Happy Presidents’ Day!
George and Abe. Two of our most famous, accomplished, and popular presidents. Both of whom visited Shiretown. How many towns can claim that such important figures in U.S. history spent time within their borders, and be able to point out the exact place and time of the visit?
Washington spent the night of April 4, 1776 at the home of Samuel Dexter. Then General Washington was on his way to New York after having successfully driven the British out of Boston. The house still stands on High St., although it has been much altered over the years. There is another Shiretown tale associated with this house which involves the Battle of Bunker Hill, a suicide, a curious soldier, and a rotting corpse. That tale will be told here at a later date.
Just down the street from the Dexter House is the Community House, also known as the Judge Samuel Haven House. It was here that Illinois Congressman Abraham Lincoln was entertained for lunch on September 20, 1848, while traveling New England in support of presidential candidate Zachary Taylor. Later that day, Lincoln spoke at Temperance Hall on Court St., before catching a train at the station that once stood in the Square where the town parking lot is now located. Below is a map commemorating Lincoln’s Massachusetts visit. See if you can find details of the Dedham trip on the map!
Other presidential visitors to Dedham include Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams.