Jacob Miller emigrated to New England from Holland, settling in Massachusetts where he raised a family and served in the Revolutionary War. He built the farmhouse that now stands on Miller Hill, at 251 Gorwin Dr. in Holliston around the year 1750.
The Hill and the Home
The farm is located on “Miller Hill,” still possessing 3.5 acres of the original property and abutted by conservation land on one side. The road that passes in front of the house is currently a dead end, but the original road continues up the hill and through the woods. The old road, lined with picturesque stone walls, stretches over a mile, boasting walking trails and beautiful woodlands.
The layout of the home is a central chimney early revolutionary colonial. A sample floor plan from a book of old American homes is almost exactly that of this house.
The current structure has 3 additions: a kitchen is now an east wing of the house. Two bedrooms and a staircase were added in the west, and a family room and bedroom were added on the north side of the house, making it a 5 bedroom house.
A stable original to the property stands by the north east corner of the house. Later additions to that structure include a paddock, second stable, tack room, ice room/pump room/potting shed, utility room, and garages for 5 cars.
Our research shows Jacob married his first wife Jerusha and had several children, including:
Jacob Miller may have had a second wife, as it is recorded in the Holliston Vital Records to 1950 that his wife, Susannah died May 3, 1815 at age 70. Jacob died January 17, 1812, at age 80 and “confined only four weeks.” It appears he may have moved to “the Milford Road” (likely Washington St.) by the time of his death.
Jacob fought as an officer in the army of the Revolution, in the Battle of Concord April 19th, 1775. He is listed as "Second Major, Jacob Miller of Holliston.” More on this below.
Jacob fought as an officer in the army of the Revolution, in the Battle of Concord April 19th, 1775. He is listed as "Second Major, Jacob Miller of Holliston.” Jacob “had the command of the castle after the evacuation of Boston.” This almost certainly references the evacuation of the British from Castle William, the fortified island to which the troops and leadership had fled after months of George Washington’s “Siege of Boston.” The British evacuated the fort on March 17, 1776. In leaving they destroyed much of the fort and it was quickly rebuilt.
We know little else of Jacob’s military service; however, a great deal is known and documented regarding Paul Revere. Paul Revere was also stationed at the castle starting in 1776. Wikipedia, Paul Revere - Militia service states, “Upon returning to Boston in 1776, Revere was commissioned a major of infantry in the Massachusetts militia in that April, and transferred to the artillery a month later. In November he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and was stationed at Castle William, defending Boston harbor. He was generally second or third in the chain of command, and on several occasions he was given command of the fort. .” Jacob Miller and Paul Revere were both stationed at Castle William (then renamed Fort Adams) in 1776; Miller likely from March (“after the evacuation”) and Revere in November (per reference above). It is not clear who reported to who. Jacob’s last known rank was Second Major, and he would therefore have been subordinate to Revere – however, just as Revere was rapidly promoted from major to lieutenant colonel, Jacob may have also been moved up the ranks. The documentation we have states Jacob “commanded” the castle and that Revere was “generally second or third in the chain of command, as well as arriving later – so it appears most likely that Paul Revere reported to Jacob Miller!
Local lore and nearby signage (picture left) support that Revere and Miller were friends. Revere became a central figure in the revolution and sought after by British troops. The sign below indicates that Revere had a home in Holliston where “his family hid” near 1775 to 1787. This sign is at the intersection of Gorwin and Marshall past the cemetery from here. It is extremely likely that land for the home was within the property then owned by Jacob or Warren Miller.
There is also reference to “P. Revere” paying taxes in Holliston, but only in one year! It is most likely that land was given by Jacob or Warren Miller, to his friend Paul Revere for the home in which Revere’s family stayed. If true, Revere would have most certainly visited his friend up the street when visiting family!
Owners of the home include:
Second Major Jacob Miller (d. ***)
Obadiah Miller (b. Oct. 9th, 1772)
Warren Miller (b. 1797, d. 1877)
Albert Miller (got the home 1846)
Sam Eliot in the early 1900s. Sam acquired the farm as a summer home for his family.
Bohles, Thelma (Thelma was a realtor and they only had the house about 2 1/2 years.)
Donald A. and Susan Dickert owners from 7/24/1975 - 12/16/2003.
James D and Martha Mungovan owners from 12/16/2003 - 11/9/16
Kirsti M. Frazier and Jonathan N. Adler owners from 11/9/16 -
The farm has an enormous cistern located beneath what is now the kitchen. This part of the structure appears to have originally been a garage built by Sam Eliot.
The cistern was working when the Dickerts owned the house and they were using it. The water came from the well that is in what is now the Garden Shed.
Also there was a very old concrete pool in the west field. The Dickerts filled that in.