The Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area was documented by the Weston Historical Commission in 1994. The area was later combined with the Case Estates Area to create the Case’s Corner Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 12, 2002.
The following properties are included in the Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area: 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 14, and 20 Maple Road; 68, 78 and 86 School St; 17, 18, 23, 27, 33, 35, 37, 39, 40, 44, 49, 51, 55, 56, 59, 60, 63, 64, 67, 70, 74, 76 and 80 Wellesley St
For complete text of the 1994 area form, along with data sheets and photographs, see Maple Road – Wellesley Street Area
Prominently located in the geographical center of Weston, the Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area is a cohesive neighborhood of small and medium size 19th and early 20th century frame houses. This is one of the few areas in Weston where houses are clustered to create a “village” atmosphere (see also Boston Post Road Historic District and the North Avenue Area B). The area includes 31 residences, numerous barns and outbuildings, the small frame Weston Scout House building, and the 1 1/2 acre Case Park. Except for a rubble fieldstone garage at #80 Wellesley Street, the buildings are all of frame construction with shingle or clapboard exterior sheathing. The houses are set on lots ranging from 1/4 to 2 1/2 acres, with the median size being 1/2 acre. Setbacks average 40 to 50 feet from the street, and the fairly consistent setbacks along both Maple Road and Wellesley Street contribute to the unity of the streetscape. Houses in the area were built between 1703 and 1926 and include examples of the Colonial, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival styles. The most common house type is the 2 1/2 story gable front Queen Anne or transitional Queen Anne/ Colonial Revival. As is typical of Weston, most houses in the area are simple rather than elaborate examples of their style, but most have been well maintained, with trim and decorative features preserved. The neighborhood is surrounded by open land on almost all sides, including town land and playing fields north of Maple Road, school grounds with playing fields on the west side of School Street, the town-owned Case Park and former Case Estates field to the south (see Case Estates Area E), and the privately-owned Weston Golf Club course to the east. The houses at 84 and 86 Wellesley Street, which can be considered both visually and historically to be part of both the Case Estate Area and the Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area, have been included in the Case Estates Area.
The oldest house in the area and one of the oldest in Weston is the First Parsonage of First Parish Church at 3 Maple Road ( 1703, Map #20, MHC 312), prominently located at the corner of Maple Road and Wellesley Street in the heart of the neighborhood. The house faces south and originally would have overlooked fields, as Maple Road was not laid out until the 1890’s. Sometime during the Federal period, the original center chimney was removed and replaced with twin chimneys behind the ridge. The 5 X 1 bay, 2 1/2 story clapboard Colonial has a 1 1/2 story, two-bay west wing and 6/6 windows with shutters. The center entrance is flanked by fluted pilasters and an entablature with dentil cornice. Inside, the house retains its original dog-leg staircase but has mantels from the Federal period on the rear walls of the two front parlors.
[Additional information on 3 Maple Road: "To determine the most appropriate construction date for the house, an inspection of the interior was done by Pamela Fox and Alfred Aydelott in the summer of 2000. Based on this examination, the following features of the house were considered to be 18th century in date: structural frame of the main block, overall-dimensions of the rooms in the main block (as determined by the frame), and fieldstone foundation wall below ground level. The following features were considered to be 19th century in date, with a date range of about 1825-1840: doors, door framing and hardware, window sash, fireplace mantels (Federal style), staircase balustrade, newel, balusters, brick parts of the foundation, most or all floorboards, exterior center entrance framing including pilaters, entablature and sidelights, floor joists as seen from basement, attic framing with ridgepole, kitchen wing, warming oven door in kitchen, granite laley columns in basement, granite block facing for foundation, and paired chimneys. Based on this analysis, it is thought that the house was completely rebuilt , but rebuilt using the earlier frame. The date suggested for the rebuilding, c. 1835, is based on the fact that the door entablature and interior features are late Federal in style, as suggestive of the 1830s, and also the fact that the property was owned in the 1830s by Francis Dudley, a housewright. At the time of the rebuilding, the height of the foundation was increased using bricks and grante blocks. The granite laley columns were added for additional support, and new floor joists were laid,. The chimneys were probably built at that time in the present locations (the earlier house would have had a central chimney) The kitchen wing was probably added at that time. As mentioned above, mantels, trim, etc are Federal in style.]
