Needham History Center & Museum Needham History Center & Museum, Needham Massachusetts 02492

22. the Nathan McIntosh House (near 1381 Great Plain Avenue)

This house was built sometime between 1840 and 1850, probably by Nathan McIntosh. Nathan McIntosh was (among other things) a glue-maker, a shoemaker, a keeper (briefly) of his father’s tavern (see Site #1).  He served the town as tax collector in the 1830s. Prior to this house, he had built and lived in the house across the street, at 1092 Central Avenue. He was a grandson of Needham’s Revolutionary War hero, Colonel William McIntosh.

The McIntosh House is typical of the farms and workshops that were common in Needham in the 19th century. The house was relatively small. The large barn to the rear was for storage of equipment, supplies, and livestock. The ell behind the main house, the shed in front of the barn, and the workyard in between, were all part of the productive space – over the years, producing glue, shoes, meat, and a number of other products. Ice was harvested from a small pond to the east of the house, and sold from a shed on its banks.  The McIntosh house was probably torn down in the 1930s, when the neighborhood began to develop and take on a more residential character.

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