Oldest house in Arlington?

The Fowle-Reed-Wyman-Belcher House may or may not be the very oldest historic house still standing in Arlington –  but it most definitely lays claim to the  longest name.

historic photo of the Fowle-Reed-Wyman-Belcher House

historic photo of the Fowle-Reed-Wyman-Belcher House

This photo of the house can also be viewed online at the Digital Commonwealth repository where  the Library’s digitized historic photos and postcards reside.

Some facts:

Considered a Saltbox, the house was built  around 1706  [practically in the                              1600s]  and has gone through changes over the years.

Squaw Sachem, a leader of the Massachuset tribe and  original settler of this area early known as Menotomy, lived nearby on lands rising above what is today’s Upper Mystic Lake.  She owned a large swath of land – some of which encompassed Charlestown, Arlington, Medford, Malden, and Winchester. – which she later sold.

The Wymans, – an Arlington family well known for their market gardening                               practice –  owned the Fowle-Reed-Wyman-Belcher property for much of the                           1800s.

This house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


a relatively modern photo of the house

a relatively modern photo of the house


Some resources…

Biographies and legends of the New England Indians by Leo Bonfanti

The Digital Commonwealth

A field guide to American houses : the definitive guide to identifying and understanding America’s domestic architecture by Virginia Savage McAlester

Historical files held at Robbins Library

The New organic grower: a master’s manual of tools and techniques for the  home and market gardener by Eliot Coleman.

Saltbox and Cape Cod houses  by Stanley Schuler

Success in market gardening; a new vegetable growers manual, by Herbert Rawson.  1910





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2 Responses to Oldest house in Arlington?

  1. Rebecca A. says:

    I would love to know the location, even just the street. It would be interesting to compare a current photo with this older one.

    • ellen says:

      If you look closely at
      the 2nd more modern photo in the blog post, you’ll discover the answer to your question.
      For more information on the house and its property, see pp 36-37 in the book –
      Northwest Arlington, Massachusetts: An architectural and historical study.
      Copies are available at the Library. 974.44 Arlington.

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