Hills-Claflin House // 1871

This grand home was built in 1871 for George Hills, one of the original investors in the Oak Bluffs Land & Wharf Company development, a development to the east of Wesleyan Grove. The home was designed by Samuel Freeman Pratt, a Boston carpenter turned premier architect of Oak Bluffs, who likely designed the home in his distinct Stick Style with intricate wood carvings and posts. In 1877, the home was purchased by Governor William Claflin after his time in office as a summer retreat from his home in Newton, MA. The governor was an ardent Methodist who was involved with liberal causes such as abolition and Native American and female enfranchisement. Within 10 years of his purchasing of the home, he modified and enlarged it with Colonial Revival motifs including the gambrel roof, Tuscan columned porch, and simplified dormers.