In 1773 the Sheffield Declaration, a petition against British tyranny and manifesto for individual rights, was drafted in the upstairs study of the house. Less than a decade later, the Ashleys' slave, Elizabeth "Mum Bett" Freeman won her freedom under the new state constitution through a celebrated 1781 Massachusetts state court battle. The case helped to end slavery in Massachusetts.
The house is typical of early 18th century rural American architecture, with furnishings and items dating from the 18th and early 19th centuries.. The house is open for tours on weekends from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.