The adjacent house at 5 Maple Road (Map #19) was originally connected to #3. The 18th century structure was converted into a separate house about 1891 but its present Colonial Revival appearance dates from 1948-9, when it was extensively remodeled and the present entrance shelter and garage wing were added.
Next to be built were the four houses at 74-84 Wellesley Street. 84 Wellesley Street, a small Italianate cottage, is included with the Case Estates Area (E). The other three houses, 74, 76, and 80 Wellesley Street, probably looked very similar to each other when originally constructed. All are 1 1/2 story gable-front cottages and represent a type of small-scale, late version of the Greek Revival not common in Weston. It is possible that all three houses were built by the same carpenter, Fitz A. Robinson (see historical narrative.) The James Moore House at 76 Wellesley Street (1862, Map #37, MHC 336) is the most intact of the three, although this house has also had additions. On this property is a gable front, 1 1/2 story clapboard barn (Map #38) similar in style and materials. The Fitz Robinson House at 80 Wellesley Street (1862, Map #39, MHC 333) has a gable front main block greatly enlarged and altered in the Colonial Revival style. Features such as the two front porches and fanlight motif in the gable date from later remodeling. At the rear of the large property are three outbuildings: a barn (ca.late 19th century, Map #41), a five-car garage (ca. 1913, Map #40) and a potting shed originally attached to a greenhouse (ca.1913, Map #42). The 1 1/2 story garage is of particular interest because of its use of fieldstone as a building material, combined with shingles in the gable ends, and details such as eyebrow dormers. 74 Wellesley Street (ca.1875-1889, Map #36), the last of the three houses to be built, has a two-bay gable front with a first floor bay window reflecting later Italianate influences.
All of the remaining houses exemplify the two predominant architectural styles in the area: the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival. The most popular house type in the area from the 1890’s to World War I was the 2 1/2 story gable front house, used for approximately 13 of the 31 houses. The trim of these houses can be either Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, or a combination of simple elements from either style. Details such as porch turnings and railings are similar in many of the houses, suggesting that they are the work of the same builder. As is typical of Weston, the trim is not elaborate and usually consists of no more than an entrance porch or veranda with railing and perhaps a plain spindle screen. Some of the houses have one or two other simple decorative features like shingle patterning in the gable or a Queen Anne patterned window. Many of the 1890’s barns are also similar in style, with side-gable orientation and a central vehicle opening with wall gable and storage opening above. Few of these houses stand out as individual structures, but each has a critical place in the fabric of the neighborhood.
The George W. Cutting House at 68 School Street (ca.1891, Map #1) is set back from the street on a generous size lot. The Queen Anne house is sited a slight rise, and the picturesque character of the property is enhanced by the stone retaining wall in front and a 1 1/2 story clapboard barn with cupola at the rear. (Map #2) The clapboard house has a 2 X 2 bay main block and extensive ells. The house has several one and two-story bay windows as well as a screened-in porch extending across half the front, with turned posts and a railing. The south side of the barn features a central wall gable with vehicle opening and storage opening above.
On Maple Avenue, examples of the 2 1/2 story gable front house type include the clapboard and shingle Alphonso Dunn House at 9 Maple Road (ca.1898, Map #18), which features an entrance porch with turned posts, a simple railing, and pedimented entablature, along with typical Queen Anne details such as shingle patterning in the gable, a two-story bay window on the west side, and a patterned window to the right of the front door. Across the street, the George Hirtle House at 10 Maple Road (ca.1893, Map # 13) is another example of the same house type, this time with Queen Anne and Colonial Revival details. The 2 X 2 bay clapboard and shingle house has a rear ell and east wing, a porch with Doric columns and a simple railing extending across the front and part of the side, and shingle patterning in the tip of the gable. Nearby, the house at 20 Maple Road (ca 1909, Map #16) is similar in its 2 1/2 story, gable front orientation. This 2 X 3 bay clapboard Queen Anne, set on a slight rise of the hill on the way up Maple Road, has a porch across the front and part of the side, with turned posts and a simple railing and spindle screen. The Sidney Ross House at 13 Maple Road (ca. 1893, Map # 17 ) and the Arthur Nims House at 14 Maple Road (ca.1893, Map # 14) are also similar in size and style and street orientation, giving Maple Road a cohesive streetscape. The 1 1/2 story shingled side gable barn with cupola at 14 Maple Street (ca.1893, Map #15) has a vehicle entrance on the north side with large sliding wooden door and second floor storage opening above, within a wall gable.
