Quincy Mansion, Quincy, Massachusetts (2)

The Quincy Mansion, sometime around the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Image courtesy of the Thomas Crane Public Library.

The same scene in 2023:

As explained in more detail in the previous post, the house in the top photo was built in 1848 as the summer home of Josiah Quincy IV, who was at the time serving as mayor of Boston. Quincy died in 1882, and the house was subsequently converted into educational use. In 1896, Dr. Horace Mann Willard opened the Quincy Mansion School here in the house. This was a prestigious boarding school for girls, and he served as principal until his death in 1907. His wife Ruth then continued to run the school until 1919, when she closed it in the midst of declining health.

The property was then sold to Eastern Nazarene College, which relocated here from Rhode Island in 1919. The college used the old house as a dormitory and for classroom space, but the house was ultimately demolished in 1969 to make way for Angell Hall, a modern classroom building. This building is still standing here on the Eastern Nazarene campus, as shown in the second photo.

Quincy Mansion, Quincy, Massachusetts

The Quincy Mansion on East Elm Avenue in Quincy, in 1916. Image courtesy of the Thomas Crane Public Library.

The same scene in 2023:

The house on the right side of the top photo was known as the Quincy Mansion, and it stood on the modern-day campus of Eastern Nazarene College in the Wollaston neighborhood of Quincy. This area was the home of many different members of the prominent Quincy family, including Josiah Quincy I (1710-1784), whose house still stands a few blocks away from here. He was the first in a long line of Josiah Quincys, which included his grandson Josiah Quincy III (1772-1864), who served as mayor of Boston in the 1820s, and his great grandson Josiah Quincy IV (1802-1882), who likewise served as mayor.

It was this fourth Josiah Quincy who owned the house that is shown in the top photo. Like his father, he was a politician, and he held several different state and local offices. Aside from his time as mayor from 1845 to 1849, he was also the president of the Boston Common Council for many years, and also served in the state legislature. His main residence was in Boston, but in 1848 he built this home adjacent to the family homestead here in Quincy, for use as his summer residence.

Quincy died in 1882, and the house was eventually purchased by Dr. Horace Mann Willard, an educator who opened the Quincy Mansion School her in the house in 1896. It was a boarding school for girls, and he served as its principal until his death in 1907. His wife Ruth continued to run the school for more than a decade, until her own failing health forced her to close it in 1919.

The property was then purchased by Eastern Nazarene College, which relocated from Rhode Island to Quincy in 1919. The old house was used for classroom and dormitory space, but over the years the campus expanded with new buildings around it. The house was ultimately demolished in 1969, and it was replaced by Angell Hall, a classroom building that is partially visible beyond the trees on the right side of the second photo. It is located on roughly the same footprint as the old house, and it was deliberately designed to be similar in size and shape to the old Quincy Mansion.

Burial Hill Fort Site, Plymouth, Massachusetts

The site of the 17th century fort on Burial Hill in Plymouth, around 1916. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The site in 2023:

As explained in the previous post, Burial Hill was the primary graveyard for Plymouth throughout much of the colonial era. However, prior to its use as a graveyard, the hill was the site of a fort that the English settlers constructed in 1621. The hill is located directly to the west of the town center, and from here defenders had expansive views of the entire harbor. The original fort was reconstructed two years later with a larger structure, and over the years other defensive structures were built nearby, including a brick watchtower in 1643.

The fortifications here remained in use until 1676, when they were dismantled at the conclusion of King Philip’s War. By 1679, the hill had become a graveyard, and the earliest surviving stone here dates back to 1681. There would be many more burials here throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In this particular scene, the older burials are generally closer to the foreground, while the more recent burials are further in the distance, and generally have larger gravestones, often made of marble.

By the late 19th century, Burial Hill had become more of a tourist destination than an active graveyard, and at some point around this time several white marble markers were installed at points of interest. Among these was the oval marker in the foreground of these two photos, which indicates the approximate site of the old fort. This would later be joined by a more substantial monument further in the distance, which can be seen in the second photo. This was installed here in 1921 to commemorate the fort, and it originally included two 16th century English cannons, although these were eventually removed in 1985 to protect them from weathering.

Today, aside from the 1921 monument, not much else has changed here in this scene. Some of the gravestones appear to have been moved around a bit, but most are still recognizable in both photos. Also visible in these photos are the two historic churches at the foot of Burial Hill. In the distance on the left is the Church of the Pilgrimage, which was built in 1840 and remodeled in 1898, and on the right is the First Parish Church, which was built in 1899.

Francis A. Seamans House, Salem, Massachusetts

The house at 48 Chestnut Street in Salem, around 1910. Image courtesy of the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum, Frank Cousins Glass Plate Negatives Collection.

