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

35. the Jonathan Kingsbury House (3 Rosemary Street)

The Kingsbury family was one of the original settlers of the Dedham Grant in 1636, and held large tracts of land in the North Parish (later Needham), especially along the central stretch of Webster Street between Great Plain Avenue and Highland Avenue. Webster Street was called Kingsbury Street until about 1850. There are numerous antique Kingsbury houses still standing in this part of town, and old maps show that there were many more.

Jonathan Kingsbury (Jr.) was a weaver. He served with the East Company of the Needham militia at Lexington in 1775, and also at Dorchester Heights in 1776 and in Boston in 1778. At the time of his marriage to Jemima Skinner, he was sharing a house with his uncle; but as his family began to grow (they would have at least ten children) he needed more room and built a house for himself in 1779.

The house as originally built opened onto Webster Street, with a central door in the east façade. The door was blocked up and a fireplace added in the 1940s, and the side door on the south façade became the main entry.  In recent years, a false entry was added to the east façade to replicate the house’s original appearance.

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