Updated: Mar 18, 2020
One of our favorite things about old homes is digging into their pasts. Found objects and public records can give you a glimpse into the past and it is FASCINATING! American Foursquare was simply named after its architectural style, popular to the area it resided. It was built in 1910 and you could see it in its bones. During the renovation, we found artifacts every time we opened up a wall or floor.
With the new house completely gutted, we are less likely to find these types of artifacts. That doesn’t mean we haven’t been engrossed in the history of the house, however.
Here’s what we know:
While the house was advertised as being built in 1899, my research has made me think otherwise. The house is documented in the 1894 Dorchester Atlas and a plot plan we found notes the date of plan as 1893.
So I’m sticking to 1894, as the plot plan was probably drawn before it was built. The “New York” line on the right of the atlas image hints to the latter part of our house’s name. Of course, that is not the New York state line, as we are nowhere close to New York. That is the train track for what was the “Shawmut Branch of the The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad“. It was then converted to “The Boston Elevated Railway” around 1924. We know it today as the MBTA Red Line. I can only image what it was like to have the train chugging just behind the house. They put the train underground around 1928, now you can barely hear the train as it passes.
When David found the following picture I literally shouted on the train (I’m only now seeing the irony there). After googling “Historic Waldeck street” he found a thumbnail that brought us to Historic New England (An organization you should totally check out.) This picture is OUR intersection in 1926! That’s OUR house in the back! Look at it in all its original detail and beauty. It’s dark?! Get a load of how tall that flag pole is…
Anyway, now you know where “Station” comes from.