Abraham Lincoln Post #11 G.A.R.
The Samuel Dexter House is a late Georgian, Federal mansion built by Samuel Dexter around 1791. At that time, the population of Charlestown was 1,583.
Born in Boston in 1761, Mr. Dexter studied at Harvard and graduated in 1781. He then studied law under Levi Lincoln, who later became the Attorney General of the United States. Mr. Dexter moved to Charlestown in 1788 and served in the State House of Representatives from 1788 to 1790. From 1793 to 1795, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives and then from 1799 to 1800, in the U.S. Senate. He was the author of the eulogy written for George Washington upon his death in 1799. He also served as Secretary of War and Secretary of the Treasury under the administration of President John Adams. When Mr. Dexter died, John Adams said “ I have lost the ablest friend I had on earth” Mr. Dexter sold the property in 1800 to Giles Alexander, who lived there until 1814. At this time, the population of Charlestown was 2,751. Mr. Alexander sold the estate to Mathew Bridge, who died before ever moving into the home. His son Nathan took over the estate, and lived there until 1830. During this time, great improvements were made to the property. Nathan Bridge was a well respected horticulturist, and spared no expense in turning his grounds into one of the most beautiful and well tended gardens in the area. A tree lined walkway extended parallel to Cordis Street down towards Main and back up along Green Street. There were many fruit trees and a greenhouse to furnish new plants. His stable sat on the corner of Green and High streets. The Estate was sold at auction in 1831.The new owner was Hamilton Davidson, a wealthy grain merchant who had a grist mill at the Neck and a shop on Long Wharf. He made no pretentions about being a gardener but he maintained the estate while he lived. During this time, parts of the Estate were sold for the Dexter Row block, the Winthrop Church on Green Street and two lots to E. Lawrence and T.T. Sawyer (one of the founders of the Charlestown Schoolboys) on High Street. Mr. Davidson was known as a fine host, and before the estate was broken up, he hosted a gala event at his home. President Jackson was visiting Boston, but could not attend because of illness. Vice President Van Buren attended along with many other dignitaries. Mr. Davidson sold Dexter House to his son-in-law Rhodes Lockwood, who in turn sold it to his son Rhodes. It remained in the Lockwood family until it was sold to the Abraham Lincoln Post 11, G.A.R. in 1887. Thanks to: “Old Charlestown” by Timothy Sawyer Wikipedia The Boston Public Library Dan O’Neil The Boston Landmark Commission