Kirkside (1815)

Kirkside

When Wayland’s 1725 First Parish meetinghouse was taken down, in 1814-1815, to make way for a new church, materials from the old building were used to construct a house and store just to the east. Originally known as the Old Green Store, it has a hipped roof and a second-floor meeting hall, which was used by the town from 1815 to 1845. This hall was constructed as part of the builders’ deal to get the old meetinghouse’s beams and timbers in exchange for letting the town use the hall for thirty years. In 1825, when the First Parish church was split between Calvinists and Unitarians, Rev. Lyman Beecher held a series of meetings in the hall to denounce the Unitarians. In 1849, choir members used the meeting room to rehearse the new hymn by Rev. Edmund Sears, “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.” The house was later converted into a summer residence, named Kirkside, by William Bullard, a wealthy Cambridge banker, in 1889. He expanded and updated the house to the Colonial Revival style and placed elaborate French wallpaper in the meeting hall/ballroom. In 1920, the house was purchased by William C. Loring, an artist who taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, and his wife, Mildred Loring, an antiques dealer, who used the meeting hall as her sales room. The restoration of the house by its current owners, in 1991, was featured on the PBS television program, This Old House.

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2 Responses to Kirkside (1815)

  1. I drive by the house in Wayland Center called Kirkside. I am trying to find out if in the late 1960s if a back surgeon owned the house. As an early teen, my uncle took me to a house in Wayland Center to see this old woman doctor. I remember the house was huge for just this woman and her husband. The also owned a home on the lake in Marlboro where my uncle lived and built boats. If you know some more recent history of this house, I would appreciate hearing it

  2. Irene Harris says:

    I have a letter written in 1932 from a Jessie Lauder Nicol, from the above house. Could any body give me any information, if she was staying with friends or did she own this house. We are trying to build our family tree!