From Dave Brigham:
I've lost track of the number of times I've said, "Thank God for the Internet!" while working on this blog over the past 5+ years. I can't always find answers to my questions about out-of-the-way relics and long-forgotten buildings, but my success rate is pretty good.
Sometimes I think I've found what I'm looking for, but there's a nagging feeling that I'm not quite on the right trail. This happened recently after I took some photos of a small building along Route 20 on the Weston/Wayland border outside Boston.
I've driven by here numerous times over the years and long wondered what this place used to be, and what it was in the process of becoming. My search online started with something like, "Route 20 Wayland Weston old building" and before too long I found information at the Weston Historical Society's web site about a place called the Fiske Law Office.
So I saved the link and then, after I got around to snapping a few photos, went back to the site and read it more thoroughly. And something just wasn't right. I dug a little deeper and realized that the Fiske Law Office was close by, but was in much better condition.
So what the heck was this little place?
I searched on Google Maps and wrote down the address of the house directly behind this small building. Then I conducted a new search and found what I was looking for on the Weston Historical Commission web site:
"The Alpheus Bigelow Jr. House [863 Boston Post Rd], 1827, is a large Federal style building. A graduate of Harvard, Bigelow later studied law with Isaac Fiske and Tyler Bigelow. The Bigelow Law Office [3 Applecrest Rd] was built across the road and has been recorded by [the Historic American Building Survey]."
This building is similar in style to the Fiske Law Office, and obviously the two men knew each other, as Alpheus Bigelow studied law with Isaac Fiske. I may make another visit to try and speak with the guy whose house abuts this property, as it appears he's involved in the renovation.
Here's a peek into his backyard.
Here's what the building looked like a long time ago. The HABS indicates it was erected prior to 1800.
There's a nearly 8-year-old building permit taped in the window of this historic law office. Not sure if the owner plans to convert it to something private or public. I looked through the window and could see some old furniture and drapes and boxes, etc., so maybe he's just using it for storage.
The building is in a really tough spot for any use, public or private, as it sits right next to busy Route 20. I'll keep tabs on it....