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Boardman House (“Scotch”-Boardman House)

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“Scotch”-Boardman House
c. 1687; 1696 lean-to; 1915–1918 partially restored, William Sumner Appleton. 17 Howard St.
  • Boardman House ("Scotch"-Boardman House) (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)
  • Boardman House ("Scotch"-Boardman House) (Richard W. Longstreth)
  • (Damie Stillman)

Built soon after 1687 for William Boardman, the house was long confused with an earlier structure that housed exiled Scots prisoners indentured in 1651 to the Saugus Iron Works. A remarkably unedited survival, the timber-framed house with overhanging second story and now missing projecting facade gables was built on a two-room center chimney and lobby entrance plan. By 1696 a lean-to was constructed across the rear, as surviving fabric attests. Its shadow-molded sheathed fireplace wall, exposed decorated framing, and cellar stairway next to the original chimney stack make this a classic example of late-seventeenth-century construction. The hall chamber has progressive finish on its fireplace wall, perhaps the work of Boston-trained joiner William Boardman himself; the bare outer walls with brick infill were never plastered.

About 1725 William Boardman Jr. replaced the casements with sash windows, introduced a new staircase, and painted the upper hallway with black dots on yellow wash. In 1914 the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England, Inc.) acquired the property to protect its fragile architectural evidence. Later partitions were removed upstairs and the lower-floor fireboxes reopened, but only necessary repair has been done since then.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Boardman House (“Scotch”-Boardman House)", [Saugus, 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, 385-385.

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