The house in 2023:

The early 20th century was they heyday of the Colonial Revival architectural movement, although in many cases these buildings bore little resemblance to actual colonial-era buildings. However, this house in Salem is an exception, and it stands out as an excellent 20th century imitation of 18th century architecture. It was built in 1910, and its architect, William G. Rantoul, drew heavily from the design of Salem’s famous Derby House when designing it. The result is a convincing replica that fits in well with the historic 18th and early 19th century homes in this neighborhood.

The original residents of this house were Francis and Caroline Seamans. They were both about 50 at the time, and Francis was a business owner who sold contractor supplies. He died in 1930, and Caroline subsequently sold the house. By the 1940 census she was listed as a boarder in a house around the corner from here, at 384 Essex Street.

The first photo was probably taken soon after the house was completed, and not much has changed since then. Although much newer than its neighbors, it is nonetheless a historic property in its own right, and it stands as a good example of early 20th century Colonial Revival architecture. it is a contributing property in  the Chestnut Street District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Medlicott House, Longmeadow, Massachusetts (2)

The house at 720 Longmeadow Street in Longmeadow, on November 4, 1916. Image courtesy of the Longmeadow Historical Society, Paesiello Emerson Collection.

The scene in 2023:

As explained in more detail in the previous post, this house was evidently built sometime in the early 19th century. It was originally the home of Calvin and Experience Burt, but in 1851 it was purchased by William G. Medlicott, a woolen manufacturer who lived here until his death in 1883. During this time, he made substantial renovations to the house, including adding the porch and Mansard roof, both of which significantly altered the original Federal-stye architecture of the house.

His son, William B. Medlicott, subsequently owned the house and lived here until 1917. It was then demolished around 1921, and a around 1927 a new house was built further back on the lot. That new house is still standing, as seen in the distance on the right side of the first photo, but the only surviving remnant from the first photo is the Brewer- Young Mansion, which is visible on the left side of both photos.


Calvin Cooley House, Longmeadow, Massachusetts

The house at the corner of Longmeadow Street and Cooley Drive in Longmeadow, on June 12, 1910. Image courtesy of the Longmeadow Historical Society, Paesiello Emerson Collection.

The house in 2023:

This house is one of a number of homes in this part of Longmeadow that were once owned by the Cooley family. It was built in 1827 as the home of Calvin Cooley, and it would remain in his family for well over a century afterwards. It still stands today as a good example of Federal-style architecture, and it stands out as one of the few brick homes in Longmeadow from this time period.

Calvin Cooley was born in 1765, so he would have been in his early 60s when he built this house. He and his wife Eunice had eight children, although three of them died young. Their surviving children included their oldest son James, who went on to become a diplomat. In 1826, he was appointed as the first US Chargé d’affaires to Peru. He likely never saw this particular house, though, because he traveled to Peru in 1827 and died there a year later from an illness.

Calvin and Eunice both died in the 1840s, and their son Alford subsequently inherited this house. He had married his wife Caroline in 1833, and they had five children who were born between 1835 and 1847. Alford and Caroline both lived here for the rest of their lives, until their deaths in 1889 and 1886, respectively.

Two of Alford and Caroline’s daughters, Martha and Mary, never married, and they lived here in this house for the rest of their lives. The 1900 census shows them here along with farm laborer Patrick White and domestic servant Lucy Shipley. Patrick was 23 at the time and had come to America from Ireland as a child, and Lucy was a 39-year-old African American woman from North Carolina. Given her age and birthplace, she may have been born into slavery and later moved north for greater opportunities.

By the time the first photo was taken in 1910, the property here was still being operated as a farm. As was the case for 18th and early 19th century farmhouses on Longmeadow Street, it was originally located on a long, narrow lot that extended over a third of a mile to the west, to the top of he bluff overlooking the “meadows” that form the floodplain of the Connecticut River. However, by this point change was underway in Longmeadow. It had long been a rural farming community, but its proximity to the rapidly-growing city of Springfield to the north made it a desirable place for commuters, especially once a trolley line opened along Longmeadow Street. By the early 20th century, many of the old farms had already been subdivided into new streets and house lots, and many more would soon follow.

Martha Cooley died in 1927 at the age of 90, and Mary continued to live here until her death a decade later in 1937, when she was just a few months shy of her 90th birthday. Since neither Martha nor Mary ever married or had children, the family home then went to their grand nephew, Noah Saxton Eveleth, who was the grandson of their sister Caroline.

At some point in the mid-20th century, most of the property here was subdivided, and Cooley Drive was laid out behind the house. However, the old house itself was spared, and the Eveleths continued to live here for many years. Noah died in 1971, but his widow Margaret lived here until her death in 1984. The house was subsequently sold, ending more than 150 years of ownership by the same family.

Today, this house still stands as one of the many historic homes that line Longmeadow Street. And, if anything, it is actually more historically accurate now than it was in 1910, since the metal roof from the first photo has been replaced with slate. Because of its historic and architectural significance, the house is now a contributing property in the Longmeadow Street–North Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.