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Historic Homes Lost & Who Lived There 

The Tupper House

By Kaethe O’Keefe Maguire

Some readers may not know that the names of the ten families who were the principal founders of Sandwich in 1637 are forever memorialized on street signs in the Town Neck area. Thomas Tupper, the oldest first settler born in 1578 has a street, Tupper Avenue in Town Neck named for him and his family. He lived a long life, dying in 1676.

Yes, there is a Tupper Avenue and a Tupper Road in Sandwich, both named after the Tupper Family. Below is the  home where Thomas Tupper eventually lived once located at 15 Tupper Road.

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The late Sandwich historian Russell A. Lovell Jr. contended that Thomas Tupper’s first home was located near where the town docks once stood by the old glass works at the end of Jarves Street in what is now Jarvesville.


According to the first home inventory for the Town taken in 1667, it appears that Thomas Tupper had moved from his Jarves Street home into an existing house at the time on what was once called Franklin Street, now known as Tupper Road. The house, today called the “Tupper House”, no longer stands.


Who built it originally? We do not know. Why did they leave such a fine structure?


After Russell Ellis Tupper, who died in 1904 and was the last Tupper to occupy the ancient Saltbox, the family formed an Historic Association and bought back the home in 1916, which had briefly passed out of family hands.


The Town supported these efforts at honoring one of our first families by the renaming of Franklin Street to Tupper Road in 1917. Sadly, the home was destroyed by arson in April of 1921 just when the Tupper Family Association was beginning restorations.


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The family association placed the first boulder and plaque at the corner of Main and Tupper Roads in 1939, but in 1959 the Town took a bigger step to memorialize this founding family by granting a 5-acre park further north on Tupper Road.


Thomas Tupper had only two surviving children. His daughter, Katherine married Benjamin Nye in 1640 of the Nye Grist Mill works on what is now Old County Road. His Son, Thomas Jr. lived at what is now Town Neck. Thomas Junior was most active in Town affairs and maintained friendly relations with the Native People. He married Martha Mayhew, a surname usually associated with Martha’s Vineyard.


Thomas senior outlived all but his last wife, who followed him a matter of a couple months later. His last wife was Anne Hodgson whom he married in Ipswich, MA in Dec. Of 1634.


A Tupper descendent, Eleanor Tupper PhD, wrote the family genealogy and published it in 1972.  We do not find any members of the Tupper family in Sandwich today.

Tupper Boulder.JPG

Memorial Boulder honoring Thomas Tupper located at the corners of main Street and Tupper Road, Sandwich, MA.


Tupper Family Memorial Public Park located at 15 Tupper Road, Sandwich, MA, where the house once stood.

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