Upham Family Society – Phineas Upham House
On April 19th in 1775 three brothers left the comfort of their farm home at 255 Upham Street to answer the call by Paul Revere and other patriots. The three brothers, Amos, Ezra and William Upham left the Phineas Upham House in Melrose (then a part of Malden) and walked to the Bridge in Concord to meet the British regulars.
Remarkably, the home the Upham boys left on that April day still stands in Melrose and is well known as the 1703 Phineas Upham House. It is the oldest house in Melrose, has a place on the Town flag, and is a registered National Historic Landmark. Over its 311 year history this house has stood witness to American history and has been home to generations of men and women who have contributed to the success of American life.
The house still stands because of caring efforts of individuals and local preservation groups who have appreciated its value and unique place as a testament to the rural farmers, merchants, solders, and working people that contributed to form the country we enjoy today.
The house has undergone three major restorations since its foundation was laid in 1703. The first was just 100 years ago this year in 1915 which was organized and carried out by Frank Upham and local merchants while the second one came in 1951 and was inspired by the role of James Baily Upham in the publishing of the Pledge of Allegiance.
In 2006, with a grant from the State Legislature and administered by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, we restored the exterior of the house and constructed a period appropriate barn to house the caretaker and special artifacts. This was done in preparation for an interior restoration of the Phineas Upham House to recreate the home’s 1775 appearance.
Today we are responding to another call to arms. The Phineas Upham House needs your help and support so it will be able to stand and deliver its story to the next and future generations.
Thanks to the historic restoration grant in 2005 of $400,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we have completed Phase 1 in the permanent protection of the house as a vital living memorial to the role the Upham Family and similar early settlers have had in the founding and building of this country.
Phase 2 will allow the home to return to its main function as an authentic first period home housing a museum of American artifacts and provide our live-in caretaker the comfort of a modern apartment.
Phase 3 of these efforts will establish a lasting endowment to insure that future generations will have the ability to appreciate and learn from this house and its contents.
In 2015 we are in the process of improving our communication to members of the Upham Family Society, friends, and those interested in preserving this unique house and to consider the Phineas Upham House when making your philanthropic decisions – by immediate gifts, bequest, or endowment. Your gifts will help preserve this historic landmark for future generations.
Geoffrey Upham Rendall
The Upham Family Society