Rockwell House // c.1850

Built in 1850, likely as a late-Greek Revival or Italianate style home, this property on Main Street in Ridgefield was completely “modernized” in the 1880s in the Queen Anne style popular at the time. The home was originally built for Francis Asbury Rockwell (1818-1881), a tin-smith, wine-maker and inventor who married Mary Lee Everest, who also had deep roots in the community and was a daughter of a local Revolutionary War captain. The couple built a home on Main Street and raised their children there until Francis and Mary died in 1881 and 1883 respectively. The family home was inherited by their eldest son, Charles Lee Rockwell, who became the director of the First National Bank in town. Charles updated the house to give it the Queen Anne Victorian flair we see today.

Beckwith House – Partridge Hall // 1882

Henry Truman Beckwith (1808-1893) was born in Providence and (of course) enrolled at Brown University. He left school after two years and wished to see the world. He began to work as a cargo clerk aboard ships for a cotton merchant of Macon, Georgia. He traveled between Boston and Calcutta at least twice, bringing aboard novels from American and British authors, spending much of his time reading. Being well-read and without a family of his own (he never married), he devoted much of his time to clubs and organizations including: the Providence Athenaeum, Rhode Island Historical Society, and the Rhode Island Horticultural Society. In the later years of his life, Henry had this Queen Anne style home built in College Hill, on the same block as the Historical Society where he was a member. The Beckwith House was eventually acquired by Brown University and has since been known as Partridge Hall. The building is now home to the Brown Center for Students of Color, an organization that was established after a series of student protests in 1968 and 1975. Amid the civil rights movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, a group of Black students walked out of Brown University in December 1968 in protest of fierce racism on campus. The mission of the Brown Center for Students of Color has evolved over the years, but its current mission statement reads “Visualize. Vocalize. Mobilize”, they remain an integral piece of the campus and provide much-needed space for students of color to build a sense of community on campus.

John Deane House // 1896

John Milton Deane (1840-1914) was born in Assonet Village in Freetown, Mass., to a prominent local family. He attended regional schools before becoming a teacher. As an 18-year-old school teacher, Deane enlisted in Assonet’s militia company, in 1858, upon increasing tension between the slave- and free-states. The local militia company joined the 3rd Regiment, Massachusetts Militia, which was organized for active service on April 15, 1861 in response to President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops to put down the insurrection in the southern states, the beginning of the American Civil War. After serving and a small break, he again joined the Union forces as 2nd Lieutenant with the 29th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for action in the 29th Massachusetts on March 25, 1865 at Fort Stedman, Virginia. His citation reads “This officer, observing an abandoned gun within Fort Haskell, called for volunteers, and under a heavy fire, worked the gun until the enemy’s advancing line was routed.” After the conclusion of the Civil War, John Deane continued teaching for a year before opening a dry goods store. He built this home after a decorated military and sales career, in 1896, on a prominent lot facing a branch of the Taunton River. The Queen Anne style home exhibits a prominent corner tower, porches, and decorative corbels.

Louis K. Harlow House // 1888

One of the best houses in Waban Village in Newton is this absolutely stunning Shingle style/Queen Anne home perched high on Moffat Hill. This house was built in 1888 for Louis K. Harlow, who began his career as a professional artist in 1880 and traveled Europe to study the work of prominent painters. Back in the Boston area, Harlow painted nature and landscapes and produced etchings that were shown in the Boston Art Club and sold worldwide. He later got into poetry and published multiple works. Harlow hired the firm of Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow, to design his country retreat. I assume there is a relation between Louis K. and the architect Alfred Branch Harlow, but I would love to find out the connection! The design is quintessentially Queen Anne, with the asymmetry, complex roof form, varied siding types, and diamond window sashes. The shingled second floor overhangs the fieldstone first floor which to me, evokes the Shingle style where the house seems to have grown out from the earth. I can only imagine how spectacular the interior is!

