The Francis Wyman Association
Welcome to the Francis Wyman Association! We are a non-profit group established at the turn of the 20th century for the preservation of the historic Francis Wyman homestead in Burlington Massachusetts and to encourage communications concerning genealogy and early American history. The Wymans are part of a rich family heritage going back to the early 1600’s when John and Francis arrived from Westmill, England with their Richardson uncles and not long after signed the Town Charter for Woburn in 1640. They were young, industrious men having apprenticed as tanners, and soon became wealthy in their own right. By the 1670’s they owned a thousand acres stretching out to what is now Burlington and Billerica. Francis’ farmhouse still stands on the site it has occupied since 1666. We extend a welcome to all who are part of this exciting story, and hope you will join us in preserving this very important part of our American history. We urge you to pass this on to your children and grandchildren so they can understand the important part their ancestry had in the building of this great nation.
The three photos above depict the various condition of the house over the hundred years under the FWA ownership. Benjamin Wyman found the decrepit homestead in 1898 and began efforts to establish the association to purchase the house and preserve it for future generations. The middle photo proudly shows the house after early renovations just after the turn of the 20th century. They created a “modern home” for various caring tenants who occupied the house until 1996 when the house was almost destroyed by fire. The third photo shows the house as it looks today having completed two rounds of renovations accomplished with the partnership of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Town of Burlington and generous donations from Association members and others. The house will not be “modernized” but will be preserved as a museum to illustrate early life and home construction techniques. The fire uncovered the life of the house and various renovations throughout history. The basement has a beautiful dry laid stone foundation with puncheon stairs that evidently dates it to the 17th century. The main structure is a great example of early 18th century three bay, post and beam construction. The mammoth chimney supports six fireplaces including early deep fireplaces which were transformed to shallower, more efficient Rumford fireplaces (probably in the early 19th century). The interior rooms still show the effects of the fire and we are exploring ways to preserve them while showing the progression of the house over the centuries. We are on the verge of celebrating its 350th anniversary (in 2016). Much work remains to be accomplished to preserve it for the next 350 years!
Jon C. Wyman, President