Samuel Bancroft house : 232 West Street

  • Samuel Bancroft house : 232 West Street
  • Walkable Reading
  • 232 West Street : Samuel Bancroft House. This property was part of a farm pieced together by Henry Merrow over the years between 1652 and 1681. The farm was well situated on fertile land between "two highways", which survive today as County Road and West Street. The home is a Georgian style of colonial dwelling, but with a modern bay window added on the east side and porch and portico on the south. Samuel Bancroft, Jr. purchased the land from Henry's grandson in 1748, and it is thought he may have enlarged part of Merrow's previous dwelling and located it near the road that led from Woburn to the meetinghouse and village now Woburn Street. Samuel Bancroft came from a prominent family, many of whom settled in Reading. He was captain of the Militia in 1757 for the relief of Fort William Henry on Lake George. He also served as a Reading Selectman and in the state Legislature. Historians think this home had a large end chimney when Samuel built it. Evidence that it was created from a previous dwelling comes from two sills beneath the dining room and kitchen, as well as several cut features in the beams that have no purpose in the current configuration. However, a number of the features were lost prior to 1921 when the Winchesters owned it. They were especially proud of the exposed beams in the dining room that are a fine example of early American building techniques. Samuel Bancroft, Jr. had eleven children. His son Edmund, born in the house in 1751, was a soldier in the American Revolution, serving at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Another son, Aaron, born in 1755, marched to Cambridge with a group of minutemen after the Battle of Bunker Hill. Aaron later graduated from Harvard, and became an ordained minister of the Unitarian Church in Worcester as well as an author of some fame whose book, "Life of Washington", went through several editions. The house left the Bancroft family in 1793 and passed to another well-known Reading resident, Ephraim Weston, in 1798. Ephraim was a major shoe manufacturer, wholesaling shoes his Reading neighbors made at home. Evidence of shoe cuttings was found under the floor of the home when renovations were made. He and Jonathan Temple, owned a general store at Weston Square the corner of West and Woburn Streets - now called Dragon Corner, so-named for a painted weathervane he installed at the head of Woburn Street.
  • National Register of Historic Places ID: 84002471
  • 03-2010
  • Reading, Mass. : Walkable Reading



Walkable Reading, “Samuel Bancroft house : 232 West Street,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed February 27, 2021,


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