The Nathaniel Hayward House (1775)

November 5th, 2009 Posted in Colchester, Colonial, Houses


Around 1775, Amos Otis built a house for Capt. Dudley Wright, on the site of the old house Wright’s father, Joseph Wright in Colchester. The impressive new house also served as a store, a tavern and, on the second floor ballroom, as the meeting place of the Wooster Lodge of Masons. Capt. Wright’s daughter Lydia married Dr. John Watrous in 1783 and the couple moved into the house’s second floor. Wright lived with them until his death in 1808. In 1823, Dr. Frederick Morgan married the Watrous’s daughter, Caroline Watrous. When Dr. Watrous died in 1842, they lived in the house until 1848, when they sold the house to Nathanial Hayward. Hayward was an inventor who had conceived a process of vulcanization of rubber by treating it with sulphur and a patent for this was issued in 1837 to Hayward’s colleague, Charles Goodyear. [For more information, see Some Account of Nathaniel Hayward’s Experiments with India Rubber which resulted in discovering the Invaluable Compound of that article with Sulphur (1865)]. Hayward had founded the Hayward Rubber Company and built a factory in Colchester in 1847. In 1885, the factory closed, but was reoccupied by the Colchester Rubber Company in 1888, which operated until it was absorbed by the United States Rubber Trust in 1892.

The house was embellished by Hayward, who added a bay window. He also presented his front lawn to the town as a park. The Hayward family lived in the home into the twentieth century. The last descendants to occupy the house in the 1940s wanted it to be razed, but it was purchased and saved, although not kept up for many years. It has recently been a bed and breakfast called the Hayward House Inn, but is now a real estate office.

  1. 12 Responses to “The Nathaniel Hayward House (1775)”

  2. By marc on Apr 21, 2010

    i have some paintings around 20 years old of this house, with the wright family i believe in one of them in front of the firplace, two more are of the house outside taking 2 frames of art into one picture, the other is a 200 year description of the history of the house

  3. By jack on Jul 24, 2010

    I own the Hayward house now and have been collecting as many historical references from Hayward and back to try to build a small library of memorobilia for the future. I would love to have anyone with info contact me to discuss.

  4. By Mark Pheps on Feb 17, 2011

    I am a descendant of Dudley
    Wright’s sister Mary Wright. I have posted the picture of the house on Maybe some Wright descendants will be interested in knowing about the house.

  5. By Anthony on Apr 19, 2012

    A friend just passed and right before he did he gave us glass slides of the exterior and interior of the house. He was a great grandson. He also gave us a picture of the Hayward factory.

  6. By Elisabeth on Jun 25, 2012

    I am a descendant of Nathaniel Hayward and Louisa Bunker Hayward. I just inherited the portraits of the two of them, and also have the patent Nathaniel was issued, as well as a sample of the small rubber boot that I guess demonstrated the process. If Jack would like to contact me I would be very happy to send pictures of what I have, and would love to visit the house sometime (I live in Massachusetts.)

  7. By Valerie Lindholm on Aug 1, 2012

    We have a couple of shoes one from the Hayward Rubber Co and one from the Colchester Rubber Co and we’ve been trying to contact any of the descendents of the Hayward and Watkinson families to find out if they have any documents, catalogs, letters or information about the old Rubber businesses.

    Please feel free to have them contact me.

  8. By Roy on Oct 8, 2012

    I bought this house in 1986 from the last descendents of Hayward and initiated the first stages of its restoration including removal of all the later applied plaster which had been applied over the original paneling. For example, all the feather edge paneling in the keeping room had been covered over with plaster, and the wide chestnut flooring covered in multiple layers of linoleum and oil cloth. The discovery of the original swing wall in the right side second floor bedroom (making two rooms into one large room) was a very exciting day, as well as was the discovery of several additional fireplaces which had been bricked up to use wood burning stoves. In the early 1990’s I sold it to Tom Schwenke, a noted CT antiques dealer. Jack, I’d love to be in touch with you about this great old house as I have much I can share about it. You can contact me at

  9. By Roy on Oct 8, 2012

    By the way, I can prove that this house was actually begun by Joseph Wright circa 1750 and later enlarged by Amos Otis circa 1775. The house began as a one and one half storey structure and then significantly enlarged into the two and one half storey structure by Amos Otis. And the second floor (where the swing wall is) was not to serve as a ball room, but rather to serve as a Masonic lodge.

  10. By Mark Phelps on Feb 6, 2014

  11. By Mark Phelps on Feb 6, 2014

    this is a link to a photo I took of this house in Aug. 2011. The weather was great that day and I think this is a great photo.

    I would like to see photos of the old Wright family painting Jack has. Jack. could you post photos here


  12. By Jack Faski on Oct 11, 2015

    I want to say sorry to any of you who posted here and I did not get back to you. My sister was just looking up the history and found this website. Please contact me directly at and I would love to converse with any of you regarding the history of this house.

  13. By Douglas Heath on Jun 21, 2016

    I am writing a history of Haywardville in Stoneham, Massachusetts. It will be published by The History Press in early 2017. I am seeking any photographs and documents of Nathaniel Hayward, his wife Louisa, his daughter Louisa Weeks and Louisa’s husband Theodore C. Weeks. Please contact me at or by phone at 781-224-0280. If used in the book, you will be fully credited for any images published. Jpeg or tiff formatted images are fine. Thank you, Doug Heath

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