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Wilder Homestead, undated, Buckland, Mass.
TitleWilder Homestead, undated, Buckland, Mass.
Full Size Image
SubjectSaltbox houses; Dwellings; Houses--Massachusetts--Buckland; Buckland (Mass.)
DescriptionWilder Homestead located on Ashfield Road, also known as Route 112, in Buckland, Mass. In this 1775 salt-box structure, there is the typical front entrance, the small hall opening into two first floor large rooms, each with a fireplace, a narrow and steep stairway leading to bedrooms on the second floor, and a large attic. The huge square central chimney serves five fireplaces, which, as of this writing in March 2010, are still functional. A barn on the property was built soon after the house, and is a typical English-style barn so prominent in this area. Gardner Wilder, who was born in Leominster, Mass. in 1741, was one of the first settlers of Buckland when he arrived in 1771. Wilder was a descendant of Martha Gardner, who emigrated from England to Hingham, Mass. in 1638. Wilder purchased one-half of the 400 acres in Buckland originally known as the Field Grant. Wilder and Lt. Johnson, also from Leominster, built a backwoods house on the property first. Nearby, Wilder later built a second house in 1775, which is this image. The last owner bearing the Wilder name was Edmund, born in 1855, grandson of the third Gardner Wilder. Edmund married Bertha Sanderson of Northampton, Mass. and served at least one term as a Buckland selectman. Shortly after he died in 1943, his niece, Eleanor Clark of Worthington, (daughter of his sister, Harriet), gave up her teaching career to be with her Aunt Bertha at the Homestead. Eleanor and Bertha both died in 1958. The Homestead then passed by inheritance to Charles Taylor, a cousin. Charles and his wife came to the area from Concord, Mass. to live at the Homestead, and were devoted to their new home. They became members of the Buckland Historical Society, and Charles later became an officer. In the 1960's, another Wilder appeared in Buckland-Loren Griswold Wilder Jr. (1917-2007), the grandson of Buckland native Lorenzo Colburn Wilder (1838-1892). Loren G. Wilder Jr., then living in Texas on a ranch, had come east to trace his ancestry and hopefully to find relatives. Knowing that Buckland was the place of the original Wilder home, he drove to the church cemetery to research headstones. On the way to Shelburne Falls, he noticed a small sign with the words Wilder Homestead. Turning into the driveway, he met Charles Taylor, at that time a widower, who immediately became Loren's welcoming host. Through the years that followed, there were cordial reunions. Charles Taylor died in 1977, bequeathing the property to his Texas cousin, Loren G. Wilder, Jr. Buckland residents were looking forward to the prospects of having the Loren Wilders at the Homestead, continuing the long tradition of the Wilder Homesteaders. But the Wilder family was deeply rooted in Texas. They decided to keep the Homestead a part of Buckland, and so it was offered as a gift to the Buckland Historical Society in December 1981. The house is the only one in the area to have remained in the same family over 200 years until given to the Society. Except for minor alterations, it has remained in its original architectural condition through the years. The Buckland Historical Society opens the Wilder Homestead to the public on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of July and August as well as the Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend in October each year.
SourcePart of the Wilder Homestead Collection
RelationFrom the collections of the Buckland Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 88, Buckland, MA, 01338,
Coverage42.60 N, 72.77 W
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