Built c.1779, this freestanding Colonial (Massachusetts was still a colony, remember) stands solo on its sweeping, rolling one-acre farm site, prematurely expressing the freedom that was to appear on the horizon four years later, looking boldly confident of the imminence of our Founding Fathers' fruit. Its unusually simple appearance for its Georgian era bespeaks the ornamental restraints of the eras prior and after: the Puritans' original settlement in 1630, seeking freedom from religious persecution in England; and the Federal Period following General Washington's victory over Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781, by which the new American architecture drew on ancient classical styles to express the Grecian democratic and Roman republican values that inspired our Constitution. So 'pre-Federalism' best describes the Wellington House, architecturally.
The size of the house and its grounds also evokes the high socioeconomic status its owner aimed to gain post-independence. An eminent Waltham citizen, Mr. William Wellington was a 17-term town selectman, and his Elm Farm was one of the town's five most valuable estates, valued at $1,200.
|Historical images courtesy of the Waltham Public Library|
|Photo by Tim Pierce, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons|
Thank you for visiting. I welcome your comments!