DORCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY 195 Boston Street
Dorchester, MA 02125
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Earl Taylor, President,
GRAND RE-OPENING OF BOSTON?S OLDEST HOUSE, THE JAMES BLAKE HOUSE, ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2007
Dorchester, MA (August 27, 2007) ? The Dorchester Historical Society has successfully completed its project to restore the exterior of its 17th century house museum, the James Blake House in Richardson Park at Edward Everett Square, Dorchester.
The public is invited to a grand celebration, 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, 2007 on the grounds of the house at 735 Columbia Road. The event will include food, music, entertainment and tours of the house.
The Blake House was rescued by the Dorchester Historical Society from certain demolition in 1895. It was moved from its original location on East Cottage Street by the society in the earliest known example of moving a house for the purpose of historic preservation. At that time, the house underwent a restoration designed by Charles Hodgdon, whose Colonial Revival interpretation of this First Period house was the model for the current project.
James Blake was a pillar of the early Dorchester community, holding such offices as selectman, constable, deacon, court deputy and elder. He married Elizabeth Clap, niece of Roger Clap, the first of the Clap family to arrive in the new world on the Mary and John in 1630 from Dorchester, England.
The house is a two-story, central chimney, gable roof dwelling of timber-frame construction. Dendochronology, or tree-ring dating, was performed on the house in May of 2007 and revealed that the house was built in 1661. The house is one of a relatively small number of its type ? the post-Medieval timber-frame-house ? surviving anywhere in New England. The exact determination of the year it was built makes it the second oldest house in New England. (The Fairbanks House in Dedham is the oldest).
The current project began in 2004 with an Historic Structure Report and Restoration Plan by Salem-based architect/historic John Goff. The report recommended immediate repairs to the house. The Dorchester Historical Society received a matching grant of $50,000 from the Massachusetts Historical Commission,
The society raised the rest of the money by holding a number of fundraisers and sending out appeal letters to its members and others.
The project was completed in June of 2007.
DORCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
JAMES BLAKE HOUSE CELEBRATION
WHAT: Grand Re-Opening of Boston?s Oldest House, the James Blake House
WHEN: 3-6 p.m, Saturday, September 8, 2007
WHERE: The James Blake House, 735 Columbia Road, Dorchester.
WHO: Dorchester Historical Society
DETAILS: Celebration of the completion of exterior restoration of the oldest wood-framed house in Boston, built in 1661.
` Food, music, house tours. Tickets are $25, available at the gate.
CONTACT; Earl Taylor, President, Dorchester Historical Society
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Created: April 25, 2009 Modified: April 25, 2009