1809 Hedge House
The 1809 Hedge House is one of Plymouth's finest examples of Federal period architecture, featuring octagonal rooms in the mainblock, and a rare, intact carriage house. Built by sea captain William Hammatt, the house was originally located on Court St., where Memorial Hall is today. In 1830, merchant Thomas Hedge purchased the house and added a three-story ell to accommodate his large family.
The Hedges owned a Main Street store, a waterfront counting house, and "Hedges Wharf," a famous site because embedded in its surface was Plymouth Rock, thought to be the landing place of the Pilgrims. Thomas Hedge was one of Plymouth's early industrialists and entrepreneurs, investing in the town's first whaling ventures, building a candle factory to process whale oil, and partnering with his brother Isaac in a brick manufactory. For a time, the Hedge family moved to Boston and used their Plymouth house as a summer home.
The house was lived in by Hedge family members until the death of the last resident, Lydia Hedge Lothrop, in 1918. Threatened with demolition to clear the way for the construction of Memorial Hall, the house was rescued by the Plymouth Antiquarian Society. The Society bought the house for $1 in 1919, and arranged to have the building moved to Water Street.
From its current Water Street location, the Hedge House Museum overlooks scenic Plymouth harbor. Period rooms reveal the richness of 19th century social and domestic life, with China Trade treasures, American furnishings, paintings, textiles, and toys on display. The Rose T. Briggs Memorial Garden features brick pathways and flowering perennials. Guided tours last approximately 30 minutes and are available seasonally.
The Hedge House is the site of the Plymouth Antiquarian Society's Summer Fair, held every August on the sweeping front lawn by the waterfront.
In 2002, the Hedge House closed to the public for extensive restoration and repair. The first phase of the Hedge House Restoration Project was completed in 2002-2004. With the help of a Massachusetts Preservation Projects Grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Society stabilized and restored the exterior of this unusual building. The second phase of the project, the interior restoration of the house, was carried out 2004-2007, funded in part by a generous award from the Town of Plymouth Community Preservation Fund. The Society restored and refurbished the inside of the house with documented historic paint colors, wallpapers and period carpets. A grand re-opening was held in November 2007, and the house, brought back to its original pristine grandeur, re-opened once more to the public.
Tours of the restored Hedge House are available on a regular basis each year during the summer months, or by special appointment.