Historic Homes and Structures
1620 to 1700
The Boyde House
86 Myrtle Street
This was one of the original five houses on the Indian trail from Medfield to Wrentham.
A portion of the house was originally built in 1681 by John Boyde - it was later
enlarged in 1700 and again in 1797.
In the latter half of the 18th century it became the home of Dr. Nathaniel Miller who
also built a hospital on the hill next door.
Records of the 1840s show the industrious Dr. Miller also operated a threadmill here
at River End, along with Caleb Sayles, under the firm name of Sayles and Miller. Several
of Dr. Miller's relatives were kept gainfully employed at this business.
Dr. Miller's home became the original meeting place of the Montgomery Lodge of Masons.
In fact one of Norfolk's several brushes with colonial history occurred here on July 10,
1797 when none other than Paul Revere came to the Boyde House to officiate at the
lodge's chartering ceremonies.
The Miller House Granite Pillars
In the latter half of the 18th century when the Boyde house became the home of
Dr. Nathaniel Miller he also built a hospital on the hill next door.
The hospital later became a private residence, and was know as Miller Hall but was
unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1878..
The four granite pillars still remain at sentry, two guarding each entrance of
the semi-circular driveway curving out onto Myrtle Street near the intersection with
Medway Street. The location now marks the openng to a residential development.
The Morse House
18 Campbell Street
This home may be one of the oldest structures in Norfolk.
It may have been built by Benjamin Morse and his wife Sarah Blake,
circa 1728, just before he took over his father, Jeremiah's, sawmill. This was the town's first "industrial area" as over the centuries a wide
variety of mills operated here including an iron smelter and a paper mill. The house
has several unique features including two secret hiding places and rumors that it has
connections to an underground tunnel that has since been filled in.
The Old Parish House
2 North Street
This house played a significant role in Norfolk History. The cape section was built by Josiah Ware, 2, the owner of the Josiah Ware Tavern. He built it after the Revolutionary War in the 1780's. He opened it to use for services of the Norfh Parish while the meeting house was being built, 1796 to 1801. His youngest son, Elisha, built the attached two story structure in 1820. The house across the street (Peterson House) was built by Joshua Codding who married Josiah 2's youngest daughter, Lois. After Josiah died in 1836 the Coddings moved into 25 North Street.
The Samuel Dunton House / Cress Brook Farm
51 Lake Street
This house is certainly a survivor as it made it through several fires in its over
300 years of existence. This was the original home of Samuel Dunton Sr. who died in
1749, "by the fall of a tree". He was the father of Samuel Jr. as well as Gershom
and Benjamin who both settled in Medfield. Gershom Dunton achieved
some notoriety for his participation in early colonial wars. Col. Ebenezer Blake who owned the "store near the old North Wrentham church"
lived here in the 1800s. Ed Sumner, a descendent of one of the oldest Puritan families
of the Dorchester colony, later raised watercress on the farm in the early 1900s
for the trendy New York markets. The pond aross the street is Crystal Lake. It was once called Toils End Pond and the stream that flows towaards River End was Toild End Brook.
Historic Homes and Structures
1700 to 1800
The Ware Family Crypt
139 Main Street
Now only a few feet from the expanded Public Library, the Ware Crypt was nearly destroyed when the land was cleared around it and the surrounding area, subsequently called the moonscape, was made ready for development. It may be one of the oldest structures in Norfolk, and was savedby state law because it is a structure associated with burials and cemeteries.
It was built by early Ware family members as a place of temporary internment
when a death occurred during the winter and the ground was too frozen to dig a grave.
No one was permanently buried in the crypt, they all left promptly with the spring
Interments in the Ware Crypt are documented as recently as the early 1920s.
Portions of the crypt were inadvertently damaged by a bulldozer. Several stones were able to be reassembled
as they stand today.
Originally the crypt was built into the face of a substantial hillside - the hill is gone
- the crypt remains.
The Robert Ware House / Cook Farmhouse
260 Main Street
THIS HOUSE WAS DEMOLISHED AROUND 2010. Here are some historical facts.
