THE BROCKLEBANK MUSEUM


Museum is Located at 108 East Main Street
(On Rte 133, across from the Elm St and East Main St intersection)

(Note: This is not the Postal Mail Address -  see (Go To Main Page) for mailing information)


 


For Times and Dates When the Museum may be visited see the Calendar Page (Go to Calendar)


The Brocklebank-Nelson-Beecher house is a First Period structure believed to have been built in the late 1600s. The land on which the house stands was granted in 1661 to Samuel Brocklebank a surveyor who had come from England to Rowley as a child in 1638. It is thought that Captain Brocklebank built the house shortly after his marriage to a woman named Hannah in 1668. The site was chosen near a brook where Samuel had kept cattle penned previously. The area is known to this day as “Penn Brook.”  Brocklebank, a captain in the militia, was killed with his entire company in Sudbury in 1676 in a skirmish with Indians during King Philip's War. The house remained in the Brocklebank family until 1754, when it was acquired by Dudley Tyler for use as a tavern. Solomon Nelson who purchased the property in 1767 also kept a tavern here for many years. In 1858 the house was bought by Rev Charles Beecher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stow and a controversial figure in his own right. He was the pastor of The Second Parish Church which once stood opposite of the house. In 1880, the house was acquired by M.G. Spofford and subsequently passed to furniture manufacturer Everett Spaulding, a tenth generation Brocklebank descendant, in 1931. He sold the property to the Society in 1975.  The original house was added to several times in the early years and it is described in the 1990 Georgetown Historic Resource Survey as a gambrel roofed, 5-bay, center chimney dwelling of early eighteenth century appearance.
 
Several artifacts help to make the Brocklebank Museum unique. Upon entering the old Tavern Room, one encounters a restored "walk-in" fireplace which is said to be one of the largest in New England. The “Haunted Meal Chest” sits against one wall of the same room. Local legend holds that a young servant girl found that the large meal chest moved mysteriously whenever her skirt brushed up against it. The phenomenon lasted only a few weeks but made a lasting impression on all who witnessed it. The chest, which had passed hands to the House Of Seven Gables in Salem was returned to its original hometown in the 1970s.  Next to a stairway hangs the original tavern sign which features a red-coated soldier on horseback. Looking closely, the visitor notices several musket ball holes reportedly put there by Minutemen returning from the Battle of Lexington. In another room, visitors can look down through a viewing panel to a recently discovered cellar hold.
 
In addition, there are hundreds of mementos of Georgetown's past in the museum from the original railroad depot sign to  china used in the famous old Baldpate Inn. The memory of the shoe industry is kept alive through numerous displays including a small back yard shoe shop which was a part of a cottage industry in Georgetown for generations.

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