John Bird House

Located in Needham, Mass., the John Bird house was built in 1755. Over the years, it has been home to a family of 11, a woman who needed her personal space, as well as being a glue factory for a short time.

A native of Dorchester, Mass., and the youngest of 11 children, Benjamin Bird (1686-1757) lived in Dorchester and Boston. With his wife, Johanna, he had a total of 15 children, including John, the namesake for this house.

In Dorchester, the elder Bird was a town Selectman, Assessor and Constable, and owned about 1,000 acres of land. In 1746, he bought 215 acres of additional land in Needham from Deacon Jeremiah Woodcock and his sons, but Bird never actually lived here.

Still, the area was known as Bird’s Hill.

John Bird (1729-1810) inherited his father’s property, and built a house for himself and his new wife, Mary Lyon of Needham. Their nine children were born and grew up on the farm.

Mary died in 1782, and John passed in 1810. After John’s death, some of the property was sold to pay off debt and the rest was divided up amongst his children.

In 1815, much of the property was sold to Zachariah and Saba Cushman of Plimpton. After Zachariah’s death, Saba lived here alone until 1836. She then sold the place to William Ritchie Jr. of Boston, and wound up marrying him after that.

In the deed of the property to her husband, she reserved the right to occupy the first floor eastern room. Guess someone needed a lady-cave.

The couple moved to Springfield in 1839, and the property was eventually turned into a glue manufactory by later owners.

From there, it changed hands a few other times, with one family living here for a chunk of 26 years. Afterward, the property was subdivided and the area is now a residential neighborhood.

With four bedrooms and five bathrooms, the house has 3,700+ square feet and now sits on half an acre. It last sold in 2013 for $1.16 million dollars.

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