Joseph Taylor, a carpenter by trade, purchased two plots of land on Upper Street in Buckland in 1849 and began building the farmhouse he would call home. He chose to build it in the style of Gothic Revival, uncommon in New England at the time. Its origins here in the states is widely attributed to Maryland. It is known by other names and 'sub-styles' such as, Gingerbread, Romanesque, Queen Ann, etc., and tends to be quite ornate and decorative. However, in subdued, modest New England the reference is often said to be "Carpenter's Gothic." It is not clear if this was the first 'Gothic' home in the area but it was definitely the first on Upper Street. Three others would later be built and attributed to having been done by Taylor as well.
The diagram (upper left) illustrates the characteristics that makes Gothic Revival unique to that of its sibling, Greek Revival. Foremost on the list is their front-facing gables, with decorative bargeboard, a formed
window and steep sloping, composite (shakes) roofs. Then there are the double-hung windows, clapboard siding and masonry chimney. Also commonly featured are bay windows with decorative brackets and paneling. There is a
bay window, original to the house that can be seen below (right). Woodward upon purchasing the home would need a first floor bedroom to accommodate his disability and had one built in the
style and tradition of Gothic Revival, featuring a bay window seen in the picture to the right.
Below are pictures of the front-facing gable, bargeboard and formed window, as well as the decorative paneling separating the roof eave and clapboard siding. Next to that is a picture of the original pattern used to make the decorative bargeboard features of the gable.
To the right is the original bay window and to its right is a porch. This design, having large windows
facing south, is common in order to take advantage of the wintry sun which tracks east to west in a more southerly position during those months.
Woodward was not the only owner of the property to hold true to its Gothic styling. The carriage house (the red building in the picture at the top of the page) was added to the premises by the property's namesake, Henry Southwick, in the early 1900's. It also has a front facing gable and formed window. As the name suggests, this building was used to house horse carriages and buggies much the way we would use a car garage today. The carriage house was later converted to a country doctor's office by Woodward beneficiary, Dr. Mark Purinton, where he had a family medical practice for nearly 40 years.