Monthly Archives: August 2009

Mellen Law Office (1826)

Mellen Law Office

Located on a green in the center of Wayland is the Mellen Law Office. It was built in 1826 by Samuel Hale Mann, who only practiced law there for four years before ill health forced him to sell it (and his house across the street) to Edward Mellen, who eventually became chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas in Worcester. The office housed many other offices and businesses over the years, all the while remaining in the possession of the Mellen family. In 1971, it was donated to the town and is maintained by the Wayland Historical Society.

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The Lydia E. Pinkham Memorial Clinic (1922)

Pinkham Memorial

In the nineteenth century, Lydia E. Pinkham started a company which produced a popular patent medicine named for its creator. It was an herbal-alcoholic tonic, or “Vegetable Compound,” created to relieve menstrual and menopausal discomfort. Her daughter, Aroline Chase Pinkham Gove, a supporter of what is now the North Shore Children’s Hospital, also established a baby clinic, in honor of her mother, in 1922. The Lydia E. Pinkham Memorial, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Haven and Hoyt, is a distinctive Colonial Revival building at the intersection of New Derby Street and Hawthorne Boulevard in Salem.

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The Thomas Bliss II House (1717)

Bliss House

The Thomas Bliss II House in Longmeadow was built around 1717. In 1758, the house was converted into a tavern by Nathaniel Ely and served in that capacity until 1833. The house originally stood across Longmeadow Green from its current location. It was moved in 1855 to make way for the construction of Nathaniel Ely’s new mansion. Later in the nineteenth century, the house was lived in by Dr. Lester Noble, a dentist. He had a very interesting career, playing an important role in the famous Parkman Murder Trial. As described in “Our county and its people”: A history of Hampden County, Vol. I (1902), edited by Alfred Minott Copeland: (more…)

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The William Hagar House (1760)

William Hagar House

William Hager was a farmer and miller who built a house around 1760 on the Boston Post Road in Marlborough. William married Sarah Stow in 1761 (his brother, Ebenezer, had married Sarah’s sister Abigail in 1753). The brothers operated a sawmill on a nearby brook, built around 1730 by their father Ebenezer Hager. The house was later owned by William and Sarah‘s son, William Hager, Jr. (he was originally named Billy Hager and had his name officially changed to William), who was a staunch Federalist and opposed the War of 1812. The house once had a series of rear ells and an attached barn, all later demolished. In the nineteenth century, it was Victorianized and then re-Colonialized in the 1930s. Today, the house, which has a saltbox profile on its west elevation, has been converted for offices and has a large modern addition to the rear.

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The Joshua Rice Homestead (1681)

Joshua Rice Homestead

The Joshua Rice Homestead, on Elm Street in Marlborough, is a good example of how colonial houses could be expanded over the years. It’s oldest section, on the west, has a center-chimney structure, which gained a saltbox profile with the addition of a lean-to. This may have been built by Joshua Rice around 1681, or perhaps later (but still sometime before 1730), by Joshua’s cousin, Jacob Rice. The east section was added around 1800 and later an ell was constructed connecting the east end to an eighteenth century woodshed. The house remained in the Rice family into the 1870s or 1880s.

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The Richard Salter Storrs House (1786)

Storrs House 02

Richard Salter Storrs was the second pastor of Longmeadow’s First Congregational Church. Storrs, whose second wife, Sarah Williams, was the granddaughter of the congregation’s first pastor, Rev. Stephen Williams (one of the Deerfield captives of 1704), built his house in Longmeadow in 1786. The house remained in the Storrs family for many years and in the 1860s, Rev. Storrs granddaughter, Lucy Storrs Barber, ran a private girls’ school in the house. His grandson was Richard Salter Storrs III, minister at the Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, New York. In 1907, this Rev. Storrs’ sister, Sarah Williams Storrs, left the family property in Longmeadow for use as a library (a building behind the house was used from 1916). In 1930, the Storrs House was moved to an adjacent site just to the south when a new library building was constructed (completed in 1932). At this time, the home’s original back kitchen ell was removed and not replaced. The Library continues to own the house, but in 1911, the Longmeadow Historical Society (founded in 1899) purchased the home‘s contents and offers tours of the building’s restored interiors.

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The Stebbins-Hammatt House (1795)

Stebbins-Hammett House

The Stebbins-Hammett House began as a brick house, painted red, built in 1795 for Benjamin Stebbins, in the year following his marriage to Lucy Colton. In the twentieth century, the house was owned by the Hammatt family (Julia B. Hammatt was a graduate of Wellesley in 1925). The house was eventually completely rebuilt in wood, with the exception of the two original brick front rooms on the first floor.

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