Built around 1666, the Francis Wyman House was home to some of the earliest settlers of Burlington and Woburn, Mass. It is believed to be the oldest surviving building in Burlington.
But it is descendant Benjamin Wyman who deserves major props for the fact that it’s still standing.
In 1899, Benjamin visited the grave marker of Francis Wyman (1618/9-1699) and was horrified to see what had become of the family house. In short, it was a hot mess, so Benjamin organized the Francis Wyman Association.
“Dismayed by their ancestral home’s condition, the Association was incorporated in 1902 ‘for the purpose of acquiring and preserving relics and records of the family of Francis Wyman, and the ancient Wyman homestead in the town of Burlington and also for encouraging friendly intercourse among his descendants,'” says the official website.
Francis Wyman and his brother likely came to New England around 1636 as teenagers, along with their uncle. (Their mother died in 1630.)
In 1640, the Wyman brothers and their uncle helped sign town orders to form the town of Woburn, where they started a tannery. They still found plenty of time for adult relations, apparently, because Francis Wyman fathered 12 children, while John had 10 kiddos.
The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is still maintained and preserved by the Francis Wyman Association today, more than 120 years later.