Academic journal article The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc.

Wampum House Storage Vault Contains Early American Planes

Academic journal article The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc.

Wampum House Storage Vault Contains Early American Planes

Article excerpt

For some time, I had heard of the records storage vault in the Wampum House in Wrentham, Massachusetts. While the historical records of the Wrentham Historical Society are in the Fisk Public Library, the records of the Wrentham Historic Commission are housed in the Wampum House, which is owned by the Commission and are much harder to access.

I corresponded with Bill Keys, the vicepresident of the Wrentham Historical Society, for over a year. He was very helpful in answering questions about the 1728-1753 period of Wrentham history when Francis Nicholson [earliest documented American planemaker] was making planes. On April 25, 2002, when my wife Ruby and I, and Anne Wing of Marion, Massachusetts, arrived in Wrentham, Bill arranged for Gog Woodham to meet us at the Wampum House.

Built in 1725, the Wampum House had been an early stage stop and still retained its original eighteenth-century charm with two original fireplaces, wooden moldings, and trim. It is located at Wampum Corner at the south end of Wrentham where West Street branches off South Street.

Two other members of the CommissionEarle Stewart and Leo Baldyga -also showed up, and we entered through the basement door and waited while the steel door of the vault was unlocked. The inside of the vault was about 12' x 14' and contained three long sections of shelving and a humidifier. We started out by examining a group of tools: a bowdrill, a pump drill, an auger, and several early planes. …

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