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E. F. Hodgson Portable Home Models

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Meeting House Hill Rd.

Ernest F. Hodgson manufactured some of the earliest prefabricated houses in the United States. In 1892, he began creating prefabricated poultry brooders, moving to a site off Springdale Avenue two years later and expanding to coops, garages, and houses. After the company moved to Millis in the 1950s, the factory was purchased by the Town of Dover and served as its town garage until it collapsed. Surviving on nearby Meeting House Hill Road are a series of Hodgson Homes, perhaps some constructed for company workers. Numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 14, and 16 were constructed in 1930; numbers 3, 8, and 14 in 1940. Numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 14, and 16 have auto barns, mostly Hodgson catalogue number 3567, with a single door and side windows with shutters. Hodgson constructed panels for roofs, walls, floors, and ceilings that could be shipped and assembled on site using slotted steel key bolts. The company marketed its product with pattern books such as Wigwam Portable Homes (1907), which advertised that “ordinary men” could assemble these houses. These modest buildings were highly popular for vacation cottages, although many were used as permanent homes.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "E. F. Hodgson Portable Home Models", [Dover, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 522-522.

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