As part of our continuing mission to promote the study of history, again this year we have opened our Historical Society’s program year by honoring Bedford High School’s National History Day prize winners. This year’s winning group produced a documentary, Zora Neale Hurston: Taking a Stand for a Holistic Portrayal of Black Women & Black Culture in Literature, and earned a third-place medal in the national competition, whose theme this year was Taking a Stand in History.
This past year’s team of Lexia Ciccone, Cordelia Houck, Natalie Knight, and Georgia Michelman, shown here along with their advisors, history teachers James Sunderland and Christine Butler and Society President Don Corey, attended the competition at the University of Maryland, and competed against an international field.
At our first meeting of our program year, the Bedford Historical Society recognized the outstanding students from Bedford High School who won honors at the State History Day competition, and went on to compete at the national event.
September 2016 Update! The demolition request for the Richard Wheeler House has been withdrawn!
The Richard Wheeler house is one of only 2 remaining in Bedford built in the 1600s and one of only 6 in Bedford that are over 300 years old. Those buildings are:
Michael Bacon House 229 Old Billerica Road ca.1671
Richard Wheeler House 445 Concord Road ca.1695
Farley-Hutchinson-Kimball House 461A North Road ca.1700
Nathaniel Page House 89 Page Road ca.1702
Eleazer Davis House 255 Davis Road ca.1705
Job Lane House 295 North Road ca.1713
A permanent deed restriction was placed on the Farley-Hutchinson-Kimball House by the Bedford Historical Society, and the Job Lane House is a town-owned farm museum. None of the other buildings have any legal deed restrictions protecting them.
There are only 7 other buildings remaining from around the time (1725-1735) of Bedford’s incorporation in 1729.
The precise construction date for the Wheeler house during the last quarter of the 1600s is not certain. The house was inspected by Orville Carroll, former preservation architect for the Minuteman National Historic Park. He determined that the front 2 rooms up and down along with the chimney base were constructed in the 1600s.
One scenario dates the house to Richard’s parents’ marriage. George1 Wheeler was an early settler in Concord, having arrived in 1639 with his young family including a son William2 (ca.1630-1683) born in England. William married Hannah Buss in 1659, and they had 8 children including their youngest son George3 (ca.1674-1737) born in Concord. George married Abigail Hosmer in 1695, and the assumed house construction date of 1695 coincides with their marriage. Their oldest son Richard4 (born ca.1696) inherited the house that now bears his name. He married Jemmima French in 1720. Continue reading “The Richard Wheeler House at 445 Concord Road”→