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A 1916 photograph of the 1760 renovated Lemuel Clap House along Willow Court, now Enterprise Street, just off Boston Street

This image provides stark evidence of Dorchester’s agricultural past where fields, pastures and orchards surrounded what is now Edward Everett Square. William Clapp, son of Lemuel, devoted much of his later life to his nearby farm where he cultivated many varieties of pears, most notably the Clapp Pear, in 1820. These crops, as well as others grown in the fertile soils of Dorchester, were soon commercially marketed. The William Clapp House, built by William in 1806, now serves as the current site of the Dorchester Historical Society at 195 Boston Street.

The exact date of the construction of the Lemuel Clap house, shown above, is uncertain.  The house was owned by members of the Clap family in 1712, and refashioned in the 1760’s by Lemuel Clap, a farmer and tanner. Shortly thereafter, Lemuel Clapp became a Captain in the Revolutionary War and his home was used as a barracks for troops who helped fortify Dorchester Heights, forcing British evacuation of Boston in 1776. The house was moved in the 1950’s to sit beside the William Clapp House.

Image courtesy of Historic New England