No. 2301: Walter Baker House
Postcard #2301

Walter Baker House. Photograph printed in some publication in the possession of the Dorchester Historical Society in large album titled Old Dorchester Houses.

 Known as the Walter Baker mansion, this house was built in 1737 by Lieutenant Governor Andrew Oliver who lived there, using it as a country house, till 1782. The house was located approximately where the Lucy Stone School is now on Regina Road off Washington Street near Park Street. Oliver graduated from Harvard in 1724 and was the brother of Chief Justice Peter Oliver. In 1765, soon after he received the appoint of Stamp Collector, he became a very unpopular fellow. He was burned in effigy in a riot, and the mob attacked his house on Fort Hill, Boston, breaking all the windows, destroying the furniture and wrecking the house. He resigned the position. Then in 1770 he was appointed Lieutenant Governor. Some of his letters to friends in England were discovered there by Franklin and sent back to Boston. He was accused of perjury and suspected of subverting the government of the colony. He couldn?t bear the disquiet and misery caused by his position in these affairs, and he died in March 1774, aged 67.

The house was purchased by Col. Benjamin Hichborn who used it as summer residence until 1817 entertaining General Lafayette there in 1783. James Penniman used the parlor for a school-room to aid the founding of Dorchester Academy in 1831. Shortly after, Walter Baker came into possession of the house. He died in 1852, and his widow lived there till her death in 1891. It was then occupied by the Bichloride of Gold Institute and later by the Colonial Club of Dorchester. A development was proposed for the property on which the building stood, but it replaced by the Lucy Stone School in 1937.
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Created: May 21, 2005   Modified: July 6, 2005