History Corner: Where is It Wednesday

Original structure


It’s that time of the week! Time for Weston Historical Society’s Where Is It Wednesday. As always, the answer will be revealed on Thursday on WHS’ Facebook and Instagram pages and on this Owl post.

Hint: this house is located on what was once considered a remote part of town on a road once known as Elm Street. The house was originally shaped like a cross but two additions to accommodate a growing family hid that original design.

1st addition

The answer to yesterday’s quiz: The Ivy Abbey (aka, the Dickson House)

In Brenton Dickson’s “Random Recollections,” he recalls many details about growing up on the corner of Highland Street and Love Lane, which was originally Elm Street – “…there was always controversy as to which was the proper name, my father favoring [Love Lane]. From time to time an ‘Elm Street’ sign would be put at the intersection and a few days later it could be found tucked above the water pipes in our cellar.”

Highland Street at Dickson’s time was “uninhabited country” except for the Paine Estate a ¼ mile north and the Nolte camp south and far off from the road. Both of which were only used in the summer. Heading south, this section of the road offered ideal scenery, “From the high pastureland at the crest of the hill you could see Mt. Wachusett, Mt. Monadnock, North and South Pack Mountains…[then] you descended to a long stretch of woodland, carpeted with pine needles and abounding in many varieties of fern…ledges fringed with violets…[and] patches of lady’s slippers…”

As for The Ivy Abbey, named from the original shape and the ivy because the house was covered in it, Dickson came from a family of seven children. “The children’s wing of our house went off at an angle from the main part, and my parents at one end could look across to our rooms at the other. However, they were sound sleepers, and we could usually pull down our shades and turn on the lights in the small hours without being detected, and indulge in various antics such as checkers, cards or perhaps a treasure hunt. We moved about on tiptoe, never raising our voices above a whisper and making every effort not to get into each other’s hair and stir up a rumpus.”

“Living as we did in a rather remote location, we had to use native ingenuity in contriving our various forms of amusement…Our back stairs were perfectly straight with a door into the kitchen at the bottom. Whenever we got a new cook, we broke her in by letting several dozen golf balls loose at the top of the stairs all at once. Their impact on the closed door was enough to scare any unsuspecting person out of her wits.”

One comment

Leave a Reply