98 North Main Street, Avon, Massachusetts 02322

Tel: 508-587-2884
Blanchard's Colonial Tavern
Henry Lawton Blanchard Museum
Home of Captain Sam Robbins
Blanchard's Colonial Tavern Museum
98 North Main Street
Avon, MA 02322
(508) 587-2884

Home of Captain Sam Robbins Museum
188 Main Street
Avon, MA 02322
Copyright 2013 by "Henry Lawton Blanchard Fund"   •   All Rights reserved   •  
Museum House History
Blanchard's 1820 Museum House was restored to its appearance as the Robbins Homestead.  The attached Carriage House, retained for additional collections, was added by the Butler family.  The Curtis Park bandstand is next to the museum. Houses are built for people to live in. 
The first questions asked by visitors to the Blanchard Museum House usually are: 
Who built this house so spacious and sturdy back in 1820?  Who has lived in it since that time?   How did it become Avon's remarkably preserved and beautifully restored Historical Museum House, with its authentic reproductions of the golden age of fine furniture and decorations. Briefly, this is the story. 

The house was built by Captain Samuel Robbins, Master Mariner in the employ of Samuel Draper of Boston, engaged in the European and West Indies trade.  In 1847 Captain Robbins and his vessel, "Sharon", carrying a cargo of cotton bound for Hamburg Germany, were lost at sea two days out of Savannah, Georgia.

The Captain's widow, Sally, raised their two sons in this house.  The older boy eventually joined the great move West.  Brother George joined the Army, fought in the Civil War and came out with the rank of Colonel.   In 1888 he became the first selectman of the new town of Avon after it separated from nearby Stoughton.

Before that, in 1882, widow Robbins sold the house to the Butler family.  Over the many years since, even after it was acquired by the trustees of the Henry Lawton Blanchard Trust in 1966 for restoration, and until it was opened in 1970 as a public museum, it was known throughout the area as "the Butler house".

Now, what about Henry Lawton Blanchard?  Who was he and how did his name become associated with the Museum House?
Mr. Blanchard was born and raised in Avon when it was still known as East Stoughton.   In 1784, thirty-six years before this Museum House was built, his great-grandfather, William Blanchard, homesteaded the Blanchard Tavern as a combination family residence and business enterprise.  The Tavern remained in the family until 1938 when Henry Lawton Blanchard deeded it to Avon for use as the Town Office.  When the new offices were acquired in 1975, ownership of historic Blanchard Tavern was assumed by the trustees of the Blanchard Trust. 
This beautiful example of Colonial architecture and family home of the Blanchard's, is now open to the public as another major point of interest to lovers of our American Heritage.  It is located just a few steps up the street from the Museum House. 

Captain Sam Robbins
In 1820 Captain Samuel Robbins set about to build a home in Avon, then called East Stoughton.  The land belonged to his wife Sally Loring who inherited it from her seagoing father.
While Avon was a good day's journey from his ship's mooring in Boston, Captain Sam would be away for months in the course of his merchant duties.  At 10 knots a sailing ship required over two weeks to make the journey from America to Europe.
In 1846 the Baptist church ( across the road from his home ) erected a new building with the help of the crew from Captain Sam's ship "The Sharon" the sides were put together flat on the ground, pulled erect and then nailed together.  The steeple was the last section to be hauled into place.  Before this was completed, Captain Sam made one last trip on the Sharon, carrying lumber from Savannah, Georgia to Hamburg, Germany.
But 1847 was a forbidding time on the Atlantic and the Sharon and all hands were lost in a hurricane.  The church was dedicated without the crew of the Sharon, Sally and her two sons attending the memorial service as well.
Come visit the Blanchard Museum in Avon center and see the home of an old sea captain, furnished as it was in 1820.
The H.L. Blanchard House Museum, right next door to the Avon Gazebo, has recently opened for Tours and Special Events
Tour Schedule Click here
Capt. Sam Robbins
Blanchard's Colonial Tavern Museum
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