Middleboro: Officials push to save historic house

One of the oldest houses in the country is up for sale with nearly 50 acres of river front property and Middleboro officials want to save it from development.

When the Oliver House went on the market for $800,000, officials fast tracked an emergency plan to finance a preservation restriction, said Historical Commission Chairman Jane Lopes.

Lopes said the plan is to use Community Preservation money to help a prospective buyer preserve the Oliver House.

According to local historian Michael Maddigan, the house was built by Judge Peter Oliver in 1769 for his son. Benjamin Franklin was among the many visitors entertained by the influential family.

Middleboro officials fear the property could be developed and hope to lure a prospective buyer with a deal to share in the purchase price.

Town meeting will be asked to pay for a $15,000 study to value the property and inventory the historical and archeological assets.

Lopes said without the study she could not estimate the town’s share of the potential purchase.


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About Alice Elwell

Alice Elwell is a freelance reporter who lives on the South Shore. She joined the WATD team to widen our coverage to include Middleboro. She can be reached at acelwell2@gmail.com.