| Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 1018
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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."
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