GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2002-07 > 1027550203
Subject: [GM-L] An Old Groton House and its Many Occupants by Dr. S. A. Green 1887
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 18:43:33 EDT
Subject: An Old House and Its Many Occupants - with Biographies
Source: Groton Historical Series by Dr. Samuel A. Green Vol I - Chapter
p. 1 - 9
During the summer of 1876 there was printed for private circulation a book
"Journal of a Tour to Niagara Falls in the Year 1805," by Timothy Bigelow
octavo, pp. xx 121.) It is an interesting volume with an introduction by
Lawrence, a grandson of Mr. Bigelow. The writer of the Journal was a
lawyer living in Groton at that time and he tells how he set out from Boston
July 8, 1805, with four companions and travelled through the interior of the
of New York, then almost a wilderness, but now teeming with thrifty towns and
The party returned by way of Montreal having been absent just six weeks and
travelled 1,355 miles during the trip.
Timothy Bigelow moves into the Old House whose 1st Occupant was Ebenezer
Timothy Bigelow was the eldest son of Timothy & Anna (Andrews) Bigelow.
Sr. died at Worcester March 31, 1790, aged 50 years; his mother died at
Groton on August
2, 1809, aged 69 and lies buried in the Lawrence lot at the Groton Cemetery.
He was fitted for Harvard College under the tuition of Benjamin Lincoln and
of the cele-
brated Samuel Dexter, then a law student at Worcester. He graduated with
high rank at
Cambridge in the class of 1786 and entered at once upon the study of his
profession in the
office of Levi Lincoln, the elder.
Admitted to the bar in the year 1789, he began the practice of law at Groton,
in the house then occupied by Mrs. Converse Richardson, where he also had his
The dwelling was situated on the south side of what is now Elm Street,
Groton, near the
corner of Pleasant Street, though it was moved away in the autumn of 1860 to
a lot near
the head of the old Jenkins road, recently discontinued.
He was married on Sept. 3, 1791 to Lucy, dau. of Dr. Oliver & Lydia (Baldwin)
Lucy was born on March 13, 1771. After his marriage he removed to the house
which was still
standing (between Governor Boutwell's dwelling and that of Mr. Graves), until
the summer of
Mr. Bigelow soon acquired a wide reputation and a large practice, by no means
to Middlesex County. Many young men came to Groton in order to study law
tuition, and not a few of them afterward became eminent in their professions.
Mr. Bigelow took an active part in politics and for many years was a member
of the Mass.
House of Representatives, chosen first by the town of Groton, and afterward
by the town of
Medford where he was then living.
Amidst the engrossing duties of his profession Mr. Bigelow found time for
occasional literary work. In the year 1806 he removed to Medford where he
died on May 18, 1821.
History of the Old House
The house at Groton, in which Timothy Bigelow lived after his marriage, was
before the Revolution and moved from its old site during the summer of 1875
when it was made
into two dwellings, standing on the southerly side of Court Street, near its
It was known to the present generation as the Dr. Amos Bancroft house, and I
distinctly, as a boy more than forty years ago (1847), that it took fire
early one morning
and came near being burnt to the ground. The Groton Fire Club saved it from
ion. It has been occupied by so many notable families, that a few facts
may be deemed worthy of record.
The first occupant of this historical building of whom I can find any trace,
Champney, a descendant of Richard Champney, who came from Lancashire in
England (as did
John Prescott & Matthias Farnsworth), during the early days of the colony,
and settled at
Ebenezer Champney was born at Cambridge in April 1744 and graduated at
Harvard College in
the class of 1762. He at first thought of entering the ministry and to that
under the direction of Rev. Trowbridge of Groton whose daughter he
Soon afterward leaving this profession he took up the study of law and in the
year 1764 was
admitted to the bar at Portsmouth, N.H. He then opened an office at New
Ipswich, where he
began to practice; and in the year 1775, he was apptd Judge of Probate for
Co., N.H. In the spring of 1783 he came back to Groton and remained until
1789 when he
again returned to New Ipswich.
To be continued Part 2 - p. 4.
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth