Home served as site of Roxbury’s first town meeting
ROXBURY — Just after the town was incorporated in 1796, residents gathered in the home of the town clerk for the first town meeting.
More than 220 years later, David Lincicome stood in the same space, which now serves as his living room. “The town charter was signed in this room,” he said.
When constructed in 1785, the building at 20 Church St. was a small two-story house. It was expanded several times through the 1800s, increasing the footprint to about 3,900 square feet. Among the additions was a “garconniere,” a separate living area for an owner’s adult son.
That space now has the master bedroom and bathroom, as well as an upstairs office and makeshift conservatory with plants filling a desk and lining the steps of a ladder.
“I love that the house has so much history,” said Beatriz Conroy, the listing agent. “I’m sitting in the room where Roxbury was founded. It’s exciting to get to relive that today.”
Lincicome, who has lived in the house since 1999, speculates it started as a clapboard building and the Greek Revival elements were added in the late 19th century.
The wide floorboards and five fireplaces are original.
“It’s nice on a cold winter night to light a fire in the bedroom,” Lincicome said. “For years we enjoyed it when the electricity went out because we would just light fires in the three active fireplaces and oil lamps. It was very romantic.”
The house has a rich history. It was also owned by Sheldon B. Smith, a wealthy farmer and cheese maker in the 1800s and early 1900s. At some point the Roxbury Congregational Church acquired the house and used it as its parsonage until 1986 when a couple from New York City purchased and renovated it, adding intricate moldings along the ceilings.
Interesting historical elements can be found throughout the house, including a small water closet off the library that served as the original kitchen.
The house remains a preserved example of Greek Revival, Conroy said.
“You can still see the original glass,” she said. “I love the windows here with all the waves.”
The windows also offer views of the flower gardens surrounding property.
One large garden is located outside the kitchen and screened-in porch and a shade garden sits by the driveway. Flowers line the creek and two circles of dahlias were planted in the spot of two fallen trees.
It became a tradition for Lincicome and his significant other, Jacqueline, to each pick three dahlias to enter in the Bridgewater Fair. “For about 10 years she would get first and I’d get second,” he said.
Thousands of yellow daffodils also line the driveway and fence. “It makes a nice presentation for a couple weeks in front of the house,” Lincicome said.
Linciome said he is also able to make about a case of jelly and two gallons of wine from the grape vines that grow by the porch.
“It’s very peaceful,” he said. “In the summertime there’s a wonderful 60-decibel background noise of birds and tree frogs. You can hear the creek babbling.”
The property is listed for $1 million.