On Wellesley Street, the row of houses from 49 to 59 Wellesley Street are similar in age and style to the Maple Road houses and form another unified grouping. The clapboard John J. Brown House at 59 Wellesley Street (ca.1891, Map # 7) is 2 X 4 bays and features a two-story bay window on the front facade and a porch along three bays of the south side. The 1 1/2 story, side gable clapboard barn (Map #8) has two vehicle entrances, one with sliding wooden door and wall gable with storage opening above. The two-bay clapboard and shingle E.W. Russell House at 55 Wellesley Street (ca.1891, Map # 9) has simple Queen Anne features including a front porch with turned posts and simple railing, a decorative bargeboard, and second floor oriele windows on the south side. The 1 1/2 story, side-gable clapboard barn (Map #10), like many of the barns in the area, has a sliding wooden door across the central vehicle entrance, above which is a wall gable with storage entrance. The John McDonald House at 51 Wellesley Street (ca.1892, Map #11) features a porch across the front with turned posts, a simple railing and an oversize triangular pediment marking the entrance bay. The 2 X 2 bay clapboard house with ell at 49 Wellesley Street ,corner Maple Road (ca.1896, Map #12) has a one-bay entrance porch with turned posts, small cut-out brackets, and a large triangular pediment. The house has a typical Queen Anne patterned stained glass window.
Two other 2 1/2 story Queen Anne gable front houses, similar in age and style to those on the next block, are located just north of Maple Road on the same side of Wellesley Street. The 3 X 3 bay clapboard and shingle Merrill French House at 39 Wellesley Street (1892-3, Map #21) has staggered shingles in the gable and a porch with turned posts and simple brackets across the front and part of the side, intersecting with a one-bay south wing. At 35 Wellesley Street, the Gustavus Smith House (ca.1895, Map #24), originally next door to #39, is a 3 X 2 bay clapboard structure with turned posts and simple brackets on the two-bay porch across the front. The houses at 37 and 33 Wellesley Street (ca.1920’s, Map #22 and #25), constructed later on narrow lots on either side of #35, are compatible in scale and materials. Behind 37 Wellesley Street is a three-story gable front clapboard barn (Map #23).
The Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area includes two handsome early 20th century houses designed using variations of the Colonial Revival which are very unusual in Weston. Both were built by estate owner Horace S. Sears, probably for key staff members who managed his large estate. 23 Wellesley Street (ca.1910, Map # 27, MHC 338) is a rare Weston example of a Colonial Revival house influenced by the English Country style. The rambling two-story, eight-bay, side-gable shingled structure has a curved pediment over the entrance door, diamond-pane casement windows, stucco chimneys with chimney pots, wide overhanging eaves with show rafters, and a slate roof. The undulating roofline evokes the English thatch roof cottages. The design has been attributed to architect Harold Graves. The neighboring house at 27 Wellesley Street (ca.1910, Map #26), although it uses more traditional Colonial Revival vocabulary, is similar in its exuberance. The 2 1/2 story, front gable clapboard house has a three-bay main block and four-bay south wing with secondary entrance. The main entrance, located in the center of the main block, has sidelights and an entrance porch with Doric columns and a triangular pediment. The asymmetrical front facade has a two-story bay window at offset left, balanced by an oval window on the first floor right. The house has 6/6 windows have prominent window lintels and wide overhanging eaves with show rafters.
