Cudworth House, Barn and Cattle Pound
331 First Parish Road
The Cudworth House sits on land granted to Richard Garrett before 1646. In 1728 Jael Garrett sold the dwelling house and land to James Cudworth. Ownership passed to his grandson, Zephaniah, who built the present house in 1797 around the chimney of the original structure on the site. In 1851 Israel Thorndike purchased the property from the Cudworths, and in 1916 it became the property of the Town of Scituate. That same year the Scituate Historical Society formed, and the Town turned administrative control of the site over to the non-profit organization.
The interior of the house currently holds five first floor exhibits. During the Fall and early Winter of 2002, a team of volunteers painted, wallpapered, cleaned and decorated the rooms of the first floor. The tale of the Cudworth House is told through the Great Room, the Sampler Room, the Cushing Room, the Music Room, and the Victorian Room. As the original home of the organization, many of the artifacts on display in the Cudworth House have been part of the organization’s collection for more than half a century. Some of the items are simply marvelous to see, such as the large loom, used today in much the same manner as it was 250 years ago.
In the old kitchen, the large fireplace, which was used for cooking, has an early beehive oven in the back. Mordecai Lincoln, an ancestor of President Lincoln, forged the huge cauldron on the hearth. A collection of early pewter, Staffordshire, and Chinese export porcelain graces the cupboards and mantel.
In the downstairs bedroom, a Cudworth handquilted bedspread covers the fourposter bed. Early samplers dating from 1792 decorate the walls. For many years the unfinished room on the second floor was used as a church by the Unitarians when their church burned. This room contains a case of Indian artifacts found in this area. Under the eaves one finds a trundle bed. Currently, the second floor is unfinished and closed to the public.
Around the north side of the house is an authentic herb garden, cared for by the Scituate Garden Club. The garden contains plants generic to the 18th and 19th centuries and attracts a good deal of interest from visitors to the house. The Girl Scouts of Scituate Troop 5320 have planted daffodil bulbs around the exterior of the home that will bloom each spring.
On display in the barn are a coach used by the Marquis de Lafayette in Philadelphia, equipment used by cobblers, and farm implements necessary to the livelihood of the early settlers.
The cattle pound which stands next to the barn was rebuilt in 1953 on this location when it was necessary to move the pound to make room for an addition to the school. It was originally built in 1671 when it was "Voted to give Samuel Clapp eight pounds for setting up a new pound." Any animals found straying were captured, placed in the pound and cared for by the pound keeper until their owners retrieved them on payment of a small fee. Old specifications for the construction of a pound called for one to be