Rev. John Houston House
Historic Name: Rev. John Houston House
Address: 86 Bedford Center Road
Current Use: Residential use
Past Uses: Post Office, Boarding House, General Store (While building French's store)
Architectural Style: Colonial
Construction Date: 1766
Source: History of Bedford
2019 House (Click to Enlarge)
1901 Picture of the Rev. John Houston House (Click to Enlarge)
Updates/Restorations: Windows (1992); Windows in ell rebuilt (2016)
Picture of the Rev. John Houston House (Click to Enlarge)
Reverend John Houston and the Houston's/Briggs
Reverend John Houston built, lived and died in this house before passing it on to his son, Robert Houston. During this time, Ann Orr taught school in the kitchen of the house. Robert Houston passed it on to his son, John Houston, who passed the house on to his son-in-law, Rodolphus D. Briggs.
The house was then sold to Captain Thomas J. Rollins, who sold it to Lorenzo Carr. Lorenzo Carr sold the house to Putnam Jenkins who sold it to Gardner Nevins. Charles H. Moore bought the house from Gardner Nevins, and sold it to Quincy Barnard.
Quincy Barnard bought the property from Charles H. Moore, and later passed it on to his son, Frank H. Barnard. During this time, across the street from them was the general store owned by George H. Wiggin & Company and was managed by J. Walker Wiggin. On January 27, 1923, the general store was destroyed by a fire. Mr. Barnard and his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Neville T. Barnard) offered to use their front room on the northeast corner of the house for the store. This offer was graciously reviewed , and the next day the furniture was moved out and the shelves were put up. A counter was made, and in a few days the store was stocked with goods and the Wiggins were back in business. The grain, hay, and other items usually carried by a country store were kept in the barn and carriage house. This arrangement was used for several months until a new store could be built. Again on March 6, 1963, the store was destroyed by fire; this time it was not re-built. Once again the U.S. postal sub-station was located in the Barnard house, with Mrs. Isabelle Barnard as the clerk-in-charge.
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