The Isaac Morse House
135 Front Street
Georgian Colonial - Circa 1790
Winchendon History and Cultural Center Toy Museum
The Isaac Morse House is located on the corner of Front Street and Lincoln Avenue in Winchendon Village. The house was built circa 1790 by Robert Ruggles, who was both architect and builder. The house has 10 rooms and 5 fireplaces and is in excellent condition. Isaac Morse was born November 19, 1775, according to a gravestone in Old Centre Cemetery. Isaac Morse had 10 children with his first wife, Miriam (Spofford). Morse had five more children with his second wife, Frances (Stephens) of Amherst. Isaac Morse had much influence in Winchendon business, the church, and public affairs. Since he was also a large landowner, the inhabitants referred to the neighborhood as "Morse's". Isaac Morse died in 1860.
This imposing house was purchased by Dr. Alton Skelton in 1939. Dr. Skelton came to Winchendon in 1931 and became associated with Dr. Perry and later, with Dr. Carl Antonellis. Dr. Skelton held a place of high esteem among the people of Winchendon. Dr. Skelton's second wife, Evangeline, sold the historic house to Dennis and Christine Porter in 2007. The house is on the National registry of Historic Places.
The house at 135 Front Street has had a long and illustrious history. It had been home to manufacturers and doctors, esteemed members of the Toy town citizenry, and in 2016, it became home to the Winchendon History and Cultural Center's Toy Museum and Gift Shop. In 2017, the famed Joseph's Soda Fountain was placed in the back barn area and became what is now named "Seppie's Ice Cream Shop."
Finally, the garage on the back of the property is home to the Gardner Area League of Artists (GALA). They renovated the building to become their permanent art gallery. Samplings of their art are on display throughout the Isaac Morse House.