The house at 260 Main Street has been the subject of one of Norfolk’s longest running historic legends, right up there with George Washington staying at our local tavern and his soldiers camping out under the pines on Town Hill - that is - it is one of the earliest houses in town. The original home on the site may have been constructed during the late 1600s and later burned but the structure replacing that was purported to have been built in the early 1700s. Although it may not appear to be that old to the casual passer due to more recent reservations in the 1800s. The interesting aspect of the tale that has been past down is that the current second story was actually the original structure. That at some point in the past the decision to expand the house was made and instead of adding on the structure was raised vertically and a new first floor constructed under the original house - the old first floor and roof became the second story in the new house. We have heard several reports of this having been done in the 1700s on other structures, whether to conserve on lumber, allow for increased height for the new first floor walls and ceiling or to build a more secure or useful foundation is not clear but in any event apparently in rare cases this may have been done.
The building later became the main farmhouse of the Cook Farm, one of the largest commercial agricultural enterprises in the history of Norfolk.
The Cook Farm supplied all of the beef, dairy products and vegetables for the well known Cook Restaurant in Boston. The huge barn that supported these operations was located across the Main Street in the present day Sweetland Farms area where there was easy access to the railroad, as the farm even had their own siding used to transport the farm goods to Boston. During Prohibition the barn went out with a bang when allegedly (cause undetermined), an illegal still exploded and the resulting fire destroyed this magnificent structure. Some versions of the story even attribute a second still to the property.
IMPORTANT UPDATE TO THE LEGEND
In early Dec 2006 our NHC Associate Member Sam Ziegler was able to examine the interior of the house with his friend Jack Silvernail and surprisingly enough was able to give some credence to the legend.
Per Sam - It does look like the story of an older house being raised and built under could be true. The first floor deck is all sawn lumber and beams probably mid 19th cent. The roof structure is hewn pine 6x6 common rafters joined at the ridge with a lap joint, without a ridge beam, also you can see vertical oak sheathing boards in the attic eves, all indications of an early 18th cent. building. The first floor doors and stairway are mid 19th cent while the second floor doors look like they were recycled from the old house for use in the renovation, one has the shadow of a bean style thumb latch now removed. The third floor attic has the original early 18th century door openings and room layout intact. The doors have all been removed but there are shadows of the H-style hinges on the jambs. The two first floor parlors have the original ceiling fixtures from when the house was first wired. The house has a full cellar which may be the original Cape stone walls that may have been topped off with brick during the renovation. The exterior is sided over with shingle but the clapboard may be underneath. The brackets under the eves and rakes are ornate with turned drop finials. The building seems very solid and would be a good candidate for restoration/renovation, needs updated wiring, plumbing, windows, etc. According to Jack Silvernail, Mr. Borelli has plans to build 7 houses along this stretch of Main St. I don’t know if the building would fit on one of the proposed lots where it is or if it would have to be moved but maybe he would offer the lot with the house for sale to someone who would renovate it.
The Cook Tavern
237 Main Street
This house was originally built circa 1790 (at this point it has been documented as far
back as 1800)and served as the Daniel Cook Tavern. Daniel Cook married Eunice Ware, the daughter of Josiah Ware, 2 owner of the Josiah Ware Tavern. Later it was the main farmhouse for
an 80-acre farm. We know that Josiah Ware 4, born in 1812, a descendent of Robert Ware, spent his early childhood in this house under the guardianship of his uncle Daniel Cook - after his mother had passed away in 1819. Josiah was appointed the first agent at the Norfolk Railroad Station and had a large lumber business in town in partnership with C. J. Murphy. A generous man, Josiah, helped pay for the repair and remodeling of the old church on Town Hill installing a large clock in the East tower at his own expense, helping to convert it into our first Town Hall which was later destroyed by fire in 1922.The house across the street, known as the Perrigo House, was the black smith shop for
the tavern for a time.
The chimney construction, visible in the basement, is very early - the chimney is
supported by pegged beams and no masonry. The cellar walls consist of very large
stones with no mortar. Plank and batten interior doors, wide board floors and hand hewn,
pegged timbers provide further evidence of early colonial construction.
The Pettee House
234 Main Street
THIS HOUSE WAS DEMOLISHED AROUND 2013 BY THE TOWN IN FAVOR OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
Here are some historical facts. This house may have been built in the early 1700s by William or Joseph Pettee.
