The town of Stoughton, MA incorporated in 1726.
Before that time,
This land was probably used by very early Native Americans nearly 400 years ago before the Pilgrims came as indicated by cooking-related rock formations in the woods by Old Maple Street.
Then Colonial settlers arrived with land grants from the State, which the custom of the time. The Capen Reynolds Homestead House sits on land occupied by generations of the Capen family from the original grant to the present day.
The corner of Pleasant and Pine Streets marks the center of the Capen family domain, one of the most prominent families in Stoughton history. The house at 760 Pleasant Street contains some of the original house built on this site by Edward Capen in 1757.
Frank and Bertha Reynolds
Inherited the homestead from their mother, Mary Capen Reynolds.
According to Stoughton Historical Society records, the Capens originally built near York Pond (now called Glen Echo) and then on Pine Street.
It is believed the Hansen family purchased 17 acres from the Capen family in 1911. A retail store was then built on the Hansen property. Henry Hansen felt the thruway (what is now Pleasant Street) would become a popular traveler road and gambled on building the store. It was the only store of its kind in the area and became a popular destination point. You could stop and “warm yourself by the potbellied stove and talk about politics and what was happening in the area.” (Source: Elliott Hansen, Interview 2018)
In approximately 1930, Orin Hansen, the current owner’s father, returned from military service and took over the business. A family home was built next to the store for $1200 around this time.
In 1967 the Hansen family donated land to the city for the building of the North Elementary School, now named Dawe Elementary School, leaving the property at 14 acres. The property was further split up to separate the two homes and the store. The forested land remains today at 11.29 acres.
Part of this land is believed to have been an apple orchard originally cultivated by the Capens. The stone walls seen on the property most likely separated the orchard from areas for raising farm animals. There is still a Gravenstein apple tree on the property believed to be at least 100 years old.
The woods on the property are known to have historically contained many American Chestnut trees. A mature chestnut is believed to still exist deep in the woods. It was last seen in the late 1990s with a trunk diameter of more than one foot.
The property has deer, turkeys, red fox, coyotes, owls, bats and big snakes in residence. One feature of the property near the swamp area is called “Big Rock,” a very large boulder split into three parts that you can walk through.
We are seeking to conserve this land to preserve the natural pathways the animals use, protect the water resources that are filtered through this land tract which feeds the Neponset River watershed, and preserve the natural and unique habitat that allows for the growth of plant life such as Indian Pipes and Lady Slippers.