Area G - Grant/Fletcher/Sheridan/Sherman Street Area

The residential streets of Grant, Sherman, Fletcher and Sheridan Streets were laid out in the late 1880s on land owned by David Wood Muzzey and Charles G. Fletcher. With the excepion of Fletcher's namesake, the streets were named for Civil War generals. The level land was located just to the north of the Boston and Maine Railroad tracks and between the Woburn Street working class neighborhood and the more affluent residential enclave on Meriam Hill. Unlike most of the areas being developed in Lexington in the late 19th century, this was one of the few constructed primarily as a rental neighborhood.
Area G - Photo-1
 
47 Grant Street
8 Fletcher Avenue - area G
8 Fletcher Avenue

The Italianate-style house at 8 Fletcher Avenue is the earliest built in the neighborhood. It was constructed for Franklin Fletcher who purchased the lot from Charles Fletcher in 1875.

 
Fletcher Avenue - Lexington
16, 20, 24 Fletcher Avenue

It is quite possible that Muzzey and Fletcher were anticipating the income opportunity of providing housing for the workers at the Lexington Gear Works (31 Fletcher Avenue) which George Grant opened in 1887. On April 1, 1887 the local newspaper observed that "Mr. C.G. Fletcher is planning to build three small houses to be rented at moderate prices…located on the street opened by Mr. Fletcher off Main Street, just this side of Woburn St." By 1889 Fletcher, a horse dealer, had constructed seven cottages in the neighborhood. By 1898 he had built eleven and retained ownership of all but one. The houses were all originally built according to the same design. The variations seen now represent alterations and additions.

 
Muzzey Double House, 22-24 Sherman Street
Muzzey Double House, 22-24 Sherman Street

D.W. Muzzey had at least one house built on Sherman Street. His brother George E. Muzzey, a lumber merchant, owned at least two houses on Grant Street and George's heirs had the double house on the corner of Sherman Street built in 1897. Police Chief Charles Franks had cottages built on Sherman and Grant Street but also never lived in the neighborhood. A brief news mention in 1891 reports that one of Muzzey's houses was renting for $25 per month.

 
Grant Street - Lexington
37 & 35 Grant Street

The predominant house form in the neighborhood is a two-story gablefront, wood-frame structure, embellished with a few simple features in either the Italianate or Queen Anne style. There is also an interesting example of the Shingle Style and a number of bungalows.

Italiante example doorway

7 Fletcher Avenue

Shingle style example

2 Sherman Street

34 Grant Street
34 Grant Street - Lexington

Some of the houses were owner-occupied including the nearly identical Queen Anne-style houses at 29 and 31 Sherman Street, constructed for Justus Morse and Robert Hovey, respectively. The two men both worked for the Boston and Maine Railroad and were married to sisters, the former Addie and Emma Philbrick.

29 & 31 Sherman Street
29 & 31 Sherman Street - Lexington

Other neighborhood residents included several prominent local builders/carpenters. The DeVeau Brothers, Charles and Stephen, had come to Nova Scotia in the early 1880s and established their carpentry business on Grant Street, building at least two houses in the neighborhood including 2 Sherman Street. John McKay came to Lexington in 1883 from Prince Edward Island and was also engaged in the contracting business. His residence and shop were located at 12 Fletcher Avenue.

Not uncommon in Lexington, the neighborhood also includes several structures which were moved here from other sites in town. The former Centre Engine House at 6 Fletcher Avenue was constructed in 1857 and relocated here from Waltham Street in 1877. The house at 8-10 Sheridan Street is a Greek Revival-style dwelling moved from Massachusetts Avenue to make way for a new high school and the house at 14 Sherman Street dates to c.1810 but was moved here in the early 20th century.

In 1905 the Lexington Gear Works property at 31 Fletcher Avenue was sold to the Jefferson Union Company, makers of pipe fittings. The original building was greatly expanded over the years and a storehouse was built. The property remained in active industrial use until 2005 and has since been converted into residential condominiums.

31 Flethcher Avenue - Lexington

31 Fletcher Avenue