Urncrest // c.1875

Located on “Millionaires Row” in Hopedale, MA, a street of homes formerly owned by factory owners and managers, sits “Urncrest” a stunning Queen Anne mansion. The home was built around 1875 for William Lapworth (1844-1937) an English-born weaving expert, who worked at Hopedale Elastics Co. and patented certain weaving processes for suspenders, boot webbing, and garters. Hopedale Elastics was absorbed by the Draper Corporation in 1890, and Lapworth was given a large pay increase. With his new salary, he “modernized” his home to what we see today, adding a corner tower, wrap-around porch, and many Colonial Revival details. Additionally, he had the detached 1870s carriage house updated with a full basement, heating, four horse stalls, and a coachman’s apartment with a bedroom and bathroom. The owners today maintain the home and carriage house beautifully! I can’t even imagine how gorgeous the interior is!

Frederick E. Smith House // c.1885

This Queen Anne/Shingle Style home in Hopedale was built in the mid-1880s for Frederick E. Smith, who (like everyone else in town) was employed by the Draper Corporation. Frederick Smith worked as the manager of the livery stable for the Draper Corporation, and later as the foreman of the trucking department of the Draper plant when automobiles took over. It is clear that the wealthiest Draper men encouraged their employees to live close to them in their mansions as this home is nearby the Draper mansion. Could you imagine Jeff Bezos living next-door to his employees? Me neither!

Hiram P. Dinsmore House // 1894

In 1894, Hiram P. Dinsmore, a clerk at the nearby Tewksbury Almshouse, purchased land not too far from his work to build a home for his family. The well-designed late-Victorian home features a wrap-around porch, a corner tower, twin sunburst or flower motifs, and the use of shingle and clapboard siding, all hallmarks of the Queen Anne style. After Hiram’s death, his wife and children lived in the home, and it was later willed to his daughter Beatrice and her husband, both of whom worked at the Tewksbury Almshouse (since renamed Tewksbury Hospital). The home has seen some deterioration with large sections of siding completely open to the elements unobscured by paint and a sagging porch roof. Hope to see this beauty restored.

William Boynton House // 1890

This stunning Queen Anne house in Brookline showcases everything that is synonymous with the term “Victorian” in architecture. This home was built in 1890 for William Boynton, a flour merchant who had offices in downtown Boston. The home features an assortment of siding types, sunburst motifs, an asymmetrical facade, and a large corner tower with an onion dome. The home is painted to showcase all the fine details and intricacies seen in the design.

Oliver Wendell Holmes House // c.1880

Built around 1880, this modest Victorian-era house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1972, as the only surviving structure associated with the life of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935), who occupied it as a summer home from 1909 until his death. The Holmeses divided their time between this house and a residence in Washington, D.C., generally staying here between June and October. While here, Holmes would continue to work on cases, and would entertain legal and political luminaries, including Louis Brandeis, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Albert Beveridge. Noted for his long service, concise and pithy opinions, and deference to the decisions of elected legislatures, Holmes is to this day, one of the most widely cited United States Supreme Court justices in history. Holmes retired from the court at the age of 90, an unbeaten record for oldest justice in the federal Supreme Court. The house is now in private hands and well-maintained.

Hollis Town Hall // 1886

Constructed in 1886, the Hollis Town Hall in New Hampshire is a distinctive example of Queen Anne civic architecture showcasing an asymmetrical design and a variety of forms, textures and materials. The building was designed from plans by Manchester-based architect William Butterfield. As originally constructed the building was painted in dark tints to harmonize with the roof which was covered with shingles and painted dark red. In 1902, the clocks were added atop the tower with a clock designed by George M. Stevens of Boston. Sadly, the buildings’ original polychromatic paint scheme which highlighted the architectural details was updated with a solid white color.

Simon Sherwood House // 1884

The Simon C. Sherwood house, built in 1884, is a fine late nineteenth-century eclectic Victorian home, somewhat unique to the Southport area of Fairfield, CT, which is dominated by early-mid 19th century styles. Simon Couch Sherwood was the son of Edwin Sherwood, a wealthy shipping merchant who made a fortune from trade between New York and Savannah. The Queen Anne-Eastlake style home was added onto with a larger porch, obscuring an original oriel window on the side elevation. Sadly, the home has a safe, yet inappropriate pale yellow body color with white trim, which does not showcase the intricacies of the Victorian era home.

Edward Stanwood House // 1879

It’s the day before Halloween, so I wanted to share the spookiest house in Brookline, Massachusetts, the Edward Stanwood House. Completed in 1879, this English Queen Anne home may look like just any other gorgeous mansion in Brookline, but upon closer inspection, you can see some oddities on the facade. First of all, the siding on the second floor is actually hung tile, overlaid to give the appearance of fish scales. Also characteristic of the English Queen Anne style, are the decorative terra cotta and carved wood panels, and the typical Queen Anne sunflower design. Contrasting with the delicate sunflower motifs, are gargoyles and demonic figures, effectively giving this home the nickname, “The House of the Sunflowers and Devils”. It was designed by architect Clarence S. Luce, a very underrated designer, was a prominent architect who had offices in Boston, Newport, and later, NYC. The home’s owner was Edward Stanwood (1841-), a Senior Editor of the Youth’s Companion, a children’s magazine based out of Boston.

Mills-Castle House // 1883

Look up perfection in the dictionary, and a picture of this Victorian home would be shown. Built in 1883, the Mills-Castle House exhibits the Shingle Style with a high-style Queen Anne detailing. Designed by the architectural powerhouse firm of Peabody & Stearns for Arthur Mills, the home is a significant addition to the already beautiful Pill Hill neighborhood of Brookline. Arthur Mills was an executive of the Boston & Albany Railroad. A subsequent owner of the house, Louise Castle, was Brookline’s first Selectwoman. Her husband, Dr. William Castle helped discover the cause of and cure for pernicious anemia.

Dr. Shurtleff House // c.1882

Dr. Augustine Shurtleff (1828-1901) was a Brookline-based doctor and esteemed citizen in town. He grew up in Boston and Brookline before attending Brown University, graduating in 1846. He pursued the study of medicine at Harvard and received his diploma three years later. After two years of practice in Paris and London, he returned to Boston and an active practice Downtown, before moving his office to Brookline a year later. He had this Queen Anne home built in the Pill Hill neighborhood of Brookline, known as a neighborhood of medical professionals and large late 19th century homes. Dr. Shurtleff never married so it appears he lived in this massive home by himself until his death. In his free time, Shurtleff collected historic coins from all around the world, a large collection was gifted to the MFA in a collection in his name.