Elements of this home date back to 1693, when Sarah and Peter Clayes -- along with their extended families with surnames of Nurse, Bridges and Esty - built their dwellings along what is now known as Salem End Road. This little group were refugees from the witch hysteria that gripped their home of Salem Village, 30 miles northeast of this spot. Sarah's sisters Rebecca Nurse and Mary Esty were hung for witchcraft, along with 17 other men and women, and Sarah herself was jailed for the same fabricated crime. Sarah survived, however, and settled with her family on what was then known as Danforth's Farms, named for Thomas Danforth, who was Deputy Governor at the time. These early settlers went on to incorporate the Town of Framingham in 1700.
As such, this home represents one of the most important historic properties in Framingham.
Things to know about this property and auction:
On May 1, 2008, the Framingham Historic District proposed to Town Meeting for this house to be named a single property historic district. Town Meeting approved this proposal. This means that any owner cannot raze the house, and needs to restore and preserve it with significant restrictions.
There are back taxes owed on this house -- approximately $35,500 and growing -- that the owner will have to pay as soon as s/he procures the house.
For the past five years, a group called the Sarah Clayes House Trust, with the fiscal proxy of the Land Conservation and Advocacy Trust, has worked with great passion and dedication to save this important historic house. We have been promised by the bank that owns the property that if there are no bidders on this auction, the bank will make a donation of the house to our project. We are working on creating preservation restrictions on the home and seeking a buyer who will partner with us to not only save the house but open it once a year to the community.
A great number of the Framingham community, as well as the historic preservation community through the region and the country, and the Towne Family Association (Towne is Sarah Clayes' maiden name) support our efforts to save this house.
If you would like more information, members of the Sarah Clayes House Trust board would be happy to speak with you. Please contact:
Janice Thompson, The Sarah Clayes House Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org