1 Edmunds Road

1EdmundsRoadA_labeled

Photo taken by Joshua Dorin in June 2013

Click here for a map of the area

The house at 1 Edmunds Road (formerly 515 Worcester Street) was built in 1889 for newlyweds Arthur Irving Nash (1864-1910) and Mary Axford (Batchelor) Nash (b. 1869). At the time, this stretch of Worcester Street was among the most desirable locations in all of Wellesley. It would stay that way until 1903, when this bucolic country road that had once been part of the Worcester Turnpike in the early 1800s was significantly widened in order to accommodate the new Boston & Worcester Street Railway (trolley) line.

The original property included nearly nine acres, extending from Worcester Street north into the undeveloped Hundreds Woods. Part of the reason that Arthur Nash built the house at this location was that his family had resided nearby on Cliff Road since 1883 in one of the first houses constructed in what is now the Cliff Estates. (That house is now addressed 2 Cushing Road.)

When Arthur Nash’s father, Israel Nash – a successful importer of goods from the West Indies and one of the richest men in all of Wellesley – died in 1893, it appears that the young couple moved back into the family home to care for Arthur’s mother. It was then that they sold the front part of their estate, which included the house at 1 Edmunds Road and over two acres of land, to Helen Wyckoff (Wainwright) Gray. (In 1896, Arthur and Mary Nash would lay out Cushing Road in the Cliff Estates and build for their family the first house on that street – now 15 Cushing Road.)

Helen Gray (1829-1895) was already a widow by the time she moved into 1 Edmunds Road — her husband was Francis Abraham Gray, a wealthy merchant. Unfortunately, she died only two years later in 1895. Her unmarried son, Francis Jr., with whom she is believed to have shared the house, would continue to reside there and even start his family there after his marriage in 1898. He sold 1 Edmunds Road in 1905.

The property would pass through two more families – those of Joseph Henry Heard Williams (the president of a mining company) and Heber H. Cleveland (a physician specializing in diseases of the colon) – before being acquired in 1920 by Edgar F. Hathaway (1870-1952), the head of an engineering firm. He and his wife, Elizabeth (James) Hathaway (d. 1952), lived there for the next three decades. After their deaths in 1952, the house passed to Elizabeth’s niece, who subdivided the 2+ acre estate and developed the rear half of the property into 9 Edmunds Road and 12 Sawyer Road. It is believed that at this time the original carriage house of 1 Edmunds Road on the northeast corner of the estate was removed.

In 2000, the property was sold to a local developer, who subdivided it and built 7 Edmunds Road on the eastern portion of the lot. He also constructed, but did not complete, a large addition on the western end of 1 Edmunds Road. After sitting incomplete and vacant for over a decade, the house was bought by another developer in 2013 and the renovations were completed.

Sources:

  • Norfolk County Registry of Deeds
  • Wellesley Annual Town Reports: 1887-1910
  • Atlas of Norfolk County, Massachusetts (1888)
  • Atlas of Wellesley, Massachusetts (1897)
  • The Trow (formerly Wilson’s) Copartnership and Corporation Directory of New York City, Volume 49 (1901)
  • Genealogy and History of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by Charles Edwin Hurd (1902)
  • The Wellesley Directory (1904)
  • Wellesley Townsman:  2 October 1908; 30 November 1917; 17 April 1952; 17 July 1952; 16 October 1952
  • Who’s Who in New England, Volume 2 by Albert Nelson Marquis (1915)
  • William Gray of Lynn, Massachusetts, and Some of His Descendants by Edward Gray (1916)
  • A Sculptured Vase from Guatemala by Marshall Howard Saville (1919)
  • Pane-Joyce Genealogy [accessed in June 2013]
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s