The neighborhood includes numerous examples of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 story side-gable Colonial Revival houses built in the 1920’s, including sub-types like the Dutch Colonial and Garrison Colonial. The houses from 18 to 70 Wellesley Street (Map #28A-35), all of which face the Weston Golf Course to the rear, were built as a result of a competition to produce small but expandable houses for young married couples. The winning architects are said to be Samuel Mead and Harold Graves. In its proportions, detailing, and intact quality, the most notable of these houses is 60 Wellesley Street (ca.1925, Map #32). The small 1 1/2 story, 5 X 2 bay house is constructed with natural wood shingles which are mottled in color from exposure to the elements and are set off by the white wood trim. The house has a symmetrical facade facing the golf course, with three pedimented dormers, and a Colonial Revival center entrance. The facade facing Wellesley Street also has a main entrance, roughly in the center of the facade, with a three-bay shed roofed dormer above. A small, matching 1 1/2 story one-car garage with original wooden double doors and iron hinges (ca.1925, Map #33), located just north of the house, contributes to the picturesque quality of the property. The adjacent house at 56 Wellesley Street (ca.1922, Map #31) compliments its neighbor in scale and style. This 3 X 3 bay, gambrel-roofed 1 1/2 story Dutch Colonial uses narrow clapboards and natural wood shingle materials and has a three-bay shed roofed dormer which echoes the dormer at #60.
The Weston Scout House at 86 School Street (Map #4), the last structure and only non-residential building to be built in the area, represents an unusual example of a small institutional building built exclusively for use by scouts. The simple one-story Colonial Revival structure has as its main focus a one-bay central entrance pavilion on the south side facing Case Park. Above the pedimented entrance door is the Girl Scout symbol within a square plaque. The 3 X 3 bay clapboard structure has 6/6 windows, wide overhanging eaves with show rafters, and a fieldstone chimney on the east end. Inside is a large meeting room with cathedral ceiling and a fieldstone fireplace surround.
During the 18th and much of the 19th century, the Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area was largely open land and farm fields. In the first years of settlement, the land belonged to First Parish Church and was the location of the first parsonage (1703), which still stands at 3 Maple Road and is one of the earliest houses in Weston. A few small houses were built in the 1860’s and 70’s, but the character of the area did not change significantly until the 1890’s, when Maple Road was laid out and farmer and community leader Henry J. White began selling his farm land as house lots.
The newly-emerging middle class neighborhood was located within easy walking distance of the town center and Weston Station. In this pre-automobile era, before construction of the busy Boston Post Road by-pass, this neighborhood was as convenient to Weston Center as a similar neighborhood which developed on the west side of town in the 600 block of what is now Boston Post Road (see Boston Post Road National Register District.) At the turn of the century, the area was also more convenient to Weston Station than it would be today, since estate owner Horace Sears maintained a pathway through his property from the station to Wellesley Street and even kept it lighted at night until after the arrival of the midnight train.
Many of the original owners in the Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area were local tradesman, including a blacksmith, four carpenter/builders, a housepainter, truckman, and the owner and operators of a well-known local general store. Some early residents may have worked in Boston, although this area was not as popular among Boston businessmen as the Pigeon Hill and Church Street area. A third group of area residents served as estate workers for three large estates located on the perimeter of the neighborhood. The three estate owners, Horace Sears, Robert Winsor, and James B.Case and his daughters Louisa and Marian, influenced the development of the area over the years, through the building of staff housing, subdivision of their property, and donation to the town of park land within the area.
The earliest house is the neighborhood is the First Parsonage of First Parish Church at 3 Maple Road (ca.1703, Map #20, MHC 312), built by Weston’s first parish for Joseph Mors, a teacher who became the first minister. The property originally included a large farm which extended north of the Post Road and south to the Newton and Wellesley Street intersection. Mors left Weston in 1707 at the request of the parish. The house was enlarged in 1714 and given to the next minister, Rev. William Williams, who lived there until his death in 1760. After William’s death, the house no longer served as a parsonage and passed into private ownership. The adjacent house at 5 Maple Road (Map #19) was originally connected to the parsonage and, according to the present owner, served as a blacksmith shop and later as a barn.
