Monday, June 17, 2013

Powda House

From Dave Brigham:

A few times a year I drive into the center of Dedham, which has a great array of historic homes and buildings. Incorporated in 1636, Dedham is the county seat of Norfolk County, and borders on Boston's West Roxbury neighborhood. A few years ago I noticed this small building on a gentle rise just outside the town center.

Powder House #1

At first I thought this little structure was located in somebody's backyard. There is a private road off the main drag, and I didn't notice any public access at first. But as so often happens, once I got out of my car and walked up close, I realized there was indeed a little walking path.

I was really happy I took this detour.

Turns out the pint-sized edifice is considered Dedham's most significant historic structure. Known as the Dedham Powder House, the building was erected in 1766 by a Captain Fuller, during the year that the British parliament passed an act stating that the British government had total power to legislate laws in the American colonies.

I guess Fuller knew that eventually colonists were gonna take up arms against the British and would need a place to store arms.

Powder House #2 Powder House #4 Powder House #3

Located near the Charles River, the powder house is made of brick, with a wood roof. According to a recent town master plan update, the building's ownership is complicated, "with the town retaining care and custody of the structure while the land remains under the ownership of the Dedham Historical Society. Due to the secluded location of the Powder House and liability concerns, little work has been undertaken on the building and it has deteriorated over the years."

Still, for a a 247-year-old building, it doesn't look half bad.

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