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"That house wants to be saved" The Tilden House in Canton

Storytelling is an integral part of history. Stories teach, they inspire, they motivate, they caution. Stories tell where you have been and where you are and where you hope to go in the future. Through Storytellers we share local preservation stories that can serve to educate and inspire others, and ourselves. This edition encompasses the dedication, time and sheer determination that goes into saving the historic buildings that are "living manifestations of our heritage and culture". The story of the Tilden House in Canton and 16 year mission to bring it back from the brink speak to the perseverance (and frustration) that many in preservation can relate to. And how in the end "lost causes don't have to be lost".


The Tilden House Submitted by George T. Comeau, Canton Historical Society Photographs courtesy of the Canton Historical Society

The David Tilden House in Canton, Massachusetts was purchased as part of a very large land acquisition program in 1970. By 1973 the house was deemed ripe for demolition. Built in 1725 – with portions that were constructed even earlier, had fallen into disrepair. A group was formed and called the Friends of the Little Red House. Money was raised and the house was repaired, with no use planned. Eventually, by 2003, the house was once again slated for