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The Major Eber Judd House

509 Boston Post Road 

colonial cape

circa 1760

Major Eber Judd (1776-1844) and his wife Betsey lived in this small colonial cape perched above the roadway on a rounded bluff known locally as Judd’s Hill. Near his house, Eber had a shop—and presumably a forge—where he made swords. His skill made him an important man in Madison. It was once said that “he made a first-class sword and a first-class profit as well.”

When the first town meeting of the newly incorporated town of Madison was held in June 1826, Eber Judd was listed among the officials elected that day. He was the Sealer of Weights, a position that made him responsible for the annual inspection of all devices used to sell commercial goods by weight.

Eber Judd also represented Madison in the State Legislature in 1829. His only known signature is on a deed of 3/4 of an acre of salt marsh that he sold to Mary Judd Bishop in 1804. According to a story recorded by Nellie Scranton, Major Judd and his friend Jesse Crampton lost their patience with the meetinghouse rule that the men and women of the congregation must sit on opposite sides of the church. During one week, they discussed their complaints with one another and made a pact to sit with their wives on the next Sunday.  As Scranton recorded, “the roof did not fall. They were undisturbed and that was the beginning of families sitting together.”

Judd’s house, which lies close to the far western end of the historic district, was owned for many years by members of the Wilcox and Dowd families, because Judd’s son or grandson, also both named Eber, married a Wilcox. This steep-roofed, post-and-beam house features a Dutch-style front door and a huge stone kitchen fireplace that is quite remarkable. In springtime, the property’s roadside lilac bushes obscure views of the house—but they perfume the air with their fragrance.

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