In later years James Perrigo and his family operated a large farm here. James forebears
originally came from France. James and his son James Jr. were also clockmakers of some
renown and in fact today their clocks are held in high esteem. They are very rare and
worth a great deal. One of James Sr.'s grandfather clocks is on permanent display at the
Dedham Historical Society. James Perrigo Sr. (1737-1808) was most likely the maker of
clocks with wooden geared movements. James Jr.'s clocks seem to more resemble the style
of the Boston or Roxbury clockmakers such as the Willards. As a side note, on one of the
windowpanes in the house, there is supposed to be an etched scrawl which reads
"John and Sally Perrigot 2/11/1805". Josiah Ware4, lived here when he was first married to ___ Blake
The Harris/Rockwood House
76 Union Street
Identified as the Benjamin Rocket House for over 100 years, recent research has revealed a different story. The house was built c1725 by Nicholas Harris on land acquired from Damniel Blake. From 1725-1784 it was owned and occupied by the Harris Family, first Nicholas, 1725-1771, and then his son Obediah 1771-1784. It was sold in 1784 to Jeremiah Mann and Elisha Rockwood, (son of Benjamin Rockwood and Ruth Mann) and remained in the Rockwood Family for 135 years, (1791-1926). Elisha was the great grandson of Nathaniel Rockwood, brother of Benjamin Rocket of "Indian Rock" renown and great nephew of Benjamin Rockett. Benjamin Rockett had only one son, Hezekiah, who died in infancy.
103 Boardman Street
Robert Ware the Aged claimed this land in 1661 during the earliest attempt to settle Wollomopaug by Dedham. In the 1690s Ebenezer
Ware, Robert's grandson, built a dwelling, that no longer stands.
The current Warelands was built in 1733 by Ebenezerand his youngest son, Elisha and is known as The Elisha Ware
House. The property remained proudly in the Ware
family for many generations. Form 1905-1913, society woman Charlotte Barrell Ware,
"well known in social circles", shocked many of her contemporary proper Bostonians
by operating a unique and internationally famous commercial enterprise on this site,
The Warelands Dairy and breeding farm. This was the finest dairy barn and dairy bottling
house of its day. The Warelands Dairy produced the highest quality certified milk in
the entire United States. In 1909 Charlotte expanded her operations and opened
the unique Warelands Dairy School with forty of the top professors in public
health in the country on her staff. At a time when hundreds of thousands of children
and adults were dying annually of diarrheah and tubercular milk disease, Charlotte
Ware's scientific, educational and social-humanitarian impact was immeasurable.
She became recognized, internationally, for dramatically influencing agricultural
dairy practices, the milk industry and the commercial transport and sale of milk,
The Warelands, since November 10, 1977 has been listed on the National Register of
Historic Places. This listing is granted to buildings, structures, objects and sites
that have received local, state or national designation based on their historical
or archaeological significance. These structures and grounds provide one of the few
direct links with the group of hearty pioneers who first settled the Norfolk area
and that the value to the Town of Norfolk of these remaining as unaltered as possible
is of significant historical and archaeological importance.
......"I lived at the Warelands for a few years and can appreciate the significance of the
structures. The house itself is raised wood panels and horsehair plaster. It has
a center built chimney with five fireplaces with two honeycomb ovens. All the
floors are wide pine boards with the exception of the addition of the kitchen in the
70s I believe. The wood in the house is first generation cut. Some panels measuring
18-24" across the grain, single cut. Post and beam structure with original glass panels
in the windows. It is the oldest standing structure in the town and was the first farm
to produce pasteurized milk. Ebenezer's original house burned and the present house was rebuilt in 1733. Oh, one
other thing, it has a ghost, my ex-wife saw it; it is believed to be Elizer Ware.
The Ware family used to own all the land up to the railroad station. Some of the trees on the
land are over two hundred years old. It is an important piece of the heritage of the town of Norfolk and
should not be let go to development at any cost. The cottage and the barn date to the early 20th century and the Charlotte Ware era. It's a 27 acre farm. - " ......
