Blake Park: Brookline, Massachusetts
History of a Neighborhood, 1916-2005

The Houses and People of Blake Park


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14 Somerset Road

Year Built:
Permit Date:
1927
2/21/1927
Architect:
None Listed
Builder:
Roy A. Hicks
Cost to Build:
$10,000
Owner
(On Permit Date):
Roy A. Hicks, 31 Linden Street
First Residents:
William, Genevieve, & Esther Sawyer

Builder Roy A. Hicks, who lived on Linden Street, built three houses on the west side of Somerset Road in 1927 (#s 14, 18, and 24).

14 Somerset Road was the home at first of two sisters and a brother, Genevieve, Esther, and William Sawyer, listed at this address in the Street List from 1928 to 1931. Genevieve, the oldest, was a secretary (shown as a private secretary at an insurance company in the 1930 Census). . William was a salesman (of oil and grease, according to the Census). Esther was listed as an adviser in the Street List, but had no occupation in the Census.

The full 1930 U.S. Census listing showed:William B. Sawyer, 30, (commercial salesman, (oil and grease); Esther L. Sawyer, 32, (sister); Genevieve M. Sawyer, 34, (sister), private secretary (insurance). The house was valued at $18,000.

Following the Sawyers at this address were Minnie L. and Francis W. Hamilton, in the Street List from 1932 to 1936. The Hamilton's moved here from 34 Gorham Avenue. Francis Hamilton was a general contractor. His son Francis Jr. apparently worked with him. The Hamiltons also had a daughter, Frances.

For just one year (1937 Street List), 14 Somerset was the home of Louis and Henriette Lambert. Louis Charles Victor Lambert (born in France, 1874) was a professor of French at Boston University where he began teaching in 1924. He first came to the U.S. in 1920 to be head of the French department at the Berlitz School of Languages in Boston.

Following the Lamberts, the house was home for many years to members of the Clifford family. John J. and Margaret M. Clifford and their children had lived in Boston before coming to Brookline. John and Margaret both were born in Ireland (John c1878 and Margaret c1879) and came to the U.S. as children in 1887.

John was a chauffer. He and Margaret had five children, the youngest of whom was 17 when they were first listed at 14 Somerset in the Street List. The oldest child, Julia, was a teacher. The second oldest, Katherine, was shown as a typist in the 1930 U.S. Census when the family lived in Boston but had no occupation listed in the Brookline Street List.

The only son, John Jr., was listed as a student, a clerk, and a mechanic before entering the U.S. Army during World War II. The Clifford's youngest child, Dorothy, shown as a clerk in the early 1940s, was no longer listed with the family in 1946. She returned later, as Dorothy O'Leary, with her own family and her family continued to own the house until very recently.