Marlborough Spring Historic Homes Tour and Tea - 2008

Benefiting historic preservation in Marlborough

The Spring Historic Homes Tour and Tea on May 4, 2008, was a resounding success.  It was a rare opportunity to see some of the area's most interesting and treasured homes, and people turned out in droves, despite the overcast skies.

A few days after the tour and tea we received this note:

I would like to publicly congratulate the Marlboro Historical Society for the wonderful Historical Houses Tour that they held on May 4th.  It was very well organized and the Society volunteers were knowledgeable and helpful.

I would especially like to thank the many homeowners who so gracefully opened their lovely homes for public viewing.

It was an enjoyable and enlightening experience.  Thanks to all who made it possible.

-- Lorraine Chute, Marlboro MA

Thank you, Lorraine.

And to that we add our thanks to all who participated, especially . . .

  • Home owners Candy and Steve, Jen and Dow, Pat, Rob, and Art, for opening their fabulous homes.
  • Lorraine and all those who purchased tickets, toured the homes, and had such good questions and kind words of support.
  • The volunteers, who staffed the event and tea, including members of the Marlborough Historical Society and the Marlborough Junior Woman's Club.
  • All those throughout Marlborough who nominated houses.
And thanks to these organizations and individuals for their financial support and other contributions to the success of the event:

The homes

Inside the six homes, which covered more than 300 years of history, guests found beautiful woodwork and cabinetry, leaded glass windows, carved wooden mantels, Eastlake hardware, quartersawn oak floors in an elegant living room and 20" wide pine floors in a second floor bedroom, ornate lights and moderne fans, antiques and contemporary furnishings--even purple glass door knobs.

The first five homes pictured below are private and not open to the public except on rare occasions, such as the tour that took place in the spring of 2008.  The last home listed below, the Peter Rice Homestead, is owned by the Marlborough Historical Society and is open.  More information on the Peter Rice Homestead, including its history and the hours it's open, is here.

This interactive map shows you the locations of the homes so that you may drive or walk past them.

View larger map

The pictures and descriptions of the homes (below)  are also in this booklet [PDF] and on this map [PDF], which were handed out on the day of the tour.

Reminder: Only the Peter Rice Homestead is open to the public.  (Check hours.) 

The Doctors' House (c. 1898)
75 West Main Street

Over the years, four doctors have owned this elegant, hip-roofed, three-bay, two-story Colonial Revival house built in 1908.

The house has full-height pilasters, and both an entry portico and a porte-cochere on fluted Doric columns.  The interior features leaded glass windows in a built-in china cabinet, three terracotta fireplaces, and quarter sawn oak flooring.

The house was designed by architect Charles Barnes of Framingham and built by  Dr. Camillus T. Warner of Vermont for his wife, Josephine.   Dr. Warner was a
prominent physician and humanitarian who served Marlborough for 40 years.  Dr. Peter Cottone, anesthesiologist and family practitioner, lived here for 39 years.  And the current owner is a doctor.

The William Howe Homestead (c. 1790)
115 Union Street

This large colonial, built around 1790, has a 2½
story center hall and features original woodwork,
moldings and several fireplaces.

There were three William Howe’s in succession
who lived in this house. The first William is noted
on an 1803 map, and his son, William Loring Howe,
on the 1830 map. Ella Bigelow, in her history of Marlborough, says that the property was thought to be the site of an Indian burial ground, due to the quantity of beads and arrowheads found by William Loring. His
son, William Nelson Howe, ran a large dairy farm here
until the end of the 18th century, when his son, Elmer
D., took over and named it “Fairview Farm.”

The Silas Temple House (c. 1760)
407 Cook Lane

This large house, like many older farmhouses, is a
4-part building that apparently grew over the course of several decades. The main house is a large 2½ story, 5-bay building of a type that dates to the Greek Revival
period and has a succession of ells extending north-
ward from it. The interior features purple glass door
knobs in the living room, a beehive oven, and wide
plank floors upstairs.

This house, dated about 1760, was owned by Silas
and Lydia (Arnold) Temple in the late 1700s. After
Lydia’s death around 1814, Silas married again, joined
the Shakers, and moved away from Marlborough
around 1820.

The Arnold Curtis House (c. 1894)

233 Church Street

This home in a quiet neighborhood has a wraparound porch. Inside is a blend of old and new, with an open floor plan, modern art and furnishings, and original brass hardware. It is dated around 1894.

This home was owned by Arnold Curtis, one of four sons of Charles W. Curtis who founded the Curtis Shoe Co. For many years, Arnold was secretary/treasurer of the company, whose factory was located on the site that is now the shoeworkers’ monument at the intersection of Granger Blvd. & South Bolton St. The family also owned the Curtis Apple Orchards, which used to cover the hills on Hosmer Street. Many of the streets in that area are named after apple varieties.

The Dr. James Campbell House (c. 1888)
27 Prospect Street

The architectural detail of this Queen Anne, built
around 1888, is among the most sophisticated for its era in Marlborough. The building’s focal point is the wrap-around porch, with its lathe-turned posts and spindles and elaborate jig-saw-cut “pierced work.”

Inside is Eastlake hardware, carved wooden mantels, and original tile. The house has been converted into
offices by a preservation-minded attorney, and was previously owned by Dr. James Campbell, the city’s principal physician who had political aspirations but was defeated twice in his campaigns for mayor in the early 1890s.

The Peter Rice Homestead (1688)
377 Elm Street

The first Rice in America was Peter’s grandfather,
Edmond, from England who was one of the fi rst peti-
tioners for the Marlborough Plantation.  Capt. Peter Rice built this house as a wedding present for his bride, Rebecca Howe, in 1688. This prominent man died in 1753 at the age of 95.

The house represents several stages of colonial ar-
chitecture and has a very large 2½ story center chimney. During the 1940s it was divided into several apartments to accommodate veterans returning from the war. In the 1960s it was donated to the Marlborough Historical Society and returned to its earlier form.

More information about the Peter Rice Homestead is here, including the hours it's open to the public, is here.

If you're interested in historic homes in Marlborough, read more about Marlborough architecture and how it changed over time here, and view information on individual properties here.  Resources for homeowners are here.


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