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.

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.

Frederick Henshaw House // 1888

After the completion of the Waban Station, providing opportunity for residential and commercial development due to transit to and from Boston, two men sought to develop the area into attractive housing lots. In 1886, Dr. Morrill Wyman, founder of Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, sold the old Wyman Farmhouse (still extant) and 150 acres of farmland to real estate speculators. The speculators, Charles Page and Frederick Henshaw, proceeded to subdivide the land into 87 house lots, creating this suburban neighborhood in Waban we know today. Frederick Henshaw sought to build his own home adjacent to the old farmhouse and hired H. Langford Warren (who then owned the farmhouse next door), esteemed architect and then Dean of the Harvard School of Architecture to complete designs. The Queen Anne mansion with its bold octagonal bay commands the corner lot and is a well-preserved significant home in the neighborhood.

Corbin-Norton House // 1891

Sited prominently on Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs, the Corbin-Norton House overlooks the Nantucket Sound with no buildings obscuring the gorgeous sunrises. When the home was originally built in 1891, it belonged to Philip Corbin, a manufacturer of household hardware and locks from New Britain. Conn., who got his start as a locksmith apprentice and grew his business until it employed 15,000 people. Corbin summered on Martha’s Vineyard and saw the shift from Cottage City, a Methodist-oriented summer resort town to Oak Bluffs, an exclusive summer colony. The house was built by Eli A. Leighton, a carpenter from Oak Bluffs whose descendants still live on the Is­land. The house remained in the Corbin family for some 40 years, after which it changed hands a number of times, at one point, housing a doctor’s office. By that time, nearly all of the historic character had been stripped of the home with replacement vinyl windows, removed trim and finials, and a monochrome color scheme. In 1991, when Peter Norton, the computer soft­ware magnate, and his wife, Eileen, de­cided to buy the old Corbin house for a reported $350,000, it was begging for someone with the resources to restore it. The restoration would take three years to complete, and Mr. Norton commissioned a team of consultants, ar­chitects and contractors to do the job. They meticulously restored the home, only to have the misfortune of a fire which destroyed the home. Norton funded the replica which was completed soon after, and passers-by wouldn’t be able to tell the difference!

John Wales House // c.1886

The whimsical house at 71 Carlton Street in the Cottage Farm neighborhood in Brookline was built for John Wales in around 1886. George Wales worked as treasurer of John Wales & Company, a hardware business located on High Street in Boston. The home was designed by architect William Whitney Lewis, an English born architect who attended school at MIT and later worked in the office of Cummings & Sears, where he held many commissions for houses in the Back Bay. The Wales House features an asymmetrical facade with exceptional decorative effects through the use of brick and terra cotta ornament, corner oriel, and shingles.