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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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7 Responses to “1656: Westford’s first house is born”

  1. Devon Lindsey on November 17th, 2009 7:46 pm

    interesting video, I’m amazed they tried so hard to keep it as close to it’s old form when they had to do so much to restore it

  2. mannington wood floors on November 27th, 2009 11:57 pm

    You really can save a ton of money buy installing your wood floors yourself. Most installers in my area charge at least $2 a square foot for installs. It is not that hard and the nail gun can be rented for like $40 per day.

  3. Robert Gilman on December 3rd, 2009 8:21 am

    Only 2$ per square foot for installs?!?!

  4. Arlan Keyes on February 20th, 2017 10:56 pm

    I’ve been researching this place in my genealogy. I believe Solomon was one of my Great Grandfathers.Would love to see it sometime.. I live in Pekin Illinois.

  5. Susan Hosley O'Conlon on March 22nd, 2017 11:10 am

    Soloman Keyes is my 8x Great Grandfather. Thrilled to hear of the preservation of his home.

  6. Aydin Aygen on July 30th, 2018 9:11 pm

    I am currently living at this house and reading about this is making me pretty freaked out!!! But the history behind the house is just so very fascinating. Overall this house is very pleasing. All of my friends love it whenever that come over.

  7. Sherri Monteith on February 15th, 2019 12:58 pm

    Solomon Keyes was my 8th great grandfather. My husband and I are planning a trip to New England, probably this fall, and I hope to see the house. I understand it is privately owned. Is it possible to do a tour?

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1656: Westford’s first house is born