Colonel John Ashley House
The Colonel John Ashley House is a registered National Historic Landmark located on Cooper Hill Road, Sheffield, Massachusetts (in a local village sometimes known as Ashley Falls). It currently exists as a non-profit museum operated by The Trustees of Reservations, open to the public for an admission fee. In 1773 the Sheffield Declaration, a petition against British tyranny and manifesto for individual rights, was drafted in the upstairs study of the house. Less than a decade later, the Ashleys' slave, Elizabeth "Mum Bett" Freeman won her freedom under the new state constitution through a celebrated 1781 Massachusetts state court battle. The case helped to end slavery in Massachusetts. The house is typical of early 18th century rural American architecture, with furnishings and items dating from the 18th and early 19th centuries. The house is open for tours on weekends from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com