Dorchester Illustration 2255 A.T. Stearns Lumber Company

2255 Stearns Lumber medal 75th anniversary

Dorchester Illustration no. 2255    A.T. Stearns Lumber Company

A.T. Stearns Lumber Company bronze paper-weight celebrating 75 years of business at Neponset. The company owned much of what is now the public property on Port Norfolk that is part of the Greenway.  The lumber yard buildings stood just east of the railroad bridge that carries the T’s red line to Braintree.

The following is from: Men of Progress. Boston, 1896.

Stearns, Albert Thomas, of Neponset, lumber merchant and manufacturer, was born in Billerica, April 23, 1821, son of Abner and Annie (Russell) Stearns. He is a direct descendant of Isaac Stearns, whom came to New England from England in 1636.  His grandfather, Lieutenant Edward Stearns, was in the Concord fight of 1773, and took the place of Captain Wilson who was killed.  His uncle Solomon Stearns,then a lad of seventeen, was also there.  He was educated in the public schools and at Phillips (Andover) Academy, which he attended one year, about 1834.  He was trained for active life at home, in farming carpentering, and in saw and grist mills.  Leaving home at the age of eighteen, he engaged in a variety of pursuits the next few years, at length settling into that of a builder; and from this worked naturally into the lumber business which, with manufacturing, has been the principal occupation of his life.  He started in this business in1843, in Waltham, where F. Butrick’s lumberyard now is, and leaving therein 1849, came to Neponset, where he has since remained.  During this long period he has been engaged in a large and prosperous trade, and has become widely known among lumber men.  He is a member of the Home Market Club and of the Norfolk Club.  In politics he was first a Free Soiler, and since its organization has been associated with the Republican party.  He has not been ambitious for political honors, and his only public service has been as a member of the Boston Common Council one term, 1879.  Mr. Stearns was married in June, 1843, to Miss Salome Maynard, of Sudbury.  They have had seven children: Albert Henry, Waldo Harrison, Frank Maynard (deceased), Anne Russell (deceased), Frederick Maynard, Salome (deceased) , and Ardelle Augusta Stearns.

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Dorchester Illustration 2254 Consumptives Home Grove Hall

 2254 Consumptives Home Grove Hall

Dorchester Illustration no. 2254   Consumptives Home Grove Hall 

Scan of illustration from King’s Hand-Book of Boston. Boston: Moses King Corporation, 1889. 9th ed. The Text of King’s Hand-Book says that the Consumptives Home Grove Hall was incorporated in 1870, six years after it was founded by Dr. Charles Cullis, who is still the manager [in 1889].  By 1889 a new building had replaced the original.

Mary Roach, in her book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers mentions that Dr. Duncan MacDougall in 1907 experimented at the Cullis Home to determine the weight of the human soul. He constructed a special bed in his office by arranging a light framework built upon very delicately balanced platform beam scales sensitive to two-tenths of an ounce. He experimented with six patients in the end stages of terminal illnesses and observed them before, during and after the process of death, measuring any corresponding changes in weight. He said that he found a loss of weight at the moment of death. MacDougall repeated the experiment with fifteen dogs and found no loss of weight. He concluded that the human soul had measurable mass. His work caused acrid debate at the time. See Roach’s book for a better description.

Dorchester House Tour a Success!

This year’s Dorchester House Tour, on Sunday, June 12, drew some 420 tourgoers to explore a dozen homes and carriage barns on Ashmont Hill as well as the beautifully restored All Saints Church.

I’m pleased to report that the tour was a resounding success, both as an initial effort by DHS to revive the tradition of showcasing Dorchester’s architecturally significant neighborhoods, and as a fundraiser for the Society’s building restoration fund.  We look forward to planning future tours, and we are eager to begin the much-needed repairs to the 1806 William Clapp House. Watch for more information in the months ahead.

The owners of the 12 homes and carriage barns that were open for the tour were joined by an additional 100 people who volunteered in those homes and at All Saints Church. Members of the DHS Board who served on the planning committee did everything from solicit sponsors and advertisers, to write copy, take photographs, and design printed materials, to coordinate volunteers, and much more. It was truly a team effort.

