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688 Main Street

688 Main Street

Edward Wilder House

The village where carpenter Edward Wilder (1781-1852) built a handsome colonial style residence is referred to as Glad Tidings Plain. The plain was designated as such during King Philip’s War when hunter John Jacob set out to shoot deer and was killed on sight by Natives. Since Jacob had always proclaimed that he would never allow himself to be taken alive by Natives, his friends were delighted to learn that his prediction of his own fate was realized and Glad Tidings was so named. It was 1805 when carpenter Edward Wilder constructed his home, and carpen try shop, now known as 688 Main St., on a 2.3 acre parcel once a segment of Lieutenant Elisha Cushing’s (1682-1734) estate.

Wilder married Abigail Sylvester (1782-1865) in 1807. The Wilders had eight children. Their youngest son, Edwin, who served as post master of Hingham from 1863-1888, married Olive Whiton in 1852, and acquired the Wilder House one year later. Edwin was a painter and glazer and continued to run a business in the home to“execute painting and glazing in all its branches”. In 1868, Edwin passed 688 Main St. to his sister, Mary, who married Silas Ripley in 1847. She remained in the home until her death in 1881, when brother Edward acquired it. Edward, a carpenter like his father, was deeply involved in all aspects of building the Wilder Memorial at 666 Main St. Edward’s second wife, Sarah Brown, was the last of the family to own the Wilder Home. Her death marks nearly a century of Wilder family ownership of 688 Main. Additions to the home include two wings to the rear, paneled door framed with sidelights and an expanded Colonial Revival style vestibule which projects over two classical columns.

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