House on Park St. in North Reading MA

Eaton house, N. Reading

For several years, I did carpentery on an old house in North Reading. The house is not on any historic registers, not even the town site, but the post and beam construction in the front  section, joined together with tree nails (aka “trunnels”) suggests that it may date back to the 18th Century.

At some point, a wing was added on to the rear, perhaps another old building that was moved to the site and tacked on, judging from the irregular floors. All sections of the house have post and beam construction and low ceilings, suggesting an early construction date. Generations of owners have added their own touches to this cozy and unique home, including a full-width shed dormer in the front, smaller gable dormers in the rear section, and a side porch..

Rear of the house after renovations
Rear of the house after renovations

Captain Thomas Eaton homestead

This building was part of the historic Eaton homestead which dates to 1768.  The front right downstairs room is much older than the rest of the house and was probably originally an outbuilding on the farm of Captain Thomas Eaton I and II.

Captain Thomas Eaton Jr. died at the age of eighty-six, on December 4, 1829. His wife and widow Joanna, died three months later, on March 8, 1830, at the age of eighty- three. Their son George Washington Eaton, then forty-eight yrs. old, came into possession of the farm, consisting of the family dwelling at the corner of Washington and Park Streets, a barn, shoe shop, three adjoining sheds, house lot, barn lot, and forty acres of meadow, pasture, and wood lot.

The earliest record of this house is in April of 1861 when it was transferred from Warren Eaton to Sarah Randolph. The house by that time had acquired its current dimensions but the lot was only 1/4 acre. The house to the left was Sylvester Eaton’s shoe shop in the 1889 North Reading map. The surrounding property remained in the possession of Warren Eaton in the 1875 North Reading map and the 1889 map. William Reed bought the house in 1872 and sold it in 1876.

Closeup of the Eaton homestead in the 1856 North Reading map. It appears to show the occupant or owner as Mrs. S. Nichols. Deed records show that in April of 1861 it was transferred from Warren Eaton to Sarah Randolph.
The house is circled in the 1889 North Reading map showing the Easton property with this unnamed building between the shoe shop and the home of Dan Eaton.
The intersection of the roof line and dormer walls in the ell create the unusual ceiling shapes in the photo. The front door of the room leads to the original part of the house and the rear door exits to the back stairway.

The WikiTree site provides the following genealogy:


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