Winfield S. Carr House // 1896

In 1895, Winfield S. Carr (1849-1911) purchased land on Windsor Road for a residence from William S. Strong, a horticulturist and developer of Waban Village. The lot is located at the peak of Moffat Hill, and provided sweeping views of undeveloped farm and marshland and possibly Boston in the distance. As a young man, Carr moved to Fall River from Maine, and was employed in the dry goods business. He eventually moved to Boston and opened up a toy shop, which clearly became a large success. The firm sold fireworks and children’s toys from the downtown location. The Queen Anne style home was occupied by Carr and his wife (they don’t appear to have had children) for less than a decade, when the couple downsized and moved to an apartment on Comm. Ave. in Allston.

Sunnylea // 1881

One of the best Queen Anne style summer cottages in Newport is this gem, named Sunnylea. The house was built in 1881 for Charles F. Chickering, who ran the Chickering & Sons Piano Company in Boston. Chickering hired local architect Dudley Newton, who had previously apprenticed under George Champlin Mason, a builder of many Newport summer houses. Sunnylea was the first independent commission that Newton designed with his own firm. The house was later owned by Luther Kountze, a New York banker and his wife Annie. After WWII, the home was converted away from single-family use, and was occupied as a prep school, before being converted to condos late in the 20th century. It recently sold, and wow, the interior is just as beautiful as the exterior!

Benjamin Case House // 1888

This large Queen Anne Victorian house in Canton Center was built for Benjamin Franklin Case (1861-1931), a banker and businessman who incorporated the town creamery. He made his fortune harnessing the rural character of the village, creating the Canton Creamery, where farmers could package and sell their dairy products to the rapidly growing communities nearby. Case was credited as bringing the telephone to town, with his office in his home serving as a switchboard room. He is also known as the first person in town to own an automobile. After his death, the property was used by his daughter Ruby as a vacation house. After WWII, she realized it was too much house for her to upkeep, and she converted the single family home into apartments.

Swedenborgian Church of Lancaster // 1881

This beautiful old building was constructed in 1881 in Lancaster, MA as a Swedenborgian Church. The congregation in The United States has always been much smaller than other prominent religions, but Lancaster had a sizable group of believers. Some wealthier residents bankrolled for a new church building, which would and could not compete with the Unitarian Church designed by Charles Bulfinch. Architect Francis Ward Chandler from the Boston firm of Cabot & Chandler designed the modest, yet beautiful building in the Queen Anne style. The congregation died off and in 1923, the building was purchased by members of the Current Topics Club, seemingly a debate and social club in town. The old church sold in 2020 as a residence.

Smith-Miller House // 1893

Located on stunning West Broadway in Bangor, Maine, the Smith-Miller House stands out as a beautiful blending of the Shingle and Queen Anne styles. Built in 1893 from the designs of Connecticut architectural firm Cook, Hapgood, and Company, the home was featured in The American Architect and Building News journal for its design success. The home is clad with continuous cedar shingle siding, with a prominent corner tower, wrap-around porch, and porte-cochere, all together provide complexity and intrigue on the street of large homes. What do you think of this home?

Rice-Petersen House // c.1890

Built in the 1890s by Dr. A.W. Rice, the ground floor of this Queen Anne style house served as the physician’s office, and he lived with his family in the upper floors. The home stands out as a fairly uncommon example of the Queen Anne style in Marion, a town dominated by Shingle style homes in that period. An enterprising Danish immigrant named Viggo V. Petersen, purchased the home and adjacent carriage house in 1921 and opened an ice cream parlor in it. When Viggo V. died in 1941, his son, Viggo C., attempted to carry on, until wartime cream shortages and rationing forced him to close for the duration of the conflict. Thereafter, Petersen’s ice cream resumed production and remained a Marion fixture until its final closing in the 1970s. The home is now occupied by two offices, and the former carriage house is home to the Mary Celeste Wine and Whiskey Library, a fun place that educates about wine and whiskey, offering tastings and events.