive

  18. Linell Grundman says:

    This is a wonderful site for the town. People will learn so much and I’m sure it will be helpful to our visitors. Thank you!! I’m sure there is a link from our great town web-site. Way to go!!

  19. Richard Connor says:

    Terrific web site. The historical record has never been more important to the Town of Sandwich, and it’s residents. This web site will be a valuable tool, for getting the message out.
    Thanks to all involved.

  20. Bob King says:

    What a wonderful website. Kudos to those responsible…it will be a great resource to link. Thank You.

  21. Kaethe O . Maguire says:

    I know the word Fort for the Wing House above has been debated. John Cullity told me once that it was never a ‘fort'; however, considering the King Philip’s war I can see that the ‘fear’ would have been there and the possibility of building a fortification ‘just incase’ seems credible. However, my question is…Was there ever an attack on the immigrants English in Sandwich by the Native Population? To my knowledge, there was not, but I am not the last word on this!
    Thanks. Kaethe O. Maguire

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