The Stephen Turner House
187 Seekonk Street Stephen Turner House
John Turner I was one of the first of 13 settlers of the town of Medfield. This is his
grandson's house. Steven Turner
came to reside here in 1712.
Steven's son Ichabod had fought at the Battle of Lexington in 1775 and he later came to
sell the house, out of the Turner family's hands, to the Sayles family in 1792.
Of note, there is an inscription on a joist in the dining room with this same date
The L portion of the home was added to the house sometime prior to 1814 and may be from
an even earlier structure moved to the site, to connect with the original Turner
homestead. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Norfolk Cemetery
Main and Seekonk Streets
The Norfolk Cemetery was established circa 1745. Some of Norfolk's most prominent
citizens and best known families are interred here. For many years this cemetery
has been the focal point of Norfolk Memorial Day parades and celebrations, drawing many
townsfolk, veterans organizations and local politicians. In years past young children
would gather flowers and march to the cemetery to lay fresh bouquets on the graves of
The Solomon Blake House
97 North Street
This structure, built in 1762, was one of the first full cellar houses to be built
in Norfolk. The house has five working fireplaces downstairs and two up. The upstairs
suffered fire damage during a blaze in 1925. The Blake family were among some of the
first settlers in the Norfolk area and Solomon operated a sawmill on Stony Brook Pond
just across the street.
The Mann House
49 Seekonk Street
The first Mann, Moses Mann, moved into the area of present day Norfolk and settled near Highland Lake
in the early 1700s. The original Mann house, located across the street, was destroyed by fire in 1797 and this
house was built the following year. There was a saw mill on the Stop River where it enters Highland Lake. The saw mill dam was moved to Dirty Brook creating Manns Pond.
It was once the home of Thomas Mann, who served in the Northern Army during the Civil War. He
was captured by the Confederates and imprisoned in the infamous Andersonville prison.
He wrote the story of his military exploits in the well-known magazine article "A
Yankee in Andersonville" - available in the Norfolk Library.
Sadly, this home was demolished in 2013.
The Fales House
33 Fruit Street
This is one of the very few self-sufficient farms still operating in Norfolk.
It has been since the early 1700's and was originally owned and operated by the Fales
family. It has changed hands between very few families in its 200 years or so of
existence, owned almost exclusively by the Fales and Ehnes families. It is currently
known as Jane and Paul's Farm and is a familiar feature on the Norfolk landscape.
Little Wood Farm
163 Seekonk Street
We've traced this house back to 1818 when it was the Richard Boyden Farm and Homestead. Richard Boyden is listed in the 1810 and 1800 census for Wrentham as Richard Boyadin. When he sold this land to John and Caty Jepson, a house and barn were included. We hope to have the opportunity to inspect this old farmhouse this spring for signs of pre-1800 architecture underneath multiple modifications - which may make it one of the oldest structures in Norfolk. Some of the names turned up throughout the years should be familiar to long time residents and students of Norfolk history.
2002 - 2003: Philip and Juli Nievergelt
1968 - 2002: Domenic and Ruth Giampa
1948 - 1968: Henry F. and Dorothea Abel
1946 - 1948: Paul and Virginia Richardson
1942 - 1946: Eva H. Lewis
1941 - 1942: Harrison P. and Elinor Eddy
1919 - 1941: Oliver D.H. and Dorothy Beebe Bentley
1915 - 1919: Robert M. and Emmie Johnston
1897 - 1915: Jacob Bartholomew and Henry A. Bartholomew
1886 - 1897: Edward and Sarah E. (Mason) Lidbury
1883 - 1886: Clark W. Fletcher
1883 - 1883: Orville W. and Mary E. Butler
1878 - 1883: Christian and Henry Bartz
1877 - 1878: Franklin and Cathrine Baldwin
1875 - 1877: Joseph B. Hutchins
1836 - 1875: Cyrus Morse
1818 - 1836: John and Caty Jepson
???? - 1818: Richard Boyden
Historic Homes and Structures
1800 to 1900
The David Holbrook House
2 Holbrook Street
Although not much is known about this early nineteenth century house the exterior
design appears to be in near original condition. Inside there are seven working
fireplaces. The deeds on this property have been traced back as far as 1810 when the
house was owned by David Holbrook and the lot known as the Holbrook Farm. This David
may have been "David the Weaver" mentioned in The History of Norfolk by Bertha Fales.
