The Bigelow/Rhoads house circa 1990 (Source: MACRIS database)

Erwin A. Bigelow bought this house lot from his father, L Waldo Bigelow in 1873. This was a portion of Waldo’s original house property. Erwin A. Bigelow built this Italianate style house circa 1875. Bigelow owned this property for a few years, selling it in 1877 to George L Rhoads. Lewis A. Arey and his wife Faustina (Thompston) Arey inherited the property for Faustina’s uncle (and adopted father) George L Rhoads. Arey sold the property to Hugh D. Smith in 1920.

            Elements of the Bigelow/Rhoads Italianate Style house:

  • “T” shape
    • Side Hall plan
    • 2 ½ story house
    • Arched attic window
    • Granite foundation
    • Gable roof with return eaves
    • 3-bay main façade
    • First floor octagonal bay window
    • Front door has saw cut door hood
    • Stained glass window on side of house, most likely in stairwell

Edwin Bigelow lived in this house for a very short time. The 1880 census shows he moved to Waltham, but he had returned to Norwood when his mother purchased the property on Beech Street and built a house for in in 1887. (see #25 Beech Street)

The Bigelow/Rhoads house today. (photo by LLKearney)

George L Rhoads and his wife Elizabeth C. Fairbanks were the next people to own this house. George was born in 1834 in South Dedham to Lewis Rhoads and Harriet Fisher. He worked as a salesman in a leather store. Elizabeth was born 1832 in South Dedham to Benjamin F. Fairbanks and Priscilla Cushman. George and Elizabeth married in 1855. This couple did not have any children, but they raised their niece Faustina Thompson. Elizabeth’s sister Caroline A (Fairbanks) Thompson died in 1866 leaving her husband Asa to raise two little girls. By 1880 Faustina was living with her Aunt and Uncle in Norwood. George died 9n 1891 and Elizabeth died in 1898, they left their estate to Faustina. It appears that Faustina and her husband rented the property for some 22 years. Faustina died in 1917 and in 1920 Lewis Arey, Faustina’s widower, sold the home to Hugh D Smith.

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