In 1659, a local politician, Richard Bellingham built a small cabin, which he used during the summer on the site that is now 34 Parker Street. Bellingham would eventually serve three terms as the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
After Bellingham’s death, the house was acquired by Samuel Cary who expanded the home and used the property as a farm for his wife, Margaret and their thirteen children. Samuel died in the home in 1812 as did his wife several years later. The house stayed in the family for several generations although plots of lands around the property were sold to developers. In 1914, the house was bought by the Governor Bellingham-Cary House Association and turned into a museum.
The Bellingham-Cary House was crucial during the American Revolution. While the British occupied Boston during the siege of Boston in 1775, George Washington and his men stayed on the property until March when the British troops finally left town.
Like a lot of other homes in Chelsea, there are a series of tunnels that run underneath it. There are different theories on why the tunnels are there. Some believe they made for a quick escape route in case of an attack by Native Americans or the British. Another popular theory is that they were used in the 1860s for the Underground Railroad. Slaves had to hide in churches or other locations as they made their way north using tunnels like these to gain their freedom.
Visitors to the Bellingham-Cary House insist it is haunted and claim to have seen an apparition on the second floor as well as the stairs. Some tell stories of hearing whispers late at night as well as unexplained noises from time to time.
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