This first-period saltbox house was built for (and likely by) Peregrine White (1620-1704), who is known as the first child Pilgrim born in America as his mother gave birth to him on the ship the Mayflower. William White and his wife Susanna are believed to have boarded the Mayflower as part of the London merchant group, and not as members of the Leiden Holland religious movement. The Mayflower departed Plymouth, England in September of 1620. The small, 100-foot ship had 102 passengers and a crew of about 30-40 in extremely cramped conditions. By the second month out, the ship was buffeted by strong winds, causing the ship’s timbers to be badly shaken with caulking failing to keep out sea water, and with passengers, lying wet and ill. This, combined with a lack of proper rations and unsanitary conditions for several months, attributed to months of despair and uncertainty. On the way there were two deaths, a crew member and a passenger, but the worst was yet to come after arriving at their destination when, in the space of several months, almost half the passengers perished in cold, harsh, unfamiliar New England winter.
As an adult, Peregrine settled in what is today known as Marshfield, MA, and he was active in the local church and served as a deputy of the town. He and his family lived in this home which was later altered with larger windows and Georgian detailing. The remainder of the home’s history is somewhat unclear, but by 1947, the home was apparently moved by a Robert C. Leggett in three pieces to Tremont Street in Braintree, MA. The reason is not clear as well, but it likely was to save the structure from demolition. It is unclear how much of the original house from White is left and how much was added over the years.