Archaeological Investigations and Findings at the Turner House

Documentary Research and Archaeological Investigations at the Turner House, Pembroke, Massachusetts
Prepared for: The Pembroke Historical Commission Town of Pembroke, MA
Prepared by: Fiske Center for Archaeological Research, University of Massachusetts Boston Cultural Resource Management
Study No. 86 - Click here to view complete study
February 2021

Excerpted from pages 1-3:

"Site Description

The current property (Fig. 3) is 9.3 acres, acquired by the Town of Pembroke in 2016 (PCRD: 47381: 103). The western boundary of the property is formed by Pudding Brook. The property falls within the southern end of the North Pembroke Historic District (LHD, PEM.B), which consists of 18th and 19th-century institutions (school, inn, and church) and commercial and residential buildings along Washington St.

Notes in the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) files suggest that the house was moved, but subsequent notes by MHC staff determined that this was not the case. The house now appears to be set back from the road because Washington Street was re-routed. The house still sits very close to the former route of Washington Street, visible in front (east) of the standing house. The MHC’s inventory form for the building, completed in 1984 by Robert O’Hare of the Pembroke Historical Commission, outlines the history of the property (see below).

However, it also lists a construction date of 1760, which should be updated based on more recent research. The only previous field study of the Turner House was an examination of the building’s architecture conducted by Michael Burrey and Brian Pfeiffer 2 Figure 1a. The Turner House property on the USGS map of Pembroke. Numbers in the margins of this and other maps show the Massachusetts State Plane grid in meters. 3 in 2013 to provide recommendations to the town about relocating or repairing the building.

They date the main block of the house to ca. 1820, based on the Federal period architectural style, in contrast to the ca. 1760 date listed on the MHC’s inventory form. This means that a significant part of the Turner family’s occupation of the property (1688-1846) predates the standing house. There was an extension on the south side of the house that has been demolished since 1980 (see PCRD Plan book 21: 508, plan recorded 1/1/1980), also a barn southwest of the house.

The other implication of the ca. 1820 date for the standing house is that the location of the earlier Turner House is unknown."