Ebenezer Clough House // 1711

One of the oldest residential buildings in the historic city of Boston, the Clough House at 22 Unity Street in the North End stands just behind the Old North Church. Built by and for Ebenezer Clough (1690-1723), a prominent mason who later laid the brick foundation of the Old North Church next-door. Clough died at just 32 years old, and the home was deeded to his family.

Until 1806, the home was lived in by individual families, the first two generations of the Clough family, and then Joseph and Sarah Pierce and their families.  The home was inherited by their daughters and their politically active husbands, including Moses Grant, a participant in the Boston Tea Party.  The two daughters moved out of the house and a third story was added before the Clough House was converted into apartments in 1806.  For the next century and a half, more than 150 individuals, predominantly European immigrants, passed through the home.

Ca. 1940 image of the Clough House before its restoration. Library of Congress HABS.

Before the current configuration, the home was a 2 1/2-story gambrel roof home. The additional floor and the raising of the roof was done to add additional residential units into the home. The home was barely saved by the creation of the Paul Revere Mall in the 1930s. In 1962, Reverend
Howard P. Kellett, vicar of Old North Church, raised money to save the house from urban renewal plans. Since that time, the Ebenezer Clough House has received appropriate exterior and interior restorative treatments, and served as a rectory for the vicar of Old North Church. The home has since been converted to interpretive spaces on the history of Boston, run by the Old North Founcdation.

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