Over the years this house has been owned by many families with surnames indicating
close ties to Norfolk's first settlers, as in addition to the Holbrooks we find the
Fales family and later the Rockwoods in residence here.
The Richardson Barn
360 Main Street
The barn is all that remains of the former magnificent residence built
by Major Richardson in 1819 on the hill next to his factory in the City Mills section
The home was later purchased by William Sweatt but in 1935 over a dispute with the town
he had it torn down and he then promptly left the country - only to die a few years
later in a bathtub in Italy.
There is some speculation that the house was re-raised in Wrentham as The Pond Home
on Route 140.
The Fisher House
22 Myrtle Street
This house is one of the best examples of Federal period architecture in Norfolk. It is
very well preserved and maintained. The present owner, the Holmes, are in the same family
line as the original owners. Joseph Kingsbury and Cornelius Fisher, some of the founding
settlers of North Wrentham, are believed to have resided in this immediate area.
The house dates circa 1800 to 1820 and has been used by members of the Fisher and Torry
families ever since. The Holmes are related to the Torrys,
as Walter Holme's mother was a Torry. Walter was very active in the political history
of the town of Norfolk, presiding as a selectman, a member of the School Committee and
the Town Moderator for many years.
The Union Street Farmhouse
151 Union Street
This farmhouse was constructed in the early 1800s as part of a large homestead
consisting of over 500 acres that reached all the way to the shores of Mirror Lake.
For many years it was a large dairy farm and even as recently as the 1930s the
property encompassed over 150 acres. The farmhouse originally had eight fireplaces and
two chimneys although four of the fireplaces and one of the chimneys have been
removed during the course of extensive renovations throughout the years. Originally
there was also a large barn and silo but the barn, like so many others, was destroyed
by The Great Hurricane of 1938. When the ancient chicken coop fell victim to another
hurricane in 1957, the owner hand refinished the wide pumpkin pine boards and
transformed them into the current kitchen cabinets. Unique to this house are the two
half-moon, leaded glass windows in the walk-in attic and the bark and axe marks which
grace the timbers in the basement.
The Federated Church
1 Union Street
Construction of the Federated Church began in the early 1830's. The land was deeded
to the Cleveland Religious Society in June of 1833 but construction may have begun
the year before. The building was originally constructed as the Second Meetinghouse
of the Congregational Church for use by their North Wrentham parishioners.
The Rev. Moses Thacher having been dismissed from Wrentham on Oct. 30, 1832 was
installed as minister on Feb 20, 1833.
The Henry Kirk Pond House
48 Everett Street
Account books owned by the Pond family and dated 1840, contain records of all the
materials used in the construction of this house and dates pertaining to its
construction. They also list business records for a boot shop. The barn behind the house
was constructed at a later date than the house. This fine example of the English Cottage
style of architecture is currently owned by Chauncey Eisner.
The Norfolk County RR Archway
This powerful and picturesque stone archway that guards the entrance to the
City Mills pond remains a hidden treasure to most Norfolk residents. It was constructed
by the Norfolk County RR circa 1848. In 1846 the Walpole RR was charted to build a
railroad from Dedham to Walpole, a distance of seven miles. In 1847 the Norfolk County
RR was charted to continue this line to Blackstone, MA passing through Norfolk.
A few months later the two companies merged under the name of the Norfolk County RR.
The line opened for service in the spring of 1849 with stops in Norfolk at Highland Lake,
Norfolk Center and City Mills. During the years 1891 to 1895 one of the truly legendary
passenger trains of the Northeast, the New York to Boston - New England Limited, known as
"The White Train", proudly ran on this line. In April of 1966 the New Haven RR was given
permission to discontinue commuter service between Blackstone and Boston. Since the
outer towns serviced by this rail line were outside of the MBTA service area,
the railroad would only continue to service those towns that would provide local
subsidies. Both Blackstone and Bellingham opted against this and the line was truncated
with the town of Franklin as the last stop.
