Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Massachusetts


Bradford House

Bradford House, 50 Landing Road, Kingston, Plymouth County, Massachusetts (41.996804, -70.723764)

Felling Date: Spring 1714

Log beam (8/14) 1848(¼C), 1849(C), 1849¼(C), 1850(C). Site Master 1742-1849 UTCx1 (t = 11.65 DC AREA; 8.99 LBENNETT; 8.99 PBMx1).

The Bradford House is a two-and-one-half story structure with central chimney and a rear lean-to. As originally constructed the house consisted of the west rooms, chimney bay and integral lean-to. The rear slope of the roof was shallower than the front slope to allow for greater head room in the lean-to. The walls were plank-framed.

In the mid-eighteenth century, a file of rooms was added east of the chimney, at which time the chimney bay was widened to accommodate fireplaces facing both ways. In the added space, the southeast room in the main range was made less deep and the northeast room in the lean-to was made wider than the comparable spaces on the west side. In the lean-to chamber the east end tie is, consequently, cantilevered beyond the post considerably further than those on the other side. To reinforce this extra long cantilever, the carpenters chose to support the beam with two diagonal braces.

The house was built by descendants of Governor William Bradford of Plymouth (d. 1657), and remained in the hands of the family until the late eighteenth century. It replaced an earlier house, thought to have built circa 1674, for which foundation evidence was discovered immediately to the west of the present house (Jack Burrey pers comm). In 1921, the property was purchased by the Jones River Village Club and restored under the direction of George Francis Dow of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (Dempsey 2003).

The dendrochronology produced 6 precise felling dates of spring 1714 for first and second floor ceiling joists , suggesting that construction of the western section commenced during 1714, and was most likely completed by 1715.

Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2005 “The Tree-Ring Dating of the Bradford House, 50 Landing Road, Kingston, Massachusetts”, ODL unpubl rep 2005/2

Photograph Credit "By John Phelan - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10121034"




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Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230