The Charles Burnett-Warner Oland House (1815)

In 1783, Charles Ripley Burnett, farmer and rope maker, married Lovina Mathews, a descendant of the earliest settlers of Southborough. The couple lived in the Matthews Homestead, known as the garrison house, on Gilmore Road, in the Southville section of Southborough. Their son, Charles R. Burnett Jr., married Keziah Pond in 1815 and soon built a house, adjacent to his father’s, on Gilmore Road. It was here that Charles and Keziah‘s son, Joseph Burnett, was born in 1820. He would become a prominent businessman and chemist. In the twentieth century, the Burnett House became the summer home of actor Warner Oland and his wife, artist Edith Gardener Shearn. Born in Sweden, Oland is most remembered for his role as Charlie Chan in the 1930s. He and his wife also translated plays by August Strindberg. Oland died while visiting Sweden in 1938 and his ashes are buried in Southborough. The stone marker is from his Southborough home, called Smoke Tree Farm.

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