||This article relies entirely upon a single source, the National Register Information System (NRIS) database or one of its mirrors. Articles based solely on the NRIS may contain errors. (November 2013)|
Paul Curtis House
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||
|Added to NRHP||May 6, 1975|
Grandfather's house, at 114 South Street, Medford, Massachusetts, is the original house named in the American song "Over the River and through the Woods". Some versions of the song mention Grandmother's house; it is unclear which is the correct phrase. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Paul Curtis House.
The rear portion of the modern house was built as a small farmhouse in the early 19th century. Lydia Maria Child (1802–1880) recalled the farmhouse when she wrote of her childhood visits to her grandmother's house in the poem "Over the River and through the Woods", published in 1844. The house is located near the Mystic River which is believed to be the river referred to in the poem. Most of the woods seem to have vanished long ago.
About 1839, Paul Curtis greatly enlarged the house and gave it the two-story Ionic portico. In 1975, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1976, Tufts University purchased and restored the house. It has served since as a residence for Tufts administration officials.
In the 19th century, ships were built across the street. A painting hung in the house shows a ship being built, with the house across the river, and Ballou Hall (the original Tufts building) on top of the hill in the distance, with no other development in between.
- Grandmother: Lori J. Kenschaft (2002). Lydia Maria Child: The Quest for Racial Justice. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513257-2.
- Grandfather: Carolyn L. Karcher (Ed.) (1997). A Lydia Maria Child Reader. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-1949-7.
- "Over the River and through the Woods": Grandmother's House lyrics
- "Over the River and through the Wood": Grandfather's House lyrics
- Article about the house and song