The Norfolk County RR Cow Tunnel Dry Bridge
124 Main Street
This passageway lies somewhat hidden behind the hustle and bustle of Dunkin Donuts
and leads to the Freeman Centennial School athletic field areas. It is speculated that
the tunnel may have been constructed to allow passage of cattle or other livestock between the north and south sides of the railroad tracks to pasture for grazing without having to cross the tracks. Ken Cooper formerly with the Norfolk Highway Department recalls that there previously was much more headroom in the tunnel than exists in the crawl space of today. Ken is 6'4" tall and he used to be able to stand fully upright in the tunnel. The debris build up on the floor has obviously not been cleaned/removed in quite some time. The tracks and this tunnel are part of the original Norfolk County RR line between Blackstone and Boston built circa 1848 and opened for service in 1849. "Bridges" of this type were typically stone lined tunnels under roads, rail tracks, etc. and because they carried no water and were not drains, they were called dry bridges.
The Norfolk Grange Hall
28 Rockwood Road
The Grange Hall was originally built as a Baptist Church in 1863 and used for services
for 54 years up until 1918. The land was purchased for the church in 1860 for the sum
of $100 by Samuel P. Blake and Lewis G. Miller from Stephen and Fanny Campbell of
The land was once part of the old Holbrook farm of James and Samuel Holbrook.
As the Baptist population dwindled at the beginning of the century, the building was
sold to the Norfolk Grange in 1921.
When in 1922 the Norfolk Town Hall burned and was not replaced, many activities that
would normally have been held there were conducted at the Grange Hall from 1922 to 1949.
The Grange Hall became the town meeting room, the voting place and the hall where school
graduations, plays and dances took place.
Norfolk's Roman Catholic congregation held services here from 1947 to 1950 and even the
town library was housed here, in the rear of the building, from 1922 to 1956.
The North School / Norfolk Library
139 Main Street
This building was built to house the North End School and was previously located at
the corner of Cleveland and Fruit Streets. It was decided by a committee in the 1800's
to grant $350 to erect a new schoolhouse, twenty-two feet square, on the south side
of Cleveland Street. In the summer of 1878 the school was remodeled and updated.
When the Center School started to draw students away from the Cleveland Street
location the empty building was moved to its present location on the town hill in 1899,
for use as a firehouse. It later turned to schoolhouse use again and is now part
of the Norfolk Library complex.
The North School / Norfolk Library
139 Main Street
An earlier picture of the library - note the full front door enclosure.
The North School / Norfolk Library
139 Main Street
An even earlier picture of the library - as a fire house - note the shutters on the upper window, the lack of a lower roof and enclosure at the front door and the then open cupola on the roof showing us that the original shape of the openings were pentagonal unlike the slatted rectangular covers that now hide this space.
The George Thayer House / The Dupee Restaurant
15 Rockwood Road
This old farmhouse was probably built in the early 1800s but served as the home of
George Thayer and later as the Restaurant of Sarah Dupee from 1880-90.
Over the years this building, due to it's excellent location at town center and easy
access to the railroad, housed a wide variety of
businesses including a railroad hotel, a dry-goods store, Post Office, a Boomer Real
Estate office and is currently the home and offices of our town moderator Frank Gross.
The George Thayer House / The Dupee Restaurant
15 Rockwood Road
An earlier picture of the George Thayer House / Dupee Restaurant - minus the latter addition to the west side - Also note the early Norfolk Railroad Station and the double set of railroad tracks vs. the single set that runs through town today.
