The Deane Winthrop House
The Deane Winthrop House, at 40 Shirley Street, was the home of the youngest son of our first governor, John Winthrop. The first house on this site was built by Captain William Pierce about 1637. Deane Winthrop acquired the farm with the house in 1647 and lived there until his death on his 81st birthday in 1704. The current building was built by Deane in the 1670ís and has been continuously lived in from that date until now. In 1907, the Winthrop Improvement and Historical Association purchased the house and has maintained it for the enjoyment and education of those who visit it. As one stands in front of the house today, questions arise as to how it appeared in earlier years. Such a snapshot in time is published here in the form of the two photographs printed below, taken about 1900, that show front and rear views of the house. From the front, the unpaved street and the carriage parked in front of the attached barn can be seen. Barns were often attached so some of the heat from the house could filter into the barn in cold weather. In the rear view of the house, it appears that there was a driveway going from Shirley Street up to Almont Street from where the picture was taken. In the distance is the steeple of the Methodist Church on the left and the Baptist Church (Playmakersí Theater now) on the right. The rear of the newly built Churchillís barn, still located on Main Street across from the beginning of Bowdoin Street, can be seen at the right through the trees. Many changes have been made since this time. The yard has been cleared of the farm support buildings, the grounds leveled, trees planted and a grass lawn installed. While time brings such change, every effort is being made to preserve the building as it appeared in the mid 1700ís when the last major renovation was performed.
Tours of the house can be arranged by calling the Resident Caretaker at 846-8606.