Webster-Jenkins Mansion // 1875

One of my favorite homes in Jamaica Plain is this gorgeous old Victorian-era home, perched high on Sumner Hill. The house was built in 1875 seemingly for John L Webster and his wife Henrietta with John as the architect/builder. John built other homes in the neighborhood, and clearly did well for himself as he acquired one of the most prominent sites in the area for his own home. After his death in 1890, the home was willed to his daughter and her husband, Augustus T. Jenkins, who worked as a Clerk in Downtown Boston. The house blends many mid-to-late 19th century styles including Second Empire, Stick, and Victorian Gothic, and is among one of the most architecturally pleasing I have seen. The central tower, obscured in my photos by trees, probably provides some amazing views of the growing city in the distance.

Benjamin H. Bristow Draper House // 1935

Benjamin Helm Bristow Draper (1908-1957) was the grandson of Governor and Industrialist Eben Sumner Draper, who along with his brother, turned Hopedale, MA into the industrial village it is today. Benjamin purchased his uncle’s old mansion across the street from his cousin, who a decade earlier built the massive Tudor mansion featured previously. Benjamin razed his uncle’s old mansion and built this French Eclectic house in 1935 with a hipped roof, casement windows, and sleek design.

Robbins “Lottery” House // 1800

Government-sanctioned lotteries originated in Massachusetts as an alternative to taxation, but soon expanded as a fundraising tool to help fund building projects and support charities. In 1765, the General Court passed the first legislation allowing Harvard College to run a lottery to support dormitory building projects. Before Harvard University accepted multi-million dollar donations, they drew lotteries between 1794 and 1797 to build the second Stoughton Hall and in the early 1800s, for the building of Holworthy Hall. In Harvard’s lottery of 1794-1796 which John Robbins, a farmer and Revolutionary War veteran, entered, together with three friends, each of whom purchased a quarter-share in one ticket. They won! This Federal style home with hipped roof and symmetrical facade is one of four built in Acton.

George Lee House // c.1865

This Italianate mansion was built in the 1860s for George E. Lee, a tanner. Lee lived in this home for a few decades until his death, before which, we had a stable or carriage house built to house his horses and carriage. There is a belvedere at the roof which could have been used by George or his wife to oversee the tannery business just blocks away! The home was willed to his son William after his father’s death, who sold off land across the street for new development. Interestingly, land behind the house was sold off in the early 2000s for townhouse development, possibly to provide funding to restore the home, currently undergoing renovations. The street that the townhomes sit on… Preservation Lane.

Levi F. Hartshorn House // c.1853

This Greek Revival home in Reading, Vermont was built around 1853 for Levi Fay Hartshorn, and is an excellent example of a vernacular Greek Revival house in Central Vermont. Levi F. Hartshorn moved to Reading, Vermont and opened up a store, also built this home for his family. It appears that Mr. Hartshorn gifted the village one of his shops to be used as a local library, before the present building was constructed.

Dike-King House // c.1740

Located in the Oak Hill Village of Newton, the Dike-King House remains as one of a few pre-Revolution houses, but the history is a little murky from what I found. Oak Hill was the most remote village of Newton historically and has maintained much of its open space to this day, as it did not see the suburban development following the streetcar in other villages in town connecting to nearby Boston. This house was apparently built by Jonathan Dike (1673-1751), a cooper, who lived here with his second wife Experience French (yes that was her name). The home he built was likely a much smaller dwelling and was added onto as the family grew. Jonathan died in 1751 and the home went to his eldest living son and later sold to Noah King in 1796. The house plaque on the house gives a date of 1795 as King purchased a house on the lot, but it was likely much older than one year old. Noah King was a housewright, deacon, and son of Dr. John King a prominent civic leader in the town. With his expertise as a housewright, he likely rebuilt much of the house into what we see today. Starting in 1796 through 1923 the property was run as a farm by members of the King family, but land was sold off around the Great Depression for much needed funds. Due to the asymmetry of the house, it is likely that it started as a half-house with just three bays with the door at the left-most bay, with the saltbox roof added around that time.