The Levi Mann House
84 Seekonk Street
The home that I live at was built in 1860 I believe. The story is that one of the towns first (of 3) selectmen built it, Levi Mann. It was later owned for some time by the "Columbus Outing Club" from Boston who would bring city kids out to the country. At one time another owner used to train boxers on the second floor of the barn here also - I was told that the great John L. Sullivan did spa here a couple of times. The Hovey family owned it for 50 years before me. Chuck Hovey was the police dispatcher. The green building is the main house and the brown building is the barn that was converted to a 2-family in the 1960's.....per Peter C. Diamond (9/04)
Peter's description of his home - above - ties in with other NHC's information re: the Highland Lake area as follows......It is known that a Mike Deveney ran a training center near the lake, known in later years as the Columbus Outing Club. Many well-known sports figures, mostly boxers and prize fighters trained at the camp. The great John L. Sullivan also visited the camp. During the summer months, at Mr. Deveney's expense, or as he preferred to put it, " at my pleasure ", large groups of children from the "slum districts" of Boston were brought out to the lake for a day of fun, games, good food and ice cream in the fresh country air. For further information re: the history of Highland Lake and other Norfolk's villages - see the "Norfolk Village Histories" section - back at the contents table on the first page of the Historical Commission's website. - Bill Domineau
The Blake House/Blacksmith Shop
118 Main Street
The blacksmith shop attached to this house was built in 1865 by the town blacksmith,
Levi Blake. Levi died in 1890 and the house was later owned by George F. Campbell who
served the town as a selectman and fireman. He also served as the town clerk for many
years and base on a picture dated 1910, he also used the shop for blacksmithing purposes.
The Elizabeth Daniels Robinson House
111 Main Street
Built in the summer of 1877, this home was first owned by Elizabeth
Daniels Robinson. Elizabeth and her husband Joel H. Robinson had farmed
together the land later known as the Cook Farm, living in the main house,
which is still standing at 260 Main Street (see description above). After
Joel's death, Elizabeth
sold the farm and moved to this new cottage style house with her daughter
Adaline and granddaughter Ella. Soon thereafter, Ella married a black man, John
Moulton, who'd been born in slave-holding Virginia in the 1850's. After
Elizabeth and Adaline passed away in the 1890's, John, Ella, and their
children took up residence here. Over the years this home has provided
shelter to a series of modest families with intriguing stories.
The City Mills School House
46 Myrtle Street
This is the only old Norfolk School House still standing in its original location. It
was constructed in 1885 and architecturally the exterior is in nearly its original
condition. The school was established to provide for the education of students from
grades 1 through 7. The building was later used as the home of The American Legion Post 335.
The Tramp House
The Norfolk "lock up" or jail was built in 1886 at a cost of $450.51 on the Town Hill. In the
late 1800s many a wandering tramp spent the night in this building. In earlier years
tramps were taken in by private citizens who were then reimbursed by the town. Later
in its history it was used as an additional classroom for the Norfolk Center School
which was located nearby on Union Street, next to the current Federated Church. Students
learned sloyds, carpentry and home economics in the old lock up.
Old Colony Railroad Bridge Abutments
Route 115 at Everett St.
The two massive stone block bulwarks on Route 115 are remnants on the once proud
Wrentham Branch Line of The Old Colony RR Company. This single-track line opened to
passenger service on December 1, 1890. It ran from Walpole Junction - now Cedar Junction
- to North Attleboro via Wrentham. This branch reached the 4-mile line from North
Attleboro to Attleboro, which was opened in January 1871, thus connecting
with the Boston and Providence main line at Attleboro. On Feb. 15, 1892, The Old Colony extended the line north 5.7 miles Walpole Junction via Common St., East Walpole to Norwood Central Junction. On June 27, 1903 the Old Colony opened another extension of the Wrentham Branch 4.66 miles from North Attleboro to Adamsdale Junction. A train could run from South Station, Boston to Providence via Norwood Central, Norwood Junction, East Walpole, Wrentham, North Attleboro and Pawtucket. There were two commuter trains from Providence to Boston each morning and two came from Boston in the late afternoon. There was also a "Paper" train from Providence each morning at 5:30 AM, bringing papers to Boston. It stopped at Pondville Hospital each day to pick up milk. Pondville and Cedar Stations were flag stops. The driveway to the Gould's estate at 46 Everett St. was the original roadway up to the Pondville Railroad Station, which stood on the east side of the track. The Gould's house was moved from Foxboro when Route 95 was being constructed. A road from Hill Street led to the freight station on the west side of the track. The freight station is now a private residence on Hill Street. Passenger service, on the Wrentham Branch Line, was discontinued circa 1938/39. Freight services continued for
some time longer though, up into the 1960s. The tracks were removed and the roadbed
abandoned in the 1970s. Jay Easton the Walpole Post Master, selectman and former Station Master and Freight Agent at the South Walpole railroad station was able to buy the Pondville Station (as well as the Cedar Station) when passenger service no longer ran on the line and moved it to a site on Route 1 where it became the "Headd Inn Diner" (The Headd family had previously owned "Mike's Truck Stop" on Route One in Wrentham.) and it still stands today as part of a Chinese restaurant on Route 1.
