Old Nichols Home : 529 Franklin Street


Old Nichols Home : 529 Franklin Street


Walkable Reading


Reading, Mass. : Walkable Reading




1 audio file (1:55) : Listen Now (or right-click to save file)

digital, MPEG file

529 Franklin St. Old Nichols Home Settlement in this area of Reading took place after the second land grants were distributed in 1686/7. John Nichols received a parcel at that time. He died in 1721 and probate records are unclear if he had built a house here. His son, Richard Nichols inherited the property but lived only 11 years longer, leaving the house and 143 acres of land to his heirs. A committee of appraisers chose to divide the extensive estate into three parts: Richard's widow receiving one third and two settlements from the remainder. Rather than dividing the land between the six children and therefore rendering it useless for subsistence farming, the eldest son, John, was given first choice of the two settlements. He chose this house including his mother's right to occupy one third, along with a portion of the land. The second oldest son named, Richard, accepted the land to the east where upon he built 483 Franklin Street. The two recipients were to pay their siblings proportionate shares from their father's liquid assets. One of the siblings was Sgt. Joshua Nichols who marched to the alarm of Ft. William Henry in 1757. Another relative, Loea Parker was born here and died at Ft. Independence in 1814. The typical farmhouse with the 5 windows across and a center chimney and entrance is much like its original configuration despite a fire in 1880 that threatened its existence. At that time the nearest fire alarm was on Lowell St. about a mile away, but it was successfully rung. Neighbors took the children to safety, saved much of the furniture and the volunteer fire fighters managed to save the home. The house was uninsured and the owners moved to another location. It is said that charred rafters could still be seen in the attic many years later.


Houses -- Massachusetts -- Reading -- History.

Reading (Mass.) -- History.

Architecture, domestic -- Massachusetts -- Reading.

Collection :

Walkable Reading

Tags :


Citation :

Walkable Reading, "Old Nichols Home : 529 Franklin Street," in NOBLE Digital Heritage, Item #7590, http://heritage.noblenet.org/items/show/7590 (accessed September 25, 2017).