An 1830s Farmhouse and Home of Distinguished Residents     
    The attractive New England farmhouse at the corner of Hastings Street and Washington Street has
    been the home of several distinguished Mendon residents who have provided many years of public
    service for their town. Built in the 1830's on a hillside at the western end of the village, the home
    retains the charm and character of the 1800's, and at the same time, has evolved to the realities of
    modern times. A special feature of the house is a series of connected smaller farm buildings which
    served as a barn, a chicken coop, a woodshed, and a stable. This is called "big house, little house,
    back house, barn."  The well-- maintained buildings are reminders of  our town's once  prominent  
    role in an agricultural way of life. They are also a reminder of the people who have lived at 23
    Hastings Street who have worked so unselfishly for the betterment of the town.

    Aaron Cook and Susan Wilcox were married in 1834, and it is believed that they built their house
    shortly thereafter. They were farmers, in contrast to their Ivy League professional neighbors. In
    addition to the hard work of running a farm, Aaron found time to serve as a town official for twenty-
    eight years. He served as a constable, tax collector, highway commissioner,  and commissioner for
    enforcing fishing laws. His dedication to public service was commendable.

    David Adams bought the house in 1885. The widower and his son, Horace, also a widower, and
    daughter, Maria, moved up the street from the Adams Inn. David served as town clerk from 1855 until
    his death in 1890, and then his son succeeded him until 1913. Horace was also a selectman, Taft
    Library trustee, and a state representative. He was a founding member of the Mendon Historical
    Society. The organizational meeting was held in his parlor on November 15, 1895, and the
    distinguished society has flourished ever since. David and Horace served most honorably for fifty-
    eight years.

    Luther Holbrook lived at this house from 1914 to 1930. He held the titles of road commissioner,
    selectman, superintendent of streets, and town auditor. His work for his town was most praiseworthy.

    Joyce and Dan Gilmore have lived at the farmhouse since 1968. Joyce served as an active member
    of the board of health for twenty years. She specialized in protecting the town's groundwater by
    implementing and enforcing title five regulations during a time of Mendon's rapid building growth.  
    She was a founder and president of Tri-River Health Center in Uxbridge.  She currently serves on an
    education study committee for the Mendon-Upton Regional School District and also volunteers as
    member of the Police Station Building Committee. Dan is on the board of directors of the Milford
    National Bank. Their citizenship has been exemplary.

    Mendon village center has changed in many ways since Aaron and Susan Cook moved into their new
    farmhouse. To experience an indication of this, one simply has to back out of the Washington Street
    driveway at 5:00 p.m. and attempt to take a left hand turn on to Route 16. There will be an immediate
    awareness that it is no longer 1834. In spite of the changes, there have been two constants that have
    remained. The farmhouse has been remarkably preserved, and the people who have lived there
    have exhibited an extraordinary level of public service and dedication to their town. Twenty-three
    Hastings Street has had a special place in our history.                                                   

    Richard Grady   

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