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House Dating Back To Salem Witch Trials To Be Fully Restored

FRAMINGHAM (CBS) -- Decades of hard work to preserve historic architecture in Framingham has finally paid off. The house --and the story inside it-- date back to the Salem witch trials.

Renovations on the Sarah and Peter Clayes house in Framingham are in full swing.

Witch House
Front of the Sarah and Peter Clayes House in 2017 (WBZ-TV)

"Sarah, along with her two sisters Rebecca Nurse and Mary Esty, were convicted of witchcraft," explained Annie Murphy, a member of the Sarah Clayes House Trust.

That was in 1692.

The witch hysteria in Salem was sweeping the area and Sarah Clayes was accused.

"Her two sisters were hung. She escaped the noose," Annie said.

No one knows how she did that, but not long after, Sarah and her husband left Salem and moved to Framingham.

Witch House
Behind the Sarah and Peter Clayes House (WBZ-TV)

As the house changed hands, it grew with every addition, but eventually fell into a rundown, ramshackle state.

For more than 20 years, people have worked to save the house.

"There were three or four channels from the roof all the way to the basement of rotted sheathing, timber, flooring," said project manager Ned Murphy.

"Saving buildings like this is hard. So I'm very glad that this one will be kept. Our town deserves it," he added.

Witch House
The Sarah and Peter Clayes House being renovated (WBZ-TV)

The hope is to sell the house to a family who will pledge to preserve it.

"They will appreciate the story. They will appreciate the history, and they will preserve it and maintain it," Annie said.

The Sarah Clayes House Trust will put the house on the market when the renovations are complete, likely in the spring.


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