Unique Petersham Property on the Market for the First Time in 
Four Generations

The Colonel Joseph Brown House at 101 East Street is being offered for sale at $769,000.  The 20.7 acre property includes a barn with kitchen and septic system, a separate wood workshop and renovated art studio and swimming pond.  This historic property has two wells and acres of fields and forest permanently protected by conservation restrictions.  The property abuts thousands of acres of conserved land owned by the Trustees of Reservations which links to thousands more acres conserved by the state of Massachusetts, Harvard Forest, Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. The two-story Federal Style Colonial residence features a newly renovated kitchen and great room with wood stove and one of seven fireplaces.  The wide Federal main stairway, with its gentle rise, has a well-preserved example of potentially original marbleized paint protected by a runner.  The first floor includes a dining room, music room and study, all with elaborate historic moldings and trims as well as new fir floors.  There are four bedrooms, two full and two half-baths with the original wide pine floors.  Attached to the house is a long range of elliptically arched carriage sheds with three bays complete with workshop.


The Pond House, as it is called, was built in 1802 by Col. Joseph Brown.  Col. Brown died in 1814 and left the house and property to his nephew, Capt. Joseph Brown.  The residence and property were sold to Annie and Robert Willson of Salem, MA, in 1888. Robert was an astronomy professor at Harvard and his brother, Edmund, was a partner of a well known architectural firm, Stone, Carpenter and Willson in Providence, RI.  The firm designed many town buildings including the Petersham Center School and the Petersham Memorial Library.  The current owners are the descendants of the Willson family.


66 miles west of Boston, Petersham has long been a community of summer homes as well as established family farms.  The town is the home of the internationally renowned Harvard Forest, an educational research forest established more than 100 years ago.  Situated at the intersection of two town roads overlooking Browns Pond in the northwest portion of Worcester County, the property is a short distance to Keene, NH and Amherst, MA. It sits at the northern end of the Quabbin Reservoir, one of the most unique, undeveloped blocks of forest land in southern New England and an excellent location for hiking, biking and cross country skiing.

Click here for more information on, and photos of, Colonel Joseph Brown’s Pond House.

LandVestKeith Ross works for LandVest specializing in land conservation transactions, and was the originator and staff director of NEFF’s successful 762,000-acre Pingree Conservation Easement in Maine in 2000.