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Dorchester Illustration of the Day, March 12, 2009
Thomas Groom Estate Willow Hall
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 Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 1018

In the book The Rich Men of Massachusetts published in 1851, Thomas Groom was listed with worth of $75,000, and described: an Englishman by birth, though no one acquainted with his business shrewdness would ever mistrust that he was not a genuine Yankee. Has made his money in the stationery trade. A man highly respected for his honorable and fair dealing. He never shrinks from doing his part in bearing the burdens of community.

Thomas Groom's estate, called Willow Hall, was on the westerly side of Humphreys Street, where Groom Street was later developed. The house was probably built in the 1840s and was taken down somewhere between 1904 and 1910. Around 1900 the house served as the home of the St. Agnes Industrial School headed by Margaret A. Gately, an ex-nun from the Sisters of Charity. The photographs have been supplied by a Groom descendant. The tax records called the pavilion on the top of the hill "the observatory."


The Dorchester Illustration of the Day (DIOTD) is sent weekdays. 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 let me know. Earl Taylor

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Thomas Groom Summer house observatory
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The tax records call the summer house "the observatory."

Readers' Comments
 50 cents and hour -- $7.50 a week and I had to go into downtown Boston for 2 hours a night and 4 on Saturday
I worked for American Blank Book-- he wanted me to quit high school to work in his plant putting lines on ledger books
Liked it tho I walked all over those streets and the waterfront -- way back when
dave kenney March, 2009

Related Images: showing 8 of 1497 (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 1497 images.
Dorchester High School, Dorchester, Mass.Opening the Dorchester Pottery KilnMap showing location of Oliver Davenport HouseNeponset River Water Front
Aerial view of Gallivan Boulevard and Neponset River BridgeArthur J DesmondLincoln Hayes42 Melville Avenue
Do you know something about this topic? Do you have other pictures or items or knowledge to share? What about a personal story? Are you a collector? Do you have questions? Contact us here.
Created: March 12, 2009   Modified: January 14, 2011