The Reverend James Keith House is owned and operated by the Old Bridgewater Historical Society (http://www.oldbridgewater.org/). The Town of Bridgewater, in an effort to entice a new minister, one who would remain in town, decided on December 26, 1661 to build a house on town land for a minister, and to freely give the house and land to the minister that shall live and die among them. Construction on what would become the Keith Parsonage probably began the following spring of 1662. Keith’s original house appears to have been a simple, two-story structure measuring 16′ east to west by 17′ north to south. It would have looked similar to the Browne House in Watertown, Massachusetts. The front door was on the south side, facing the river, and the second story was probably accessed by means of a ladder, possibly located inside the front door. The hearth was probably along the east wall, north of the summer beam, and the whole first floor would have been used as a traditional hall- a multipurpose room where daily activities and sleeping took place. The chamber, the second floor, would have been used for storage and for sleeping and was probably originally unfinished. The building may have had a lean to extension on the north side, but this is pure speculation and is not recorded anywhere.
It was expanded in 1678 to a hall and parlor and further renovated in the 1830s and 1970s.
PARP is working with the Old Bridgewater Historical Society to learn more about the house.
Read our background report here
Read our 2016 field season report here
Read our 2017 fieldwork report here