Burbank-Tufts House

Built in 1808, the Burbank-Tufts House was built by Jonathan Hunt in Lexington, Mass. A wheelwright by trade, Hunt had a shop further down the street, opposite the Munroe Tavern.

But two later residents would give the house lots of star power.

Hunt lived here until 1822, then sold the house to Horace Skelton and his wife, Fanny. Six years later, it was sold to Fanny’s father, Levi Harrington.

It was briefly owned by a doctor before being sold to Col. Sullivan Burbank, who first came to Lexington in 1801. He originally ran a store in the center, but when the War of 1812 began, he joined the Army.

Burbank fought in many battles, but ultimately gained a bit of fame in 1814 when he sustained a shoulder injury while charging the British Artillery in the Battle of Lundy’s Lane as part of Col. Miller’s regiment.

He remained in service until 1839, resigning at age 63 “on account of infirmities.” In 1860, the house was sold and changed hands a few times until being purchased in 1881 by Mary S. Tufts.

Tufts was married to Francis Tufts, and the next generation of the family were cousins to famous movie actor of the World War II era, Sonny Tufts. They were also related to Charles Tufts, the namesake of Tufts University.

The house was referred to as “Tufts Place” during the early 1900s. The family lived there for 29 years.

It later served as a rectory, a double house, hosted a secretarial business and was home to the director of the Cary Memorial Library for a time.

A later family lived here from 1980-2010, just shy of the 31 years Col. Burbank spent here.

** Information on the house from Colonial Times Magazine, 2008

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