Grafton is filled with historical homes and buildings, some of which are described below:
The Wheeler Block was originally constructed in 1806 by Jonathan Wheeler. It was used as a general store and still is the home of Liz Humphries' wonderful Grafton Country Store with the recent addition of Latte & More. Its roof style is the French Mansard roof which was added in 1865 although it has lost its slate. The Country Store is a must-see for its quaintness, appealing diversity of products and penny candy!
Across Worcester Street and also facing the Grafton Common is the Warren Building built in the early 1850s by Jonathan Wheeler. Destroyed by fire in 1862, it was immediately rebuilt by Mr. Wheeler and became home to a tailor, jeweler and other businesses prior to its use as the old Town Hall. Presently, it is home to several unique and charming shops: women's clothing Peggy's Place, a European gift store, a Tea House and the Historical Society.
The Evangelical Congregational Church was completed in 1833 and its steeple and gallery clock are works of the famous Willard Family. The Greek Revival church architecture is a notable example of an early New England village. The roots of the Congregational church in Grafton go back to Solomon Prentice in 1731.
The Grafton Inn, 25 Central Square is the oldest building on Grafton common. It is pre-Industrial and still intact as the well-respected Grafton Inn restaurant and offers 8 rooms for lodging. It sits at the corner of Rte 140 and many a stagecoach stopped at the Inn.
The Unitarian Church at 3 Central Square was built at the site of the second public meeting house before the Warren Building was constructed. This former meeting house, however, was burnt in the great fire of 1862. In the interim of the fire and the Warren Building, town meetings were held in the basement of the Church.
The Jerome Wheelock Statue was built in the late 1800s to honor a noted mechanical engineer, Jerome Wheelock, who had been born in Grafton in 1834. Wheelock bestowed a large gift of money to the town.
The monuments memorialize the Civil War and World War I soldiers lost in these two wars that were from Grafton. These monuments are graced with flowering trees in the Spring adding to the picturesque beauty.
The Baptist Church at 1 South Street was built in 1830 when membership grew after meeting throughout Grafton homes for many years.
The Bandstand gazebo was built for the filming of a 1955 movie, "Ah Wilderness" featuring a quaint NE village. However, a gazebo stood at the Common in the 1800s for public affairs and gatherings during town celebrations.
The Old Burial Ground, off of Oak Street, is the town's oldest burial ground which was laid out in 1737 when the town was acreage was being divided. It started as an acre but has since grown to four acres and contains the graves of seven of Grafton's first 40 proprietors. It also is the burial ground of the Reverend Solomon Prentice.
12 Oak Street is a Greek Revival styled home almost identical to a home across the street. This house was built in the early 1830s by Phillip Wing whose son, Henry inherited it upon Phillip's death. It was used as a stopover for the mail coach during these years.
18 Oak Street was the farmhouse of the Redding family which held onto it for over 50 years. This property once held a large portion of land in this Oak Street area, but was reduced to a smaller lot in 1898 and sold to Joseph Adams. It might have been used as a rental unit.
20 Oak Street is known as the Solomon Prentice House and is one of the remaining 2 1/2 story five bay central chimney farmhouses to remain from the eighteenth century. It was home to Rev Solomon Prentice, who was relieved of his position in 1747 for his radical views, following the English minister and radical, Whitefield.
16 Millbury Street is a 1 1/2 story 5 bay Cape Cod cottage, of which there are not many in Grafton. Still intact as the oldest standing house built in 1822, Captain Samuel Hall had worked as a blacksmith and an undertaker. The shop to build and store caskets was attached to his home.
26 Millbury Street is a prime example of the Queen Anne's architecture. The original owner, Edward Beauregard, built the home in 1890 and by 1900, Mrs. Louise Beauregard established it as a boarding house.
Baptist Church (see above)
6 South Street, another example of Greek revival architecture, offers important features such as a central pavilion and double leaf arched door. The influential owner was Samuel Wood who fought in the Civil War.
17 South Street is one of only two three-story Federal style houses in Grafton. It was owned by two deacons of the Baptist Church at different times. The first was Jeremiah Bond in the 1830s and then surgeon and deacon George Hastings ran a shop in the home. Hastings worked as a surgeon in the Grand Army of the Republic after the Civil War although it seems he held no medical degree.
6 Worcester Street, now home of the LakeView Deli, was built in the 1850s and became the home of Grafton's high school and grammar school in 1867. Grammar school classes were held on the first floor and high school classes were held on the second floor.
7 Worcester Street was built in 1875 for Dr. George K. Nichols, who had been raised in Saundersville (south Grafton) when his Father died. He was educated at private schools and the University of Pennsylvania. He became president of Grafton Savings Bank and married Samuel Harrington's daughter. This Italianate style home has been updated with more modern shingles and picture windows.
20 Worcester Street a gable end Greek Revival home owned for many years by George Estabrook, president of the Grafton Farmer's Club and selectman 1860-1.
39 Worcester Street is an 18th century gambled roof cottage, the oldest home in Grafton that was built around 1720. This home was moved from its original northwest location in Central Square.
1 North Street is a 5 bay Greek Revival home originally owned by shoemaker Samuel Flagg. It was later owned by shoemaker Silas Warren who brought the shoe manufacturing business to the site. In the 1840s, the building was used as a high school.
3 North Street was used as a tanning and currying shop during the 1850s after being built by Joseph Rice in the 1830s. Lewis Dodge was a major employer in Grafton at the Dodge Shop which was made into a dweliing in the 1880s.
15 North Street is an example of a mail order home assembled by locals after it was received from a Sears Roebuck catalog order. The site had earlier been the location for the Warren Family manufacturing structure.
28 North Street is a lovely and very well-preserved Federal House and is presently a Bed & Breakfast. It was built in 1790 for A.J. Hall and was a rooming house, often for teachers in the Worcester area.
30 North Street was the home of two generations of the Wood family. Isaac Wood was a School Committee official in the early 1800s. In the 1890s, undertaker Benjamin Gibson owned the home.
44 North Street is on the National Register of Historic Homes as the only example of a high style Greek Revival with a two story colonnade at the front and side. This house was built by owner George Clapp circa 1831 and was owned in the late 1890s by Grafton's treasurer, George McClellan.
More To Come for Grafton Architecture as well as the other BV communities. 2/21/03.
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