While many visitors were from Dorchester, they also came from other Boston neighborhoods and nearby suburbs. Some had connections to Ashmont Hill, and fond memories, while others had recently moved to Dorchester and were eager to see the neighborhood.  Visitors also came from farther away: from Salem, Concord, Bedford, Whitman, West Newbury, and Newport, RI, to name a few. Tourgoers expressed interest and delight in the houses, and appreciated the willingness of their owners to open their doors to strangers. Homeowners enjoyed sharing information and stories; several were asked, jokingly, if they would take reservations to stay.

We are grateful to the homeowners and all the volunteers, to the Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, to our sponsors and advertisers, to our media sponsor the Dorchester Reporter, and especially to the hundreds of people who came to discover or rediscover Dorchester, for making it a wonderful day in the neighborhood.

— Earl Taylor, president, Dorchester Historical Society

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Dorchester House Tour 2016: Ashmont Hill

60_Alban_28-Edit 72 dpi

The Dorchester House Tour is back – come to see Ashmont Hill as it is today on Sunday, June 12th.  Visit a dozen delightful homes and carriage houses on Ashmont Hill.  Talk with their owners about the ways they have preserved, restored, and transformed their 19th century homes for 21st century living  Also tour the historic 1892 Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, to see the award-winning restoration of this landmark church.

Come to the Dorchester House Tour, Sunday, June 12th and save by buying tickets in advance. You also will be able to start the tour quickly, since you will be in the advance ticket line, where we only check your name off a list.

Look at House Tour news in the Dorchester Day edition of the Dorchester Reporter this week.

see a converted carriage house in the Dorchester Reporter’s video

This is a great sneak peak at one of the homes on the Dorchester House Tour…good job, Dorchester Reporter! Advance-purchase ticket sale and other details at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org. You will want to see the rest of this house and all the other houses and carriage houses on the tour!

Buy tickets online:

www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

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Dorchester Illustration 2251 View of Ashmont Hill 1880s

2251 view of Welles Avenue and Roslin Street from 34 Alban Street Ashmont Hill 1880s

Dorchester Illustration no. 2251 View of Ashmont Hill

View of Ashmont Hill from top of 34 Alban Street 1880s. Scan of photo donated to the Dorchester Historical Society by the widow of grand nephew of Frank Wood, first owner of 34 Alban Street.

The Dorchester House Tour is back – come to see Ashmont Hill as it is today. Visit a dozen delightful homes and carriage houses on Ashmont Hill.  Talk with their owners about the ways they have preserved, restored, and transformed their 19th century homes for 21st century living  Also tour the historic 1892 Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, to see the award-winning restoration of this landmark church.

Come to the Dorchester House Tour, Sunday, June 12th and save by buying tickets in advance. You also will be able to start the tour quickly, since you will be in the advance ticket line, where we only check your name off a list.

Watch for House Tour news in the Dorchester Day edition of the Dorchester Reporter this week.

Buy tickets online:

www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

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Dorchester Illustration 2250 Alban Street Interior 1880s

12132 34 Alban Street interior front parlor looking toward dining room 1880s

Dorchester Illustration no. 2250 Victorian Interior

Does your home look like this one on Alban Street as it was comfortably furnished in the 1880s? Do the homes on Ashmont Hill still look like this?  Find out at the Dorchester House Tour 2016: Ashmont Hill.

House Tour News:

Check out the Dorchester House Tour 2016: Ashmont Hill on Sunday, June 12, 2016 see more info and buy tickets at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

Visit a dozen delightful homes and carriage houses on Ashmont Hill.  Talk with their owners about the ways they have preserved, restored, and transformed their 19th century homes for 21st century living  Also tour the historic 1892 Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, to see the award-winning restoration of this landmark church.

