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ROXBURY 1690 – 1789
Brinley Place. 1723 Col Francis Brinley, commander of the Roxbury Regiment, bought a large piece of land on which he built a big house he named after his English family seat Dachet House. In 1773 the heirs of Col Brinley sold it to Robert Pierpont whose niece embellished it to such a high degree that it was called “Pierpont’s Castle”. During the siege of Boston, it served as American army headquarters of Gen Art emus Ward. The Pierpont family sold it in 1802.
Roxbury First Church, third meeting house. 1741. Completed and opened for church service on Aug 31, 1741 by Pastor Nehemiah Walter. The church leadership proposed that the westerly corner of the church be reserved “for negroes to sit in” ( Thwing. p 139).
Shirley House 1741. Royal Governor William Shirley bought land on the Road to Plymouth and erected a huge mansion in 1747 said to be designed by Peter Harrison of Newport. Apparently pleased the Governor asked Harrison to design Kings chapel in 1749. Called the first American architect, Harrison was trained in a private school run by an English Lord from 1743-1745; after returning to America he designed his first document commission the Redwood Library in Newport in 1747 which no doubt brought him to the attention of the Royal governor. After he became Governor of the Bahamas Shirley sold the mansion to his son in law but returned to spend his last two years before dying in his house in 1769. In 1756 a young ambitious Virginia soldier called on the Governor at Shirley Place inquiring after a military post; Shirley sent George Washington to the Ohio valley to fight the French.
1729 - 1744. Dudley milestones. Justice Paul Dudley –son of the unpopular Governor Joseph - set up a series of puddingstone mile markers presumably at his own expense but for reasons unclear. The triangular Parting Stone at Center and Roxbury streets was set up in 1744; the marker at Grove Hall (since moved to a different location) on the Road to Plymouth was erected in 1735. Approximately six markers were set up.
1782- John J Spooner House. 64 Bartlett Street. Spooner was the first commander of the Roxbury Artillery formed in 1784. Bought by the Boston merchant Capt William Lambert. In 1788 who “modernized it” in the popular –and more American- Federal style.
1785. March. Judge John Lowell bought the 10 ½ acre farm with farm house originally built by Joseph Gardiner about 1682. At Hogs bridge on the Road to Dedham. The Judge “modernized” it in the Federal style. His namesake son inherited the home and he called it Bromley Vale. It is now Bromley park public housing 255- 275 Center Street.