Callender-Sedgwick Mansion // 1802

This brick Federal home was built in 1802 for John Callender (1772-1833). He attended Harvard and after graduation, was admitted to practice before the Suffolk County Court of Common Pleas. Callender would go on to serve as clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court from 1815 until his death in 1833. When he was just a Clerk working at the Supreme Judicial Court, he purchased a small parcel of land from for $2,000. Callender subsequently built “a small house finished for little money $5,000-$7,000.” Callender lived here until at least the early 1820s. In the 1820s, the grade of Walnut Street was lowered and a basement facade with heavy granite blocks was added to the home, with a new front door, shifted from Mount Vernon Street. It is then that the home was likely added onto with the 3 1/2-story look we see today. The house is constructed of wood with brick end walls and flushboard siding on the Mount Vernon facade to replicate masonry.The home was acquired by members of the illustrious Lyman Family of Boston, who resided there until the early 20th century.

The home was purchased by Ellery Sedgwick, the long-time editor of the Atlantic Monthly (now The Atlantic), and he enjoyed celebrity status during his tenure in the 1920s. His first wife, Mabel Cabot Sedgwick, was a well-known horticulturist, writing the The Garden Month by Month, which still graces gardeners’ bookshelves today. Not long after they moved into this mansion on Beacon Hill, the Sedgwicks built a summer home called Long Hill in Beverly, MA, which is now owned by the Trustees (and was featured on here previously). The home was renovated in recent years and is listed for sale for a cool $12.7 million!

Martin Kellogg House // c.1762

In 1762, Martin Kellogg, 22, whose his great-grandfather was one of the first settlers of Norwalk, bought a 110-acre apple farm for himself and his wife, Mercy Benedict of Danbury. It is likely he built his home at that time. By 1812, Kellogg owned 500 acres in New Fairfield, land that would be annexed into Brookfield in the 1960s. The couple had five children in the home – Ira, Hanford, Polly, Rachel, Abigail and Mercy Maria. Five generations of Kelloggs would eventually live in their colonial house. When Martin died in 1824, the home was willed to his eldest surviving son, Ira. It is probable that when Ira inherited the home, he modernized it with the federal fanlight above the front door. The present owner purchased the home in 1970 and has preserved the home in all of its Colonial glory!

Barzillai B. Kellogg House // 1845

This stunning Greek Revival house was built in 1845 for Barzillai Bulkley Kellogg (yes, it is possibly the coolest name ever) on a peninsula jutting out into Candlewood Lake, the largest lake in the state of Connecticut. The lake was created in the 1920s, destroying homes and flooding land, but providing recreational opportunities and desirable house lots along the new shore line, perfect for New Yorkers who began moving out to the suburbs at the time. Luckily, this home was spared, due to its location on high ground. Barzillai B. Kellogg (1818-1882) worked in town as a school teacher at one of the district schoolhouses, but his connections and business sensibilities forced him to become more involved with the economy. He later owned a brickyard and operated a farm on his land, and likely built his home with bricks manufactured at his plant, providing a sort of advertisement to their quality. He was later involved in banking. This home is especially interesting as it features the cubic form and shallow/flat roof seen in Italianate homes, but has a colonnade porch supported by Ionic columns and a bold entablature under the eaves of the building, punctured by attic windows.

Russell Warren House // 1807

Architect Russell Warren (1783-1860), who I have featured on here numerous times, built this 2-story, 5-bay, hip-roof Federal house in Bristol, Rhode Island. This residence as interpreted by Warren as an example of the Federal style with stylistic features most notably being the angulated quoins (at the corners of the house). The house was designed for William Van Doom, a Bristol tailor of modest means. In 1814, Warren, a young and aspiring architect, saw the significant wealth in Bristol and decided to buy this home he designed. Siting himself in the vicinity of the extremely wealthy DeWolf family, he gained recognition and success by designing three expensive and elaborately crafted houses for them at this time, only Linden Place remaining. Warren lived in this house from 1814 until 1823.