Joseph Parker House : 420 Franklin Street


Joseph Parker House : 420 Franklin Street


Walkable Reading


Reading, Mass. : Walkable Reading




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420 Franklin Street. Surprisingly, Reading's earliest map drawn in 1765 does not show this house and yet historians believe it was built long before the map existed. Ownership can be traced back to the early 1700's when Joseph Parker married Elizabeth Eaton. Her brother died in Annapolis, Nova Scotia while on the expedition against the French in 1712 and his land was left to his brother-in-laws. (Women had no right to inheritance at the time.) It is assumed that the newly married couple set about building a house on the inherited land. The house is and was called a 'half-house', a rather rare structure today. Initially, a half house was built with anticipation that as the family and finances grew, the house would be expanded into the traditional home with 5 windows across the second floor, two windows flanking both sides of the front entrance door and a central chimney. The original facade facing Pasture Road (and facing to the south as most early houses did) has been altered through the years. The three windows on the second floor are in the position to accept a new 'half' with 2 more windows. The original door was under the off centered window above and has been changed to accommodate a first floor window. The Parkers never expanded their house despite raising 5 children here. One son, Ephraim, later became the innkeeper who lent his name to the Parker Tavern on Washington St. Ephraim was also a Minuteman who marched to Lexington and Concord, leaving from the Tavern along with his son, Ephraim Parker, Jr. They were aged 47 and 24 respectively. Joseph, a nephew of Ephraim was born in this house and was also a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He carried the name of his father and grandfather, the original Joseph Parker, who built the house. This Joseph left Reading on April 19th 1775 to march with other Reading Minutemen including his brother, Isaac. Joseph served for 5 days and later enlisted for a longer period when he was promoted to Corporal and later, Sergeant in 1777. Isaac Parker inherited th


Houses -- Massachusetts -- Reading -- History.

Reading (Mass.) -- History.

Architecture, domestic -- Massachusetts -- Reading.

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Walkable Reading

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Walkable Reading, "Joseph Parker House : 420 Franklin Street," in NOBLE Digital Heritage, Item #7587, (accessed July 26, 2017).