Jonathan Townsend House

This gorgeous 1720 house, set back on a long driveway in Needham, Mass, turns 300 this year. Sea captain Gregory Sugars built it for his son-in-law, Rev. Jonathan Townsend.

Needham’s East Militia met here before marching to Lexington in 1775. Because a minister owned the house, the British would never suspect that gunpowder and weaponry were stored here in the basement. But that’s exactly what happened throughout the Revolutionary War — and everything remained safely nestled inside.

Also known as The Old Manse, the house was restyled with its Federal appearance by Rev. Samuel West, its second owner, in the 1780s. It has been modified over the years (a mansard roof was added in the 1850s), but the interior reportedly retains original 18th century features.

Another minister, Stephen Palmer, also lived in this house.

Despite changes to its exterior over the years, 1720 is painted on the chimney, a homage to the year it was built.

The 5,500+ square foot house has seven bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and last sold in 1999 for $900,000. It is likely worth nearly twice that much today.

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