Researching Your Home’s History

In a city as old as Franklin, it is necessary to understand the history of your home and its inhabitants. Like many Massachusetts houses, your building may have been built in the seventeenth century. Researching your Franklin house’s history is an enlightening experience (in a notable home, you can experience history every day), it also indicates the type of care necessary to keep the building in pristine condition. Below, we have listed some methods and resources to speed your research process.

 

Visit the Local Registry of Deeds

Most Registry of Deeds websites have online public records that you can browse from the comfort of your own home. They may, however, only go back to a certain period—with so much history, librarians and historians are still indexing and digitizing many records. If you can’t find your home, consider using this website, which has Massachusetts Land Records from 1620-1986.

 

This documentation will help you find: previous owners (everyone who has ever owned the property), liens (current or past), and a history of potential foreclosures.

 

Internet Archives

Some internet archives will go beyond the information offered by your local Registry of Deeds. Instead of simply knowing who has previously owned the home, you can find everyone who once lived there—tenants, boarders, lodgers, &c. This site is a wonderful resource for this type of information—just type in “franklin inhabitants.”

 

Google

While researching, Google can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Start by Googling your home address. This will likely glean several thousand results, but you can narrow your search by incorporating advanced operators or Boolean searches. If you want to eliminate some popular sites from your search (for example, Zillow may be one of the first sites to appear), include a “-zillow” in the search bar.

 

Franklin Historic Home Listing: 417 Lincoln St. (Off the Market)

417 Lincoln Street

Franklin, MA 02038

(Off the Market)

 

Price: $299,900

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 4

Partial Baths: 2

Square Feet: 1,872

Acres: 0.52

Original Listing (Off the Market)

Zillow Listing

 

Just two minutes from schools and the city center, this antique colonial has everything you need: a fenced back yard with a large storage shed, a separately fenced garden area, a walk-up attic, recently-replaced windows, and plenty of rooms to fit a family. The first floor offers what may be converted into a master bedroom. The furnace was replaced in 2008.

 

Photo and Listing Courtesy of The Todaro Team with RE/MAX Executive Realty

Historic Franklin Home Listing: 15 Martin Ave

15 Martin Avenue

Franklin, MA 02038

 

Price: $699,900

Bedrooms: 5

Baths: 4

Partial Baths: 1

Square Feet: 2,615

Acres: 0.24

Original Listing

Zillow Listing

 

Built in 1900, this Victorian home received a recent facelift; the building was completely gutted and redone with elegant and sophisticated details. History lovers will appreciate the preservation of the home’s many architectural details (such as the period stained-glass windows), while new homeowners will love the implementation of its modern amenities. Set in the desirable Dean College neighborhood, this is a wonderful place to settle down.

Photo and Listing Courtesy of TEAM Metrowest with Century 21 Commonwealth.

 

Historic Franklin Home Listing: 19 Hayward St. (Off the Market)

19 Hayward Street

Franklin, MA 02038

(Off the Market)

 

Price: $280,000

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 2

Partial Baths: 0

Square Feet: 2,084

Acres: 0.2

Original Listing (Off the Market)

Zillow Listing

 

This home, built in the very late 19th century, is very close to Dean College and commuting routes. The house has two distinct sections; the front of the building was built in the late 19th century and comprises two bedrooms, one bathroom, the kitchen, and a living room. An addition was added to the back of the home in 2003, and it includes two additional bedrooms, one bathroom, a separate kitchen, and a separate living area. The basement is finished and can be converted into a fifth bedroom and a third bathroom. Owners will enjoy the large, private back yard and off-street parking.

 

Photo and Listing Courtesy of The Armstrong Team with Costello Realty.