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Huebener Brick no. 61 Hawthorne Grove, Sumner-Wilder House, Washington Street
Huebener Brick no. 61 Hawthorne Grove
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 The farmhouse was originally built by Increase Sumner (1740-1774) about 1770 on land his father purchased in 1723. William Sumner, father of Increase, bought 15 acres of ?meadowland on Blue Hill Avenue? from the town of Dorchester on Nov. 8, 1723. Dorchester was developed outward from the townhouse and lands not allocated to freemen were held as Common Lands by the Selectmen of Dorchester Plantation. These lands were rented out for firewood or more commonly pasture until sold. Increase was a direct descendant of William Sumner, one of the founding fathers of Dorchester.

The Edward A. Huebener collection of over 100 bricks originally collected by Mr. Huebener exhibits brick paintings of the houses from which the bricks came. The bricks have upon them painted scenes of (mostly) old Dorchester houses and landmarks. To see a list of all the bricks, choose the term Architecture in the list at the left of the screen and choose the first subsection -- the Edward A. Huebener Brick Collection and scroll to the bottom of that page to see icons for all the bricks.

Map detail 1898 Wilder Estate
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 Hawthorne Grove was located at the intersection of Washington Street and Columbia Road.

The farm was located right against the town line separating Roxbury from Dorchester that was established by the General Court in 1632. The farmhouse served as a place of safety for the Sumner family during the Revolutionary War. Their townhouse was on Roxbury Street just below Roxbury First Church and also just below the cannon redoubts on Fort Hill that guarded the only land route to the interior. After Increase Sumner died in 1774, his widow and children--including his namesake son who would become Governor of Massachusetts in 1797--fled to their farm in Dorchester for the duration. After the widow Sumner removed to Boston in 1806, her grandson General William Sumner sold the family estate in August, 1806.

Marshall Pinckney Wilder
Marshall Pinckney Wilder
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 Marshall Pinckney Wilder (1798-18868), a Boston merchant, took the old farm in 1832 and renamed it Hawthorne Grove, not to be outdone by Grove Hall next door. A New Hamphsireman, Wilder moved to Boston in 1825 where he opened a business in wholesale West Indian goods on Union Street. This expanded into the wholesale drygoods trade, and he became a large scale broker of cotton and wool, at one point shipping from his own mills. During the Civil War he made a fortune supplying the Union Army with the materials for uniforms. At his death in 1886 Wilder was the oldest and one of the wealthiest commission merchants of cotton and wool in Boston.

Illustration of the House
Marshall P. Wilder House
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 He was more widely known during his lifetime and afterwards, however, for his active role in the development of a truly indigenous American agriculture and horticulture, especially with the propagation of fruits. After his first wife died suddenly leaving him with four small children n 1831 he sought relief in the country and on July 31, 1832, he bought the Increase Sumner farm just outside Grove Hall for $5,500. This contained 13 acres, a dwelling house, stable and barns on the ?upper road to Milton and the Roxbury town line.?

Soon after he moved, he remarried and began to build an extensive series of greenhouses and gardens that extended over nearly 10 acres. He encircled the estate with a stone wall, and a curved entrance drive led into the house which faced east. Wilder grew and experimented with
900 varieties of pears alone, growing on 2500 trees, and with 300 varieties of the southern shrub the camellia. So great was his collection of flowers, as Francis Drake implies in his book The Town of Roxbury (1878), that the Marshall greenhouses were emptied out to form the basis of the Boston Public Garden in 1839.

For eight years (1840-1847) he was president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, for twenty years president of the Norfolk Agricultural Society, six years president of the United States Agricultural Society, and, from its organization in 1848, president of the American Pomological Society. He was largely influential in the embellishment of Mount Auburn, also in the founding of the Institute of Technology and the Natural History Rooms in Boston. Of the New England Historical Genealogical Society, he was president from the date of his first election in 1868 to the close of his earthly life. -- American Series of Popular Biographies

The subdivision of the wilder estate began in 1892 when Wilder?s son by his third marriage, his youngest, Edward Baker Wilder, built a 2 ? story, wood frame, shingle style house where no. 90 Columbia Road is today. It was designed by Hartwell-Richardson and was located not far from the Wilder estate stable. In 1924 the house was bought and moved to the rear of the lot and an apartment house was built on its site. On August 20, 1924, Julius Krinsky and Abraham Bobbitt bought the old farm house with 20,000 square feet of land from the Edward?s estate. They razed the 150 year-old farm house and built 5 three-story apartment buildings on the property in 1925.

Related Images: showing 8 of 100 (more results)
Here are some images from the Atheneum archive related to this topic. Click on any of these images to open a slideshow of all 100 images.
John Codman HouseCodman HouseJeremiah E Burke High SchoolSecond Church
Jeremiah E Burke High School, Washington StreetFirst Methodist Church, second buildingIndustrial Bank and Trust coinC B Lovewell Company
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Created: July 6, 2008   Modified: April 16, 2011