Set slightly back from the street under sheltering elms (as if retreating from modern traffic), there stands on North Main Street, Uxbridge, Massachusetts, a typical New England country home. This modest, low-roofed, red house is owned by Deborah Wheelock Chapter DAR, a gift to the Chapter in 1910 from Mr. and Mrs. William E. Hayward.
In renovating the house, the chapter kept its lines unchanged, replacing timbers only where necessary because of decay. The broad gables, massive central chimney, original narrow windows set with small panes of wavy hand-blown glass, and simple but beautiful doorway are all as they were built in 1768 by Simeon and Deborah (Thayer) Wheelock.
The interior is all preserved as nearly as possible like the original, except in the arrangement of the floor plan, and the addition of modern heat and light. The assembly room’s low ceiling is supported by the original, hand hewn, oak beams. The removal of a fireboard disclosed the large brick fireplace, pot hooks and crane, flanked by a brick warming oven.
Simeon & Deborah Wheelock
Simeon Wheelock, who built the original house in 1768, was a farmer, and a blacksmith. At 22 years of age he married Deborah Thayer and eight children were born. Simeon’s smithy stood just across the street. In April 1775, he answered the call for the Minutemen at Lexington and Concord as First Lieutenant of the Uxbridge Company. In 1786, Simeon and his son, Royal, answered the call to arms in Shay’s Rebellion. Simeon never returned, the son Royal coming back to his mother with the gun and knapsack of his father. This left Deborah to provide for the family, the youngest just two years old. Deborah Wheelock was buried in the old part of Prospect Hill Cemetery, her grave marked by DAR.
The Tea Room
In the early years of ownership of this historic homestead, funding restoration, and maintenance was critical, and one fascinating way was the Wheelock House Tea Room. Open during the summer months they attracted interest far and wide, as patrons appeared from surrounding towns, and even out of state. One remarkable lady supplied signs which she posted when the tea room was open, and removed when closed. Two of those signs, now over 100 years old proclaimed the delights of the tea room “only 1 mile to go” and the other “only ½ a mile to go."
Tea-time at Wheelock House!