History of Eagle House
The Eagle House has a long and varied history. Ephraim Wetherbee constructed the original building about 1740 on what later became Main Street, adjacent to the present Congregational Church. It became the home of the Bellows family during the Revolutionary War period.
The house was remodeled extensively in 1875 to function as a summer hotel. An American Eagle weathervane was mounted on the cupola, and the building became known as the "Eagle House". In 1883 the first telephone in Lunenburg was installed in this building.
In 1937 the house and land were donated to the Town of Lunenburg through the will of Charles P. Dickinson, with the provision that it be used as quarters for veterans' groups and as a "war memorial". The house was moved to Memorial Drive, which was constructed to run between Main Street and Massachusetts Avenue (Route 2A). The building at this time was known as the Memorial Building or more informally the Legion House.
Veterans organizations, as well as town organizations and some town departments, used the building. It was the first location of the Lunenburg Credit Union, which ultimately merged with the Workers' Credit Union. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1988, Town Meeting voters authorized a group of private citizens to form the Eagle House Senior Center Committee. Donations of money, supplies, and services were used to extensively renovate the building into a senior center. An eagle weathervane was again mounted on the roof.
The Eagle House Senior Center is operated under the direction of the Lunenburg Council on Aging, an appointed Town Committee. Several community groups use the front room for evening meetings.
The senior center was expanded in 1998 with a 4,000-square-foot addition, funded through a $701,000 grant awarded to the Town by the then Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Development, now known as the Department of Housing and Community Development. The Friends of the Eagle House Inc. furnished the addition through fundraisers, donations, and memorial gifts.