Tuesday, July 9, 2013

William Boardman House
17 Howard St.
Saugus, Mass. 01906

Although I mentioned the William Boardman House several years ago on this blog, I had actually never been inside the home. So I just recently decided to take advantage of a open house held by Historic New England  and toured the property.

      The Boardman house was built in 1692 on 300 acres in what was then a very isolated part of Lynn. William Boardman was from a prominent Cambridge family, his father was a town selectman and trustee of Harvard College.

      Originally built as a four room, two and a half story home with two bedrooms, a hall and a parlor. The house lacked a kitchen. An addition to the rear of the house was added a few years later to make up for this deficit. There is an existing privy behind the house but this is from a much later period.

     The house was built by a professional builder hired by Boardman. This was the usual practice among the early Puritan settlers in Massachusetts who were after all from well established communities in England. Homes of this type were quite common in East Anglia at this time.

    Years ago this house was misidentified and thought to be a much earlier structure. At that time it was known at the Scotch/Boardman House and it was believed that Scottish indentured servants lived in the house and worked at the nearby Saugus Iron Works. Later analysis of the age of the Boardman House proved that this was not the case.

     The Boardman House remained in the same family until 1911 when the property was purchased by a developer and it may have passed into history except for the efforts of William Sumner Appleton, the founder of what is now Historic New England. Recognizing the importance of the Boardman House, Appleton purchased the home along with some adjoining property and saved this late 17th home for prosperity.