Jerathmell Bowers House

The Jerathmell Bowers House is a historic house, built circa 1673, at 150 Wood Street in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is the oldest known home in Lowell. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.[1]

Jerathmell Bowers House
Jerathmell Bowers House.jpg
Jerathmell Bowers House is located in Massachusetts
Jerathmell Bowers House
Jerathmell Bowers House is located in the United States
Jerathmell Bowers House
Location150 Wood St.,
Lowell, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°37′50″N 71°21′19″W / 42.63056°N 71.35528°W / 42.63056; -71.35528Coordinates: 42°37′50″N 71°21′19″W / 42.63056°N 71.35528°W / 42.63056; -71.35528
Area3 acres (1.2 ha) (since subdivided)
Builtearly 19th century (early 19th century)
Architectural styleColonial
NRHP reference No.93001588[1]
Added to NRHPJanuary 28, 1994

Description and historyEdit

The Jerathmell Bowers House stands in western Lowell, on the east side of Wood Street north of its junction with Westford Street. It is a 1-1/2 story Cape style house, with a gabled roof, central brick chimney, and clapboarded exterior. It is oriented with the gable end facing the street and the main facade facing south. The facade is five bays wide, with two windows on either side of a central entrance. All of these elements are placed asymmetrically, with the entrance slightly right of center. To the left of the main block is an early 19th-century three-season sunroom, and older ells (of 18th and 19th-century construction) extend to the right and back. The interior of the main block has a typical colonial-era four-room center-chimney layout, with the doorway leading into a narrow vestibule with a winding staircase providing access to the attic level.[2]

The exact construction history of the earliest portions of the house is not known with certainty, though architectural details are consistent with an early 19th century date of construction.[2] Jerathmell Bowers, a native of Cambridge, Massachusetts, purchased land in what was then Chelmsford in 1670 or 1671. His son's birth was recorded in Chelmsford in 1673, suggesting that at least part of this house was standing then. Visible architectural details do not support an early date of construction (traditionally 1671), though further investigation of the structure could provide that evidence.[2] By the 1800s, the farm covered about 150 acres (61 ha).[3] Jerathmell Bowers was a prominent local citizen, serving as a selectman and militia leader. He also operated a distillery here.[2][3][4] During the early colonial period of Chelmsford, it was one of 19 garrison houses used for refuge by citizens during attacks by Native American tribes.[4]

The area where the house stands became part of Lowell in the late 1820s, following the early development of mills on the Merrimack River. The house remained in the hands of Bowers descendants at least until the property was listed on the National Register in 1994.[2] In 2013 there was a proposal to tear down the house to make more room for a new commercial building. The entrance to the new building was proposed to be where this house is located.[5] After advocating to keep the house, by the Lowell Heritage Partnership and Lowell Historical Society, the decision was made to save and stabilize the house. In November 2015 it was reported that the developers of the neighboring shopping center are going to start restoring the home in spring 2016.[3]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e "MACRIS inventory record for Jerathmell Bowers House". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  3. ^ a b c "Lowell's Historic Bowers House at crossroads". www.lowellsun.com. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  4. ^ a b Griffin, Sara Swan (2010-01-01). Quaint Bits of Lowell History; a Few Interesting Stories of Earlier Days. General Books LLC. ISBN 9781152216617.
  5. ^ Moran, Lyle (2013-12-02). "The Past vs. the Future: Lowell resident opposes razing city's oldest building for bank branch". Lowell Sun. Lowell, MA. Retrieved 2014-07-16.