The oldest extant house in Wayland is the Noyes-Parris House named for Peter Noyes who is likely to have built part of the dwelling as a “tenement commonly called ‘Cedar Croft’ consisting of a dwelling house, barn and 36 acres of upland and meadow.”
This description was part of his inventory 1692. Noyes’ four daughters ultimately inherited the house when their brother, Peter Noyes, Jr. died in 1698. The four daughters divided their father’s estate with Cedar Croft deeded to Sarah and her husband Thomas Frink. One daughter, Dorothy became the second wife of the Reverend Samuel Parris of the 1692 Salem Witchcraft Trials fame. Parris is believed to have visited here often and to have taught school here in 1717.
In 1733 Cedar Croft was sold to Samuel Parris, son of the Reverend Samuel Parris. Sixty years later, Parris sold to Edward Johnson and this was the Johnson Farm for over 100 years and the location of the early organizational meetings of the Trinitarian Congregational Church of which Johnson was a deacon.
There is sufficient evidence that this modest center-chimney house was two small dwellings that were put together in the early 18th century. The south parlor and chamber appear to be of Connecticut construction while the north parlor and chamber more closely resemble Massachusetts construction. Some of these construction technicalities will be pointed out when visiting the Noyes-Parris House.
Some things to notice are: the direction of the summer beams in each room (parallel or perpendicular to the chimney); two-panel, four-panel and six-panel doors; two sets of rafters in the attic indicating a shallower roof pitch, particularly over the south end of the house.
The Noyes-Parris House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of a thematic nomination of properties that demonstrate specific construction techniques attributed to the First Period of settlement – up to about 1720.
There also is a preservation restriction that is held by the Wayland Historical Society protecting not only the façade but some of the unique interior features particularly the paneled fireplace wall in the upper chamber that has never been painted.