NORTON — One of the oldest homes in the Attleboro area, believed to date to the late 1600s, is slated for demolition Monday.
It is the latest in a series of area historic structures to face the wrecking ball in recent years, including a few in Foxboro where demolition plans faced opposition.
In Norton’s case, demolition of the Campbell House and barn, located in front of Norton Middle School off West Main Street (Route 123), is not generating any protest.
Town officials say the post-and-beam home has been changed so much over the centuries there is little historical value left, and local historians agree.
“They were notified and they didn’t have any opposition to the house and barn being torn down,” Town Manager Michael Yunits said.
In fact, when town meeting appropriated $40,000 in May for its removal, there was no comment. Yunits explained to residents that the local historic group understood the situation and had no interest in the buildings.
“Over the years there have been so many renovations to the house, most of the historical aspects have been removed, and it just started deteriorating,” Yunits said. “The buildings are becoming unsafe. We want to take care of the hazard.”
The house and barn haven’t been used for years, and school officials have been concerned with their condition.
There was an attempt about a decade ago to restore the house with the hope of landing state funds and grant money and get it on the National Register of Historic Places.
The historical commission then pushed for a plan to reuse the home, and the commission’s chairman at the time, Christopher Cox, said it was unusual for such a home to be located so far into the country when it was built. Two preservationists who toured the property in 2008 called it a “national treasure” because of unique features.
The house and barn were part of the former Jackson Nursery property. The town acquired the land in the mid-1990s and built the middle school on it.
An historical assessment of the home was conducted in 2000 for a committee studying the reuse of the former nursery land.
The Campbell House traces its origins to Ebenezer Campbell, one of Norton’s early settlers.
It is believed to have been built around 1697, which would make it one of the oldest homes in Norton.
The demolition is scheduled to begin Monday.
The adjacent Tricentennial Park will be closed for the week for the removal of material and grading of the site, town officials say.
The contractor this past week posted signs in the area, informing the public of the work.
There are no immediate plans for the property once demolition is complete, but former selectman Robert Kimball has suggested using it as a second entrance/exit to the middle school to improve traffic flow.