The residence sits on land once owned by early settlers Sarah Clayes and Peter Clayes. The couple fled Salem during the notorious witch trials in the late 17th century.
Built in 1720, according to the listing, the house is now known as the Peter and Sarah Clayes House. After a top-to-bottom overhaul—updating the infrastructure, roof, and foundation—it stands tall three centuries later.
But prior to the recent revamp, the property was best known as a local eyesore, says listing agent David Ferrini. “It was dilapidated, run-down, and overgrown. It was open to the elements and had vines growing out of the roof,” he says.
After the most recent owner passed away, the house fell into foreclosure. A lot of work would be needed to get the place into any kind of livable shape, but nothing could start until the legal issues with the home’s creditors were resolved.
The lender wound up donating it to a historical society, the Washington Post reported. A trust was formed in 2014 and raised the funds to refurbish the home, and a master builder was secured for the arduous task. The entire project took almost 16 months, and proceeds from the sale will go toward paying back investors and back taxes.
Clayes was one of the earliest settlers in the area. She was accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials and jailed. Her two sisters, Rebecca Nurse and Mary Easty, were also accused and lost their lives as a result. Clayes managed to escape jail and left Salem for good, according to the Framingham History Center. She, along with her husband and other family members, built new lives and new homes in the Framingham area.
The home is made up of three combined structures, for a total of 4,253 square feet, five bedrooms, and 2.5 bathrooms, including a newly redone master suite.
The painstaking work included refinishing, rejuvenating, and restoring the wide plank floors, which are mostly original. The walls were replastered to their original look. Intricate stencil work—decorative wall decor from the house’s early days—was uncovered. All the windows and doors were replaced.
While care was taken to preserve the historic aspects of the home, it’s surprisingly modern in comfort and amenities. The all-new, black and white kitchen has easy access to the mudroom, laundry, and a back porch.
There’s a formal dining room, a living room, and study on the ground floor. Up one level, you’ll find the master suite with a walk-in dressing room and closet, as well as a new bathroom. Four additional bedrooms upstairs share a bathroom and walk-in linen closet.
There are ample closets and nooks, in addition to a full walk-up attic, a surprising amount of storage for a home from the 1700s. Other details include three functioning staircases, multiple fireplaces, exposed brick, and decorative windows in the stairwell, and decorative moldings throughout the home.
System updates include all-new electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and septic. There’s also an oversized, attached garage with an unfinished room above.
The hubbub around the home seems to suggest that plenty of people are curious about the revamped home with a storied past. An open house was overrun with potential buyers. “People love a story. It happens to couple with a stunning house. It is being received as a beautiful, livable property,” says Ferrini.
In addition, a buyer will instantly acquire a slice of local history. “The city of Framingham will deem this house an individual historic district when it transfers,”says Ferrini.
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