The area did not begin to develop until the early 1860’s. The three small houses at 76, 80 and 84 Wellesley Street were all built between 1857 and 1866, according to map evidence. 76 and 80 Wellesley Street (Map #37 and 39, MHC 336 and 333 – see also inventory forms) appear to have been built in 1862 by carpenter and builder Fitz A. Robinson, who lived at #80 into the 20th century. James W. Moore, the first owner of #76, is listed as a farmer in the 1893 directory. His descendents, including local teacher Pearl Moore, continued to live in the house until the mid 20th century. Robinson was probably also the builder of the similar house at 74 Wellesley Street, which does not appear on town maps until 1889. 84 Wellesley Street (located in the Case Estates Area E) was originally owned by Henry J. White, who was to become a central figure in the development of the Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area. “Deacon” Henry J. White, who is listed as a farmer in the 1887 directory and in early deeds, was very active in town affairs, serving as Weston’s representative in the General Court in 1883, a member of the Burial Ground Committee from 1879 to 1889, Overseer of the Poor (1880’s), Selectman from 1881-1889, Town Treasurer from 1890 to 1913, and Town Assessor from 1882 to 1889. In 1869, White sold 84 Wellesley Street to James B. Case, who used it as housing for staff for his nearby estate. That same year, White purchased the former parsonage at 3 Maple Road, along with numerous acres of surrounding land.
Beginning about 1890, White began subdividing this land into house lots averaging about 1/4 to 1/2 acre. By 1897, he had sold over a dozen lots. One of the first to be sold was the large parcel at 68 School Street (Map #1), sold in November, 1890, to Josephine and George W. Cutting for $600. Cutting was the town postmaster and the owner of George W. Cutting & Sons, a general store located at the intersection of Central Avenue and Church Street on land now part of the Town Green. Cutting’s Store was central to town life in Weston during the turn of the century period. The store sold grain, groceries, boots, shoes and other items and also served as the main post office. Cutting’s father, also named George W. Cutting, had also been the leading storekeeper in Weston from about 1830 until his death in 1885. Cutting continued the family tradition, operating his own store with his sons and A.B.Nims (see below).
Also in November 1890, Henry J. White sold the three lots at 59, 55, and 51 Wellesley Street. The lot at 59 Wellesley Street (Map #7) was bought by John J.Brown. Directory information suggests that Brown probably built his own house and that it was in place by 1893, as he is listed in the 1893 directory as a carpenter living on Wellesley Street. In the 1906 directory, he is listed as a contractor and builder, suggesting that he expanded his business in the next thirteen years, perhaps by building similar houses in his own developing neighborhood. White sold the adjacent lot at 55 Wellesley Street (Map #9) for $300 to Carrie L. Smith, who resold it in April of 1892 with “the buildings thereon.” The new owners were Fannie and E.W. Russell, who is listed in the 1893 directory as a housepainter on Wellesley Street. White sold the lot at 51 Wellesley Street (Map #11) for $250 to Eliza M. and John C. McDonald. In the 1893 directory, John.C. is listed as a carpenter and Mary E. as a bookkeeper, living on Wellesley Street. The 1908 map shows that Brown, Russell and McDonald all still owned their houses at that date.
White sold the lot at 49 Wellesley Street (Map #12) at the corner of Maple Road to Howard L. Cooper in February, 1892. Cooper did not build on the property and sold it to John S. Fuller in 1896. It is possible that Cooper was the carpenter for the house which Fuller built in the ensuing year. Cooper is listed in the 1893 directory as a clerk at Cutting’s Store and in the 1906 directory as a carpenter. He lived at what is now 102 Wellesley Street in the Case Estates Area (E). Fuller resold the property in`1897 to John A. Crouse, “with the buildings thereon.” Crouse then sold the house to Carrie A. Cutting in 1898. On the 1908 map, it is shown as belonging to M.F. Childs.
In July of 1892, White sold the lot at 39 Wellesley Street (Map #21) for $300 to Delia and Merrill French, and in 1893 they were taxed for a dwelling valued at $2500. Merrill French is listed in the 1906 directory as the “town auditor.” What was originally the adjacent lot at 35 Wellesley Street (Map #24) was sold by White in 1894 for $400 to Sidney B. Ross, a carpenter (see also 13 Maple Road on next page.) In 1896, Ross resold the property “with the buildings thereon” to Gustavus A. Smith, who moved here from his four-acre property at 138 Wellesley Street (see inventory form). Smith is listed in the 1893 directory as a farmer and in the 1906-7 directory as “retired.”
