The Kerr - Carpenter - Haigis House: The Haigis Family
Peter J. Haigis was born in New Britain Connecticut in 1873, later attended Boston University, and graduated in 1904. He served his internship at Mass Memorial and came to Foxboro in 1906 to start his own practice. Dr. Haigis opened an office at Turner's block and operated there for several years. The Doctor married Ruth Edith Hodges on February 11th, 1911 and a year later the couple purchased the home at the corner of Central and Liberty Streets from the heirs of the Carpenter estate. The home now became the Kerr-Carpenter-Haigis house.
The couple made significant improvements to the structure before moving in: a new heating system was installed, the home was wired with electricity, and a basement was installed under the Doctor's wing. In the home, a reception/waiting room was formed as well as a consultation area. The couple moved in during the late summer of 1912. Shown here is an early image of Dr. Peter Haigis as donated to this site by family members--note the Doctor's bag on the automobile's front seat.
A year later the couple gave birth to a daughter, Ruth Elizabeth Haigis. In 1916, the couple gave birth to twins: son Phillip John Haigis and daughter Pearl Janet were born. When the Kerr-Carpenter-Haigis house was moved in 2006, workers located boards (one is shown below) that were drawn on by the Haigis children circa 1930.
The Doctor's practice faired well in the structure as the town matured around it: the trolley line from the early 1900s gave way to automobiles and the robust downtown area supported the day to day lives of Foxboro residents. The family survived the great depression and some Foxboro residents can recall receiving their first visit to a Doctor's office in the care of Dr. Peter Haigis.
Dr. Haigis' health failed in early 1941, he was admitted to Mass. Memorial Hospital, and passed away on the morning of June 2, 1941. At this time daughter Pearl was living locally, daughter Ruth Elizabeth was living in Paris France and son Phillip Haigis was himself a physician.
Mrs. Ruth Haigis continued to live in the home at the corner of Central and Liberty streets for the next four decades and watched Foxborough double in size in the years following World War II. In these years she took photographs of the growing town and these were later donated to the Foxborough Historical Society / Foxborough Historical Commission and remain in the town archives today. Some of these photos follow:
Mrs. Haigis showed the perils of living on a main street in town after a car collided with the distinctive fence that lined the property. Behind the fence is the intersection of Central and Wall streets.
Foxborough center after a heavy snowfall in the 1950s. In order to prevent snow from falling on pedestrians, workers remove snow from rooftops with the aid of a ladder truck.
The aftermath of the Moore's / Aubuchon fire in June of 1959.
Ruth Haigis lived until December of 1980 when she succumbed to pneumonia at the age of 89. With her passing, the 150 year old residential history of the Kerr - Carpenter - Haigis home came to a pause. In the early 1980s the building was purchased and served over the next two decades as office spaces for various businesses including a local builder, attorney, and doctor.
Images appearing on this website may not be reproduced in any manner without express written permission from the Foxborough Historical Commission.