Charles P. Ware House // 1895

This cute house in Brookline was built in 1895, for Charles and Elizabeth Ware as their downsized home from their larger mansion just a few blocks away. Charles Pickard Ware (1840-1921) served as a civilian administrator in the Union Army, where he was a labor superintendent of freedmen on plantations at Port Royal, South Carolina, during the American Civil War. In 1861, white residents and slave owners fled Port Royal after it was captured, leaving behind 10,000 black slaves. Now known as the Port Royal Experiment, private Northern charity organizations stepped in to help the former slaves become self-sufficient. The formerly enslaved demonstrated their ability to work the land efficiently and live independently of white control. They assigned themselves daily tasks for cotton growing and spent their extra time cultivating their own crops, fishing and hunting. By selling their surplus crops, the locals acquired small amounts of property. Charles Pickard Ware was tasked with supervising many of the former plantations here. It is here that he transcribed many slave songs with tunes and lyrics, later published in Slave Songs of the United States, it was the first published collection of American folk music.

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