The 1713 House
The 1993 Barn
The Lillian Dutton
The Lane Family
The Dutton Family
The Rufus Porter Murals
The 1713 House
Deacon Job Lane (1689-1762), Johnís oldest son, built the present
house on his parcel of land about the time of his marriage to Martha Ruggles in
1713. The house was half the size it is today, a saltbox consisting of three
small rooms downstairs and a bedchamber and a garret above.
Six of Martha and Jobís children grew up here. The house was not
to be enlarged to its present size for another hundred years. Thus, the East
Side of the house is Georgian in character, while the West is Federal.
The homestead stayed in the Lane family for about
a hundred and thirty years, passing to Deacon Jobís son and
grandsons who variously lived there or rented it. The last Lane to
live in the house was Oliver Abbott (1800-1842). It was Oliver who
doubled the size of the house, remodeled all of the fireplaces, and
commissioned the wonderful murals (thought to be painted by Rufus
Porter), that decorate the parlor walls.
Mr. Hiram L. Dutton, of Andover, Massachusetts,
bought the farm in 1843, and it stayed in the Dutton family for
another hundred and thirty years. Many Bedford residents can still
remember Lillian and Warren Dutton, and especially Lillianís highly
successful mail order herb business. The Bedford Garden Club now
maintains a period kitchen garden at the house that includes
descendants of those same herbs.
In 1972, when the property came on the market
again, Bedford Town Historian Louise K. Brown had the foresight to
buy it from the Duttons in the hope that the Town of Bedford would
someday acquire it. A year later, Bedford Town Meeting voted to buy
it, and the Bedford Historical Preservation Commission was charged
to over see it.
In 1978, the Friends of the Job Lane House, Inc.
was formed to assist the Commission in its restoration and to
operate it as an historic farmhouse museum. Several of Bedfordís
organizations restored the rooms, namely the Bedford Minuteman
Company, the Bedford Historical Society, the Bedford Womanís
Community Club, the Social Club, the Brown Family, the Rotary Club
and the Friends of the Job Lane House. After years of hard work, the
Job Lane House was opened to the public in 1983.