Maple Road was laid out through White’s property about 1891-2. In December, 1892, White sold the land at 10 Maple Road on the south side of the new street to George A. Hirtle, who is listed in the 1893 directory as a blacksmith, “practical horseshoer and carriage smith.” with “particular attention to over-reaching and interfering horses.” Hirtle sold the house in 1903 to Milledge E. Crouse, who is listed in the 1906 directory as a blacksmith. Crouse may have taken over Hirtle’s business as well, as Hirtle is not listed in 1906. Crouse’s advertisement in that directory says “horseshoer, carriage ironer, general jobbing.” In 1907, Crouse moved across the street to 13 Maple Road (see below). He sold what was at that time two lots (now together at 10 Maple Road) with buildings to Patrick J. Connors, who is listed in the 1906 directory as a coachman.
In April, 1893, Henry J. White sold the lot at 13 Maple Road (Map #17) to Alberta and Sidney B. Ross. (Ross was also involved in the construction of 35 Wellesley Street -see above). Like his neighbor John J. Brown at 59 Wellesley Street, Ross is listed in the 1893 directory as a carpenter and in the 1906 directory as a contractor and builder. Ross sold the property in 1907 for $3000 to Milledge E. Crouse. In November 1893, Henry J. White sold the lot across the street at 14 Maple Road (Map #14) to Arthur B. Nims, who worked at George W. Cutting and Sons store on Central Avenue (see also 68 School Street above). Nims was still working at the store at the time of the 1906 directory. [Nims was married to George W. Cutting Jr.'s daughter] The lot at 9 Maple Road (Map #18) was sold by White to Kate and Alphonso H. Dunn in 1897. In December of that year, they took out a $2000 mortgage from Waltham Savings Bank, presumably to build the present house. The 1906 directory lists Dunn as a “truckman.” The 1913 town report (juror’s list) lists him as a police officer.
Also in the 1890’s, the link between 3 Maple Road and its outbuilding (now 5 Maple Road, Map #19) was removed. [Correction- link still there at the time of the Middlesex County Atlas of 1908. May have been removed after White’s death in 1915)]The outbuilding was converted to a house with a porch around the front and side. This porch was removed about 1948-9, and the present appearance of the house is the result of changes made at that time.
The lot at the corner of Maple Road and School Street, 20 Maple Road (Map #16) was owned by Alfred L. Cutting at the time of the 1908 map, but no house had been built by that date. The house was probably built shortly after 1908, as the style is very similar to nearby houses built in the early 20th century. The 1909 directory at the Weston Public Library lists Alfred L. Cutting as having a house on School Street, suggesting that it had been built by that time. Alfred L. Cutting was the son of George W. Cutting (Jr.), who owned the adjacent house at 68 School Street and also owned the general store where Alfred worked.
In addition to local tradesmen and shopkeepers, early residents of the Maple Avenue/ Wellesley Street Area included staff from three nearby estates. The James B. Case Estate was located immediately to the south at the intersection of Wellesley and School Streets. As mentioned earlier, Case purchased 84 Wellesley Street (in Case Estates Area E just outside the Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area) in 1869 for use by his staff. Samuel G. Pennock, who for many years was the Case Estate foreman, probably lived in a house (no longer extant) on the property at 78 School Street (Map #3). This property was owned by A. Pennock on the 1908 map. The present house at this address appears to date from the 1920’s. John B. Fiske, who is listed in the 1906 directory as the Case gardener, is shown on the 1908 map as living at 17 Wellesley Street. (Map #28). In 1912, Louisa Case bought 80 Wellesley Street (Map #39) and built a garage here which included an apartment for her chauffeur, Arthur J. Horrigan. For further information about the Case Estates, see Case Estates Area E.
The two houses at 23 and 27 Wellesley Street (Map #27,26) were built by Horace S. Sears, apparently for his estate staff. They were constructed sometime between 1908, when he purchased the property from Francis B. Sears, and 1923, when the properties are listed in probate records just after his death. Sears, one of Weston’s wealthiest citizens, was a principal in the Boston firm of Wellington, Sears & Co, which operated textile mills in New England and later in the south. Probate records in 1923 show the value of his entire estate to be over $2.3 million dollars.
