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Home of the Week: In ‘Leap Year’ town, an antique a short hop from the commuter rail

The two-bedroom Cape may date to 1750, but its kitchen offers the latest conveniences amid the Colonial charm.

The expansive fireplace in the eat-in kitchen is not functional, but it is beautiful.Luxe Life Productions


Style Antique Cape

Year built 1750

Square feet 1,620

Bedrooms 2

Baths 1 full

Sewer/Water Public

Taxes $5,549 (2023)

A blue Craftsman-style door at the center of this white antique Cape is the main entrance to this home, a house that was built 25 years before the start of the Revolutionary War in a community that didn’t become a town until Leap Day 1872.

The home sits on Union Street, less than a half mile from the commuter rail station.Luxe Life Productions

On the other side of that door, there is immediate proof of both the age of this home and the care it has received in the 273 years since.

The 196-square-foot living room is at the back of the house. There are rough-hewn beams and wood across the ceiling and a wood floor — both believed to be original to the home. Further proof of the home’s age is the wood-burning fireplace, one of five in the house. The walls are an orange that offers a pleasing contrast to the white around the fireplace and a nod to the color variations in the wood ceiling.

The orange on the walls of the living room lends warmth to the wood above.Luxe Life Productions

To the right of the entrance, one finds a 193-square-foot dining room holding court with bright blue walls. Those rough-hewn beams are hidden behind a blueboard ceiling lined with crown molding. The flooring is wood here, too, and there’s a fireplace, a duplicate of the one in the living room. A distressed door reveals a 121-square-foot office with partially exposed beams, wood flooring, and a closet that holds the washer and dryer.


The dining room has a fireplace, built-in cabinetry, and blue walls. Luxe Life Productions
The office area includes the laundry closet and storage.Luxe Life Productions

From the living and dining rooms, there are doors to the eat-in kitchen.

The kitchen design puts the exposed beams on full display, but it is the fireplace with its massive hearth that draws all eyes. It is not functioning but is worth its preservation all the same. A Dutch door opens to the back of the 0.84-acre lot.


White Shaker-style cabinets fill the other half of the dining/kitchen area, along with butcher-block and quartz countertops, an apron sink, a penny tile backsplash, and stainless steel appliances, including a red gas stove.

White Shaker-style cabinetry lines the working part of the kitchen. Luxe Life Productions

The full bath features a tub/shower combination with a curtain, as well as a drum shade light, sconces, and a single vanity. Travertine tile lines the shower and the floor.

A central stairwell leads to the bedroom level. At 268 square feet, the primary bedroom is the larger of the pair. (The smaller bedroom is 158 square feet.) Both offer wide-plank wood flooring that may be original to the home, partially exposed ceiling beams, and working fireplaces. In addition, the primary bedroom has two closets and built-in bookshelves.

The primary bedroom has wood wainscoting.Luxe Life Productions
The secondary bedroom features partially exposed beams, wood flooring, and a working fireplace.Luxe Life Productions

The partial basement is dirt.

The home has gas heat and a ductless mini-split system.

The owners told the Globe that during the past 20 years of their stewardship of the historic home, they have planted numerous trees — hornbeam, dogwood, Hawthorne, Japanese maple, magnolia, sunset maple, white birch, Katsura, apple, and Norway spruce — and witch hazel, smoke bush, viburnum, blueberry bushes, holly bushes, bridal veil, and climbing and oak leaf hydrangea, among other flora.

The current owners have planted several trees and bushes, including these, which line the right side of the property.Luxe Life Productions
The side yard has a slate walkway.Luxe Life Productions
The home sits on a 0.84-acre lot.Luxe Life Productions

The property is known by the Massachusetts Historical Commission as the “Abiathar French House,” and the main entrance used to be on the side. The home abuts a commercial property that includes another Holbrook landmark: Stanney’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shoppe, which was founded in 1958.

Dory Noll of Coldwell Banker Realty in Dorchester is the listing agent. As of press time, the sale of the property is under agreement.


Follow John R. Ellement on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Send listings to Please note: We do not feature unfurnished homes unless they are new-builds and will not respond to submissions we won’t pursue. Subscribe to our newsletter at