1656: Westford’s first house is born

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By Chris Segien
Staff Writer

The Keyes House is one of the oldest houses in Westford, which was said to be built in the mid 1650’s. It was built by Solomon Keyes, the first permanent settler of Westford. He is a celebrity in Westford history, being a notable farmer in the mid- 17th century. I set out to find more information on the Keyes House. Video Follows

I first interviewed Penny Lacroix, Westford Museum Director, and history buff. Lacroix has a vast knowledge of the Keyes House, and she believes that it might be the oldest house in Westford. There is a controversy regarding the year, which says 1656, but that may not be the most accuarate number. Lacroix has information on all of the historic houses in Westford, including the Keyes House. While it is definitely one of the older houses- it is not certain if it is the oldest.

Then, I went to the Keyes House for myself, to further investigate it. Right in front is a plaque that says “Keyes House 1656”, proudly displaying its age. It is a white house of about 2200 square feet, with two stories. As I walked throughout the first floor, the old wood floor creaked under me. The house has six fireplaces, which were utilized continuously when the house was much older. While the house is very neat and has some more modern amenities, it still retains its rustic feel.

I then talked to Abby and Bill Gilbert, owners of the house, to get a better feel for it. They display much pride for their home, and enjoy maintaining older houses. Their previous house was also an older house in Wayland that they took care of. Aside from a set of French doors and more modern decorations, the house maintains it’s original condition. According to Abby, they are very pleased they bought the house.

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