Sears has been called “the Town’s greatest benefactor,” as he made substantial contributions to the new Town Hall, Town Green, beautification of the center, and other improvements made during the early 20th century. The enormous 1902 Sears Italian villa-style mansion, “Haleiwa“ was located on Central Avenue (now Boston Post Road) near what is now Hemlock Rd. Sears land holdings included large tracts both north and south of Central Avenue. Gardens were laid out in terraces from the mansion down to where the by-pass is now located. The land at 23 and 27 Wellesley Street was contiguous to the large Sears parcel between Central, School, Maple and Wellesley St.
23 Wellesley Street (Map #27) was reportedly built about 1910 for the Sears gardener or estate manager and is attributed to architect Harold S. Graves (d.1952). Graves worked alone after the death of James T. Kelley, his early partner. He moved to Weston about 1900 and built his own house on Old Road. Graves built the theater wing on the main Sears House, the bell tower on the Morrison estate, now Regis College, and many of the houses in the Meadowbrook Road area. After the death of Horace Sears in 1923, the house at #23 was purchased from the Sears Estate by Henry (Harry) Bailey, who was a business partner of Sears and one of three executors of the estate. Bailey lived in the main Sears mansion after Sears’ death and appears to have rented 23 Wellesley Street, which he owned until 1948.
The house at 33 Wellesley Street (Map #25) is thought by one area resident to have been built for the chauffeur of the Winsor Estate, the third large estate bordering the Maple Road/Wellesley Street neighborhood. At the time of the 1908 map, Robert Winsor owned all the land on the east side of Wellesley Street between what is now 18 and 70 Wellesley Street, along with the Weston Golf Club land and much of Meadowbrook Road. Winsor, a partner of Kidder, Peabody & Co., first came to Weston in 1884. Over a period of 35 years, he bought property in the central part of Weston, until by 1919 he owned 488 acres, valued at $61,500. About that time, he divided his property, retaining for his own use his mansion at 68 Winsor Way and Bryden Road (now destroyed) and 16 acres. He established the Weston Golf Club, with 50 acres, and the remaining 422 acres he placed in the Weston Real Estate Trust.
According to Phil Coburn’s autobiographical account of Growing Up in Weston, Mr. Winsor wanted to attract young married couples to Weston to live around the new golf club. He offered a prize of $1000 to the architect who designed for these young couples a house that could be enlarged to accommodate growing families. According to Coburn’s account, “There were two leading architects in Town–Sam Mead and Harold Graves. Their work was displayed on easels for the judges to evaluate at the Golf Club. The seven houses on the Golf Club side of Wellesley Street are the result of the competition.” Coburn was incorrect about the number of houses actually built on Winsor’s Wellesley Street property. Because #64 is on a double lot, only six houses were actually built, at 40, 44, 56, 60, 64 and 70 Wellesley Street (Map #29A-35). All appear to have been built between about 1920 and 1926.
Architect Samuel Mead is described in the Biographical Dictionary of American Architects as being “remembered for his work in the field of residence design. He was associated, intermittently, with E.C.Cabot, Francis W. Chandler, and Arthur G. Everett in planning numerous suburban houses in the rambling and picturesque style of that period.” Mead designed many houses in Weston, including his own house at 50 Pigeon Hill Road (see inventory form), the first Robert Winsor house at 309 Boston Post Road, Lorenzo Kettle estate mansion at 770 Boston Post Road, the Grant Walker estate mansion at 319 Concord Road (see inventory form) and the brick facade of the Demmon-Morrison House at 235 Wellesley Street, now the Regis College president’s house (see inventory form. Information about Harold Graves is included in the discussion of 23 Wellesley.
Other Colonial Revival houses were also built in the area in the early to mid-1920’s. 63 and 67 Wellesley Street (Map #6 and #5) appear to date from that time, as does the present facade at 78 School Street. #63 and 67 Wellesley Street were built on land which formerly belonged to the property at 78 School Street, and further research is needed to determine whether there is a connection between these three houses, which are all well-crafted 1920’s Colonial Revival examples. The houses at 33 and 37 Wellesley Street (Map #25 and #22) were probably also constructed at that time, as indicated by assessor’s information.
