Paul Curtis House
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP Reference #|||
|Added to NRHP||May 6, 1975|
Grandfather's house, also known as the Paul Curtis House, is a historic house at 114 South Street in Medford, Massachusetts. It is claimed to be the original house named in the American poem "Over the River and through the Wood". Although many people sing "to grandmother's house we go," the original edition shows that the author's words were "to grandfather's house."
The house, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, is also the best preserved example of Greek Revival architecture in Medford, and is noted for its association with Paul Curtis, a prominent local shipbuilder.
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 grandfather'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. The referenced woods have long since been replaced by residential housing.
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. In 2013 the house was sold to a developer who divided the lot the house sits on in order to build a duplex next door. In 2014 the house was again sold without its former yard to a private individual.
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.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Medford, Massachusetts
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
- Staff (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Lydia Maria Child and the Development of Children’s Literature". Boston College: bostonliteraryhistory,com. 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- "MACRIS inventory record for Paul Curtis House". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
- "Medford Transcript article dated April 24, 2014". Wicked Local. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- 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