Sandwich takes first steps to restore old buildings


Sand Hill School ca. 1905 (courtesy Sandwich Town Archives). Click for larger view.

By George Brennan
June 29. 2015

SANDWICH — One historic building would be fixed using community preservation funds and the other rehabbed using the labor of Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School students under plans put into motion last week by town officials.

In two unanimous votes Thursday, the Board of Selectmen approved starting the process to restore the 1885 Clark-Haddad Building and the 1756 Deacon Eldred House.

Restoration work on the Deacon Eldred House in 1975 (Photo courtesy Sandwich Town Archives)

Restoration work on the Deacon Eldred House in 1975 (Photo courtesy Sandwich Town Archives)

Architects from McGinley Kalsow & Associates Inc., the same firm that restored Sandwich Town Hall, presented selectmen with their report on necessary repairs as well as possible uses for the two historic buildings before the votes.

Selectmen agreed to ask the Community Preservation Committee for $1.1 million to turn the Clark-Haddad Building, named for the first two Sandwich men killed in World War I, into a function hall that could be rented to small groups for meetings or rehearsals.

“It fits in where the demand is for a smaller, more affordable place for groups to meet for their events,” Selectman Patrick Ellis said.

“I think the demand is out there now,” Chairman Frank Pannorfi added.

The building, once the Sand Hill School and last used as administrative offices by the school district, has fallen into disrepair that includes boarded up windows and chipped paint. It is located at 16 Dewey Ave.

“It’s in a neighborhood,” Selectman Ralph Vitacco said. “It’s a town building and that makes it even worse.”

An attempt by selectmen to get permission to sell the building in 2010 was thwarted by town meeting voters. Ellis, who was not a selectman at the time, led the charge for preservation.

Meanwhile, the town does have permission to sell the Deacon Eldred House at 4 Water St. but has had no takers.

Because the town can’t afford to take on both projects at the same time, Ellis proposed exploring the use of Upper Cape Tech students to do the work on the Deacon Eldred House over a five-year period.

The building needs about $740,000 worth of work, but recently got a new roof, which should slow the building’s deterioration, Ellis said.

The idea is to turn the Deacon Eldred House, which is in the heart of the town’s historic district, into a house museum that could be part of a walking tour with the Hoxie House and Dexter Grist Mill.

“That’s the remaining pearl (in the necklace),” Pannorfi said. “It needs to be dusted off a little bit, then reset, and that’s what we’re talking about here.”

— Follow George Brennan on Twitter: @gpb227.

A Brief History of the Sand Hill School/
Clark-Haddad Building


Deacon Eldred Assessment Report

Clark Haddad Assessment Report


Photo courtesy: Taylor White

Twinning Sign Now Up In Town Hall Square

The Mayor of Sandwich, Kent, UK Cllr Paul Graeme said this about the Twinning:
“Our towns share more than their name, not least local and national distinction as historic communities.

“I hope that we can grow closer in mutual understanding and appreciation of each town’s heritage and community life.”

Read more about the Twinning of Sandwich MA and Sandwich UK HERE.


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.


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33 Responses to Home

  1. Ralph Matthews says:

    I was hoping to find information on a former slave by the name of George Williams, who, from his own account, lived in Sandwich, MA for 14 years. I do not know if this was prior to, or after, his incarceration in Maysville, Kentucky in 1849.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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:

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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,

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.*

  17. 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!

  18. 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

  19. 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!!

  20. 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.

  21. Bob King says:

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

  22. 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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