252-Year-Old House On The Move In Belmont

BELMONT (CBS) – A house in Belmont that predates the Revolutionary War has been saved from the wrecking ball, at least temporarily.

The Thomas Clark House, which was built 252 years ago when Massachusetts was still a British colony, was moved on Saturday from its lot on Common Street to a new spot on Concord Ave.

The move is a result of a rescue effort by the Belmont Historical Commission, the Architectural Heritage Foundation, and others after the property was purchased by a developer.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports

“The threat was to demolish it and that would have been a tragedy,” said Lydia Ogilby, who works on the commission.

Dozens of people came out to see history in the making and history preserved. Longtime residents say they house is a looking glass into the past.

“They can see the smoke of Bunker Hill from the house, from the hill behind it. It represented some of the underground railway, of the slaves escaping,” said Ogilby.

Private donations allowed the house to be moved onto a new piece of property owned by the town until a buyer is found.

The crowd included Peter Sifneos, who grew up in the home.

“It’s very emotional for me,” he said. “For one thing it’s sad to see it leave its original home, but then again I’m glad it’s still here.”

Perhaps the toughest job was Brian Lagasse’s, the truck driver responsible for towing the house away safely.

“Inch by inch. Every little divot in the ground, everything moves, everything creaks and cracks and you gotta double-check it and double-check it and triple-check it,” he said.

The antique colonial will be stored at its new location for up to six months while preservationists try to find a permanent location for the house.

If no permanent location can be found, the house will eventually be demolished.

  • 1stackmack

    what does it take to move a house.a 1 stack mack.and a nice old r model to boot.

  • Rick W

    Is the developer willing to have it dis-assembled to be rebuilt somewhere else at a later date?

  • Save these homes

    At least an effort is made here… Now if they would save the Gates House In Framingham. But since its fate and unfortunate disposition with the state……….

    • Tsalnew

      And don’t forget the macomber estate that was entrusted to the state to preserve. It makes me sick that we have no regard for history. All in the name of greed

  • emom

    Our government has seen fit to allow antiquity to be destroyed, all to make way for greedy developers to build building that will sit empty for years. Cost millions, and produce nothing. .. We are loosing our history to make way for NOTHING, Wiping out what once was. to create WHAT.. Drugs stores have demolished old homes all to build their stores wipe them out all for greed… When will we stop the madness ,,, We are destroying history and no one seems to care. If no permanent spot is found it will become rubble,,, HOW NICE OF THEM.

  • Tsalnew

    I grew up in Belmont and know the house well. My mom was a lifelong Belmontian. The town is not what it was but I’m glad to see it recognized the need to preserve a lovely and historic home.

    • Tsalnew

      Just watched the video. I was very excited to see Lydia Ogilvy. She was a great friend of my moms. Her mom and my grandad were at one time the two major landowners in the town. Her son was a friend when we were young. Nice memories and a special outcome!

  • Save these homes

    Never more succinct Emom on this one ..seams like BIG drug company’s have declared war on Historic homes.

    Past articles lately of historic home that are succumbing to the wrecking ball have brought out many that have their nose in a joint about the much loved post and beams home that endured more time than any of the garbage homes built today will ever last.

    Then there the others that say if you want to save it then buy it.
    Most of the old homes have developable property which is more attractive than the home it sits on so its more about a retail squalor
    than worrying about our artifacts.

    if the structure is a danger even still there are many people who at least will part these homes up than to raise them. its a sin.
    if they MUST be moved everything should be done to preserve all that can be . what in Hell we need another damn Walgreen’s for.

  • frank S.

    What that man who grew up in the house did NOT tell you is that he made more money by selling it to the developer than he would have made selling it to someone who wanted to keep the house where it was. If he was so emotional about it, why did he sell it? Everyone involved here just wants more money, including the town of Belmont, which would rather have more tax revue from 2 houses on the lot than one. I can’t blame the developer for wanting to make money here, but removing this house from its foundation makes this area seem less and less like the true New England it really is.

    • tsalnew

      frank s – I agree with your last statement completely. The Underwood estate across the street from where this house sat is being developed as well which breaks my heart. Do you know for sure about the price or was that a guess on your part. If that is also the case then shame on the owner. Anyone who owns an antique is the keeper of its future and to not at least attempt to make certain it is preserved is inexcusable.

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    […] about $318 million from a $25 billion national settlement with lenders over foreclosure abuses.252-Year-Old House On The Move In BelmontA house in Belmont that predates the Revolutionary War has been saved from the wrecking ball, at […]

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    […] near Boston recently helped save a 252 year old house by spearheading the efforts to get it moved to another lot in town. Evidently the land it was on was needed to construct a bank — I […]

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