William Hager was a farmer and miller who built a house around 1760 on the Boston Post Road in Marlborough. William married Sarah Stow in 1761 (his brother, Ebenezer, had married Sarah’s sister Abigail in 1753). The brothers operated a sawmill on a nearby brook, built around 1730 by their father Ebenezer Hager. The house was later owned by William and Sarah‘s son, William Hager, Jr. (he was originally named Billy Hager and had his name officially changed to William), who was a staunch Federalist and opposed the War of 1812. The house once had a series of rear ells and an attached barn, all later demolished. In the nineteenth century, it was Victorianized and then re-Colonialized in the 1930s. Today, the house, which has a saltbox profile on its west elevation, has been converted for offices and has a large modern addition to the rear.
The Joshua Rice Homestead, on Elm Street in Marlborough, is a good example of how colonial houses could be expanded over the years. It’s oldest section, on the west, has a center-chimney structure, which gained a saltbox profile with the addition of a lean-to. This may have been built by Joshua Rice around 1681, or perhaps later (but still sometime before 1730), by Joshua’s cousin, Jacob Rice. The east section was added around 1800 and later an ell was constructed connecting the east end to an eighteenth century woodshed. The house remained in the Rice family into the 1870s or 1880s.
Located not far from Wayside Inn Road (which leads to Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury), is the Amos and Jonas Darling House, a Colonial Cape-style cottage (much added to over the years) on the Boston Post Road in Marlborough. Overlooking Hager’s Pond across the road, the house was most likely built around 1760 by Amos Darling, Sr., who came from Framingham (It may also have been built as early as 1726 and later bought by Darling). His sons were Jonas and Amos Darling, Jr. The family was associated with the nearby Hager sawmill and Amos, Jr. married Lovice Hager, daughter of Ebenezer Hager, Jr., in 1800. The house was later owned by Lovice’s cousin, Ephraim Hager. By the mid-nineteenth century, it was owned by George Jones and was known as Jones’s Tavern. The Jones property and the Hager Sawmill were acquired by Henry Ford in the 1920s, when he was developing the Wayside Inn as an historic attraction.
The home of the Marlborough Historical Society is the Peter Rice Homestead at 337 Elm Street. The Homestead was built in 1688, on the half of his father’s original house lot which Peter Rice inherited. That year, he had married Rebecca Howe and their descendants would occupy the house into the mid-nineteenth century. The house was added to over the years and subdivided in the 1940s. It was donated to the Historical Society in 1967 and is now a museum.