Clayes House is going up for auction!!!
Goff Three
We have received word that the Clayes House - located at 657 Salem End Road in Framingham, MA -- is going up for auction at 11:00 am on Friday, October 23rd.   We are asking that any supporters of our preservation plans who are available attend this auction, which will be held rain or shine at the house site.  

As you are someone who has expressed interest in saving this historic home, we know that you are as excited about this development as we are.  Indeed, it is something for which we have been working for ten years now!

Please see below about the auction and how you can help.  

With thanks,
Janice C. Thompson
The Sarah Clayes House Trust
What does the auction mean to our project?

We are very pleased that this auction is imminent.

Until the house goes through a foreclosure auction, the bank's hands are tied: the house isn't available for them to donate it to our preservation project.

If the auction does not receive any bidders, then the property will be free and clear for the bank to donate it to us.

Our goal, then, is to provide the information about the house and its preservation restrictions to any and all interested parties, so that they will be deterred from bidding.  

Please see below for the flyer that we hope to distribute at the auction.
What can you do to help?

1.  Attend the auction!  The more supporters of our project the better - a crowd will demonstrate to potential buyers -- who might be more interested in razing the house and developing the property -- that there is a better plan in place.

2.  Hand out informational flyers to interested parties (we will have flyers available).  

Please see below for the flyer that we hope to distribute at the auction.

If you have any questions or to let us know if you'll be able to join us, please contact Janice Thompson at

And thanks for your support!
Informational Flyer for the Clayes House auction
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,

Please visit our website for more information on our project, and to make your financial donation today!


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