We don’t know much about the first person to own this week’s historical shelter, other than Elias Hall built his house in the town center of New Braintree, Massachusetts, and just steps from both of his stores.
Hall’s home was built in 1783, just about 30 years after the town was officially incorporated and several decades after it was first settled in 1709. The land that formed New Braintree was part of the Quaboag Plantation, an early settlement in New England.
Prior to that, it was hope to various Native American tribes, including the Nipmunk people, who were descendants of the indigenous Algonquin people.
New Braintree was created, though, after the town of Braintree voted in 1669 that each household would be granted an equal interest in a 6,000 acre parcel of land they named Braintree Farms. Additional parcels were eventually purchased and added, and by 1751, the town was incorporated.
When Hall lived in the area, it was becoming known for its dairy farms and its cheese, as well as its broom factory, blacksmith shop, saw and grist mills, and a shoe factory.
But even today, the town has maintained its rural character, with an orchard, a dairy farm, and several other farms – as well as a population just under 1,000 people.
And it still looks like, from a distance, like it could be stitched on a colonial sampler.
According to the New Braintree Historical Society, Hall’s first store was a smaller affair in a strip of shops. Later, he moved a little further down (and closer to home) with a freestanding structure that was much larger.
His home – in its original form – is now for sale, and is one of only two brick and wood gambrel homes remaining in Massachusetts.
And history has been kind to the abode, thanks to owners who maintained it through the years, and current owners who have update it to account for creature comforts without sacrificing the history of the home.
Situated on an acre near fields and farmland, the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home has 2,842 square feet of space with plenty of period touches.
A rear kitchen and master suite addition was completed in the mid 19th century, and the kitchen fireplace was reconstructed with the original bricks and hardware. The kitchen also boasts a beehive oven that still works.
The entire home has plenty of entertaining spaces, including formal and informal parlors, and plenty of colonial-era touches, from fireplaces in nearly every bedroom, to wood floors, to multiple staircases to the second floor, which was the beneficiary of some upgrades over the past four years, including a laundry room and a full bath with soaking tub, corner shower, and antique marble sink, and more.
A blacksmiths forge was turned into garage space, with reinforced flooring and automated doors.
The home is listed by Gillian Bonazoli with Coldwell Banker Realty – Worcester, and is priced at $425,000.