Gen. Sylvanus Thayer House // 1720

The General Sylvanus Thayer Birthplace and Museum, located at 786 Washington Street (commonly known locally as Thayer House), was built in 1720 by Nathaniel Thayer, a farmer in Braintree. General Sylvanus Thayer, known as the “Father of West Point,” was born in the house in 1785 and resided there until 1793. General Thayer early superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point and an early advocate of engineering education in the United States. Thayer’s time at West Point ended with his resignation in 1833, after a disagreement with President Andrew Jackson. Sylvanus then spent the great majority of the next 30 years as the chief engineer for the Boston area with the Army Corps of Engineers. During this time, he oversaw the construction of both Fort Warren and Fort Independence to defend Boston Harbor. In 1958, the parcel of land on which the house sat was purchased by the Walworth Steel Company; rather than tearing the old house down, it was dismantled and moved approximately one mile down Washington Street to its present location and given to the Braintree Historical Society. The saltbox home is a great example of Georgian architecture and has been very well maintained.

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