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Dorchester Illustration 2249 Welles Mansion

No. 3416 Welles House

The home of the Welles family was the original estate house for Ashmont Hill (see below) when the hill was all open land except the house in the illustration. George Derby Welles, who lived in Paris, inherited the estate from his grandfather in 1870 and asked Edward Ingersoll Browne to have a sub-division plan drawn up for the sale of lots.   The house was replaced by the Edward Pierce School in 1892, and the school was itself replaced by the Codman Square branch of the Boston Public Library in the last quarter of the 20th century.

The rest of Ashmont Hill was developed into a railroad suburb in the late 19th century, now still exhibiting 40 acres of substantial, well-crafted, well-designed and well-preserved late-19th-century residences. Street after street in this residential quarter west of Peabody Square is bordered by wood frame, mostly single-family residences noteworthy for their originality and/or exuberance of design, quality craftsmanship, surviving stables on still-ample lots, etc. Exceptional examples of the Italianate / Mansard, Stick, Shingle, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles (as well as hybrids of these popular late-Victorian architectural modes) appear at every turn.  (Neighborhood description of Ashmont Hill from the Boston Landmarks Commission).

House Tour News:

Check out the Dorchester House Tour 2016: Ashmont Hill on Sunday, June 12, 2016 see more info and buy tickets at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

Visit a dozen delightful homes and carriage houses on Ashmont Hill.  Talk with their owners about the ways they have preserved, restored, and transformed their 19th century homes for 21st century living  Also tour the historic 1892 Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, to see the award-winning restoration of this landmark church.

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Dorchester Illustration 2248 Patent Medicine Bottle

2248 rock and tar bottle found n Blake House dig

 

Dorchester Illustration no. 2248  Patent Medicine Bottle from Blake House Site

The bottle shown as today’s illustration was found in the archaeological dig at the Blake House site on Columbia Road.  When the house was moved to its current site in 1895, surrounding homeowners were encouraged to contribute solid fill to the fill the area that had been excavated for the construction of the new cellar for the support of the house.  The bottle is an example of patent medicine sold over the counter to cure a variety of ills.  I am guessing rock and tar was derived from petroleum.

Hear more about the archaeology of Boston, and how Boston’s history can be told through artifacts on Sunday, May 15th at 2 pm at the Dorchester Historical Society, 195 Boston Street.  Joseph Bagley, the city archaeologist, will talk about his new book The History of Boston in 50 Artifacts.

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The Dorchester Illustration is sent occasionally. If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please reply to be taken off the e-mail list. If you know others who would like to receive the daily e-mail, please encourage them to join the group by contacting Earl Taylor at EarlTaylorDorchHistSoc@gmail.com

If you value receiving the illustration, please express your appreciation by making a donation to the Dorchester Historical Society, either by regular mail at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125, or through the website at www.DorchesterHistoricalSociety.org

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Dorchester lllustration 2245 Dorchester Trolley

2247 Dorchester Trolley

Dorchester Illustration no. 2247

Today we have a photo of a Dorchester trolley car and crew ca. 1900.

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The Dorchester Illustration is sent occasionally. If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please reply to be taken off the e-mail list. If you know others who would like to receive the daily e-mail, please encourage them to join the group by going to http://groups.google.com/group/dorchester-historical-society. You may contact Earl Taylor at ERMMWWT@aol.com

If you value receiving the illustration, please express your appreciation by making a donation to the Dorchester Historical Society, either by regular mail at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125, or through the website at www.DorchesterHistoricalSociety.org

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May 15, 2016 Dorchester Historical Society – The History of Boston in 50 Artifacts

book cover History of Boston in 50 artifacts

2 pm, Sunday, May 15th at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA  02125

The Dorchester Historical Society’s program for May is a talk by Joe Bagley, the city archaeologist, and his new book The History of Boston in 50 Artifacts.  Joe highlights a fascinating hodge-podge of history–from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts–and demonstrates how these objects offer a unique and accessible introduction to Boston’s history and physical culture.

The Society will take a few minutes at the beginning of the meeting to hold its annual meeting.  Then we will hand the floor over to Joe.

 

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Sad Day for Preservation

The attached photos show a demolition and the appearance of the building prior to today.
It makes sad to lose an unusual property that is so evocative of our past.
Earl Taylor884 Adams Street 4-25-16 and before
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