Dr. Ashbel Woodward House // 1835

The Ashbel Woodward House in Franklin, Connecticut was built in 1835, on land purchased by Doctor Ashbel Woodward, a prominent local physician, a year prior. Woodward, was a graduate of Bowdoin College, and he began practice in Franklin in 1829, serving as the town’s primary medical practitioner until his death in 1885. Though in his 60s at the outbreak of the Civil War, Woodward perhaps lent his greatest service to his country when he served as a battlefield surgeon and medical facilities inspector for the Union army. Besides his work in medicine, Woodward collected literature and numerous artifacts pertaining to Franklin’s past and eventually wrote a book detailing the town’s history. The Ashbel Woodward House is an excellent example of the Greek Revival architectural style in a five-bay form. Interestingly, there are semi-elliptical windows in the pediment gable ends on the side elevations, seemingly a nod to the Federal style that was waning out of style at the time. The property is in use today as a museum, documenting the life of Dr. Woodward and the people of Franklin, Connecticut.

7 thoughts on “Dr. Ashbel Woodward House // 1835

  1. Marlin January 13, 2023 / 2:00 pm

    Phew, those Yankees knew how to build a house, did they not? And all done with hand tools, and locally resourced material. That little corner of SE Ct hosted families that later on produced prominent American citizens. Edith Roosevelt’s (TRs wife) family came from there, as did the family’s of Gen. George McClellan, Pres. Franklin Pierce, Pres. Grover Cleveland, and the Tiffany’s. (Just off the top of my head)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. alewifecove January 13, 2023 / 4:00 pm

    An interesting transitional home. The different capital points of the corner pilasters is odd and a bit jarring.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. John S. Rochon January 14, 2023 / 12:20 pm

    Hi – it’s me again with another friendly ‘heads-up’. It seems you may have omitted a couple of words in this line: “Woodward, was a graduate of Bowdoin College, and he [began practice] in Franklin in 1829, serving as the town’s primary medical practitioner until his death in 1885. ” I presume the words I entered in [ ] are similar to what you intended. I hope I’m not becoming a pest, if so, just let me know. I hope this finds you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Matt Novosad April 13, 2023 / 11:20 am


    I am the town Historian for Franklin, President of its Historical Society, and am a member of the Woodward Museum’s Board.

    While sometimes repeated online, the house predates 1835 and was built in the early 1820s by Dr. Reuben Burgess. When Woodward came to Franklin in 1829, he practiced under Dr. Burgess and actually lived in a structure owned by him on somewhere on the hill facing opposite the front of this house. When Dr. Burgess passed away in 1832, Dr. Woodward purchased the property from his estate and moved into this house with his wife Emeline.

    Dr. Woodward added the Ell in the 1850s.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s