Joseph Ross, the well-known bridge-builder built the house that is now the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home at 6 High Street, and was succeeded in the business by his sons Joseph and Frederick. Frederick built this house, next door at 8 High Street in 1887.
In the book Commercial and Financial New England Illustrated we read,
“Joseph Ross Corporation organized under the laws of Massachusetts in 1905, succeeded to the business of Joseph Ross & Sons general contractors, which was established in 1850. The president of the corporation is Joseph F. Ross treasurer. Fred G. Ross and the directors are the above named officers and George R. Humphrey. The office is at 28 School Street, Boston. The corporation is prepared to build wharves, concrete bridge piers, concrete walls and abutments and to do similar contracting work of a general nature. The high standing of the concern in the business community is naturally in part due to the ability and character of the late Joseph Ross, father of Joseph F. and Fred G. Ross who was in business in Boston for about fifty years up to the time of his death in 1903.Among the contracts carried out by the concern in recent years were building the sea wall at Winthrop Beach, the improvements to the Providence Terminal, the elimination of part of grade crossings of the Boston & Albany Railroad in the different districts of Newton, building of the archway at Middlefield, rebuilding of Battery building of approaches of Cove Street Bridge, abolishing grade crossings in Haverhill, street stone and work of the Newburyport Bridge, abolishing street grade crossings in Somerville, and erecting foundation of large new roundhouse of the Boston & Maine in Cambridge.”