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Count Rumford House

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1714. 90 Elm St.
  • Count Rumford House (Keith Morgan)

The Count Rumford House, birthplace of Sir Benjamin Thompson (1753–1814), a noted inventor, scientist, soldier, and statesman who later became Count Rumford of the Holy Roman Empire, represents an early preservation success in the Boston area. The building was rundown and its sale and demolition seemed near when a group of Woburn citizens rallied to buy it in March 1877, making it the first house preserved by a historical society in the United States. Just six months before, a battle to save the Old South Church in Boston had ended in victory with its purchase. The Rumford Historical Association has since maintained the house, a typical clap-boarded center-chimney five-bay house, as a museum devoted to the count's memory.

Writing Credits

Maureen Meister


What's Nearby


Maureen Meister, "Count Rumford House", [Woburn, 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, 421-421.

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