The last building to be constructed in the Maple Road/Wellesley Street Area was the Weston Scout House at 86 School Street, (Map #4) which dates from 1941. The Weston Scouts, Inc. was incorporated in 1938, and leaders immediately enlisted the support of the community in raising funds for a Girl Scout house. After being asked to sell some of their land for the Scout House, the Case sisters, Louisa and Marion, decided to give the the scouts about one acre and to give the adjacent parcel at the “apex” of the Wellesley- School Street intersection to the Town as a permanent park in memory of their parents. Samuel Mead was asked to design the Scout House, but his plan proved to be more elaborate than the board wanted, and Mrs. Stanley Kellogg, also an architect, was enlisted to revise the plan. The building continues to be used by Weston scout troops.
1. Middlesex Country Registry of Deeds, So. District, Cambridge
80 and 76 Wellesley Street (see inventory form)
23 Wellesley Street (see inventory form)
3 Maple Road (Hunt to White, May, 1869, Book 1083, page 103)
9 Maple Road (H.J.White to Kate A. Dunn, Book 2600, p.554, 1897, land only) (Mortgage,Book 2618, p.225)
10 Maple Road (H.J.White to Geo.A.Hirtle, Book 2167, p.364, Dec.1892,land only) (Hirtle to Milledge Crouse, Book 3027, p.19, 1903, with bldgs) (Crouse to Patrick J. Connors, Book 3304, p.557, 1907)
13 Maple Road (H.J.White to Alberta and Sidney Ross, April,1893), (Sidney Ross, guardian, to Milledge Crouse, Book 3306, p.119, 1907, with bldgs)
14 Maple Road (H.J.White to Arthur B. Nims, Book 2231, p.420, 1893, land only)
35 Wellesley Street (H.J.White to S.B.Ross, 1894, Book 2297, p.568, no bldgs) (S.B.Ross to Gustavis A. Smith, Book 2517, p.443, 1896, with bldgs.)
39 Wellesley Street (H.J.White to Delia French, Book 2132, p.263, land only, July, 1892)
49 Wellesley Street (H.J.White to Howard L.Cooper, Book 2096, p.70, 1892) (Cooper to Fuller, Nov.1896, Book 2514, p.536, land only) (Fuller to John A.Crouse, 1897, Book 2572, p.126, with bldgs) (Crouse to Carrie A. Cutting, 1898, Book 2688, p.72)
51 Wellesley Street (H.J.White to John C. McDonald, Nov.1890, recorded 1891, Book 2088, p.312, land only)
55 Wellesley Street (H.J.White to Carrie L.Smith, Book 2009, p.471, Nov.1890, land only) (C.L.Smith to Fannie Russell, Book 2108, p.199, April 1892, with bldgs.)
59 Wellesley Street (H.J.White to John J.Brown, Book 2010, p.579, Nov.1890, land only)
68 School Street (H.J.White to George W. Cutting, Book 2086, p.564, Nov.1890 , recorded 1891, land only)
2. 5 Maple Road – information provided by owner 2a. See also Winsor file, WHC files
3. Inventory form, 3 Maple Road, Weston Historical Commission files
4. Directories, 1887, 1893, 1906 (Weston Historical Society) (see project bibliography)
5. Maps of Weston, 1866,1875, 1889, 1908 (see project bibliography)
6. Coburn, Philip F., Growing Up in Weston (Copigraph Inc, Waltham, 1891)
7. Lamson, Col.Daniel S., History of the Town of Weston, 1630-1890 (Boston, 1913) p.154-5
8. Weston Historical Society Bulletin, March, 1984, Vol.XX, No.3. Footnote #6, p.5
9. Middlesex Registry of Deeds, So.Dist. Plan Book 321, Plan 37 (for lots at 56-70 Wellesley St)
10. History of Middlesex County (biographical sketch of Arthur B. Nims)
11. [added 2011] Farm Town to Suburb: The History and Architecture of Weston, Massachusetts, 1830-1980 by Pamela W. Fox (2002)