Built in 1705, the Meriam House had a front row seat to events from April 19, 1775, which sparked the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
At the time, Nathan and his wife Abigail lived in the house, along with their seven children, ranging in age from 11-29. Nathan’s nephew, Josiah, and his family lived in a nearby house.
“Meriam family oral tradition holds that on that morning, “when the alarm was given in Concord that the British soldiers were coming, Josiah Meriam, with his sons, Josiah, Jr., and Timothy, went to the village, and later were among the forces at the North Bridge, and probably crossed the meadows and appeared again at the encounter near the house.
“Joseph, Josiah’s youngest son, then seven years old, remained at home, as he always said, ‘to take care of the women’ and soon went with them to a place of refuge behind the hill. The British soldiers entered the house, helped themselves to whatever breakfast they could find, taking the unbaked pies from the oven…,” says the National Park Service website.
That afternoon, a retreating group of British soldiers were attacked by militia men from Chelmsford, Reading and Billerica, who had just arrived on Bedford Road, which runs alongside the house.
The shooting between the groups began and wouldn’t end until the British Regulars arrived more than 18 miles away in Charlestown.
The Meriam House is a part of Minute Man National Historical Park.