Historic Homes and Structures
1900 to 2000
The Cressy Memorial Pondville Chapel
29 Valley Street
The chapel is built on one of the oldest settled spots in Norfolk.
Daniel Pond from Dedham took a portion of the grant to Dedham to found a colony near
the lakes in Wrentham. His son Ephraim, and a friend of John Fales - their wives were
sisters, made their homes here. The chapel was built in 1909 by Dr. Oliver Cressy of
Hamilton in memory of his son, Oliver Sawyer Cressy Jr. Dr. Cressy's wife, Harriet
L. Pond, was a daughter of General Lucas Pond, who built the Pond Home in 1832.
It is a very unique building constructed of natural field rock in the Gothic Revival
style with blue stone copings, stone buttresses and a roof of slate and metal.
The interior was finished in hardwood with polished surfaces, windows of
stained glass and an old English style fireplace. The building was built for use of the
Pond Home for the Aged (now in Wrentham) and for the village of Pondville for Sunday
services, social work and for use in conjunction with the Pondville Cemetery for funeral
services and memorials. This quaint wayside chapel remained vacant for many years
and most of the beautiful stained glass windows were destroyed by vandals during this
time but it was renovated and converted into a private residence in the last quarter of
the 20th century.
The Sharon Duck Inn
Dedham Street (Route 1A)
The single story Sharon Luncheonette was built by Charles Sharon circa 1924. Charles
had been a foreman at the internationally famous Weber Duck Inn (pronounced Wee-ber)
a short distance west on 1A (which burned to the ground in 1958). He left to operate
his own restaurant and raised White Pekin Ducks, by the thousands. He specialized in
selling duck dinners and dressed ducks in the restaurant. The building served as a
restaurant under several changes in name and ownership - The Sharon Duck Inn, The Shady
Nook Restaurant, Rooney's and Pickwick's Inn and Pub until it was destroyed by fire in
1981. Firefighters were hampered because there was no town water at the intersection of
of Routes 1A and 115. Walpole firefighters used two tank trucks with a total capacity
of 1800 gallons to literally shuttle water from a hydrant nearly a mile away. The rear
of the building which housed the kitchen (where the fire was thought to originate after
closing at 2:00 AM), the main foyer and the bar room were destroyed.
Relatively untouched by the fire but damaged by water and smoke was the dining room
with its 20 foot high vaulted ceiling, rare irreplaceable cypress wood paneling and old
duck decoys. The building was rebuilt and converted to a two story office building in
1987. Although it has lost much of its original design, charm and feeling, the new
building was able to incorporate some of the remains of the former restaurant into the
new structure where it now stands, duckless, as the single story portion of the building.
The Norfolk Town Pond
The Town Pond is located behind the Old Town Hall on Main Street. The winding, part
dirt, part crushed stone pathway leading down to it begins at the backside of the parking lot.
The area was dredged out in the 1970s, sand was brought in and it became the local
swimming hole for Norfolk residents, for a decade or so. Swimming classes were also held here and and were
very popular for a time. The area has since become overgrown and is no longer used for
swimming or other beach activities but remains as a reminder of those hot summer days,
in a time not that very long ago, when the speed of life certainly seemed more in tune
with the natural flow of things in a very beautiful, little known, small agricultural
community, just southwest of Boston.
Historic Homes and Structures - Others
We will continually update and add to these pages.
Come back and visit us often to learn more about the history of Norfolk and view
the architectural and historical treasures that abound in our community.
We are currently researching the following sites and if you have information regarding
the history of these or any other residence in town and would like
to see it included in these pages -
just let me know......
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Little Wood Farm
163 Seekonk Street
NOTE: THIS HOUSE IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR SALE FOR $1.00 TO A BUYER WHO IS WILLING TO HAVE IT MOVED.
See detailed history above in the 1700 to 1800 Historic Homes and Structures section.
93 North Street