Within weeks I arranged to move the house in one piece to the nearby lot on Massachusetts Avenue in North Cambridge, and then began my search for a permanent location. The closer to Harvard Square area I could relocate this landmark, the more value I believed I could create.
Starting at Brattle Square I walked Brattle Street stopping at every house that had a side lot or sufficient room to relocate the farmhouse, asking each owner if they had any interest in providing a site for one of Cambridge's earliest houses, allegedly 1690, but probably mid 18th century. I received only vague expressions of interest or an incredulous - "Are you crazy?"
Reaching the end of the large lot Cambridge Brattle Street houses, I turned left onto Elmwood Avenue towards the president of Harvard's house, "Elmwood". Receiving similar rejections along Elmwood Avenue I knocked on the door of the last house. It stood directly opposite Harvard's "Elmwood" on the corner of Mount Auburn Street and Elmwood Avenue.
Mrs Counihan came to her front door and I made my plea.
"Well, I love Cambridge and I would like to help -- but I need my side lawn....... That is where my daughter will be married -- and I will hold her wedding reception."
"Oh..... How lovely!" I commented. "Is your daughter considering a marriage?"
"Yes, of course."
"When is the wedding?"
"Wonderful............ I can wait."
Mrs Counihan smiled and then laughed..... So did I.
"Are you sure?" she inquired.
"Yes........ I am sure."
We negotiated the terms and the price of the buildable lot, $10,000.
We shook hands, and I called Abe to tell him I had found a site for the Watson House. He asked.... "Where?"
"On Elmwood Avenue opposite Elmwood.
"Great!!! ...... How did you do it?"
I looked at Mrs Counihan......and smiled. "I knocked on the door of a very kind and wonderful lady." Mrs Counihan smiled, and then we laughed.