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About the Information
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See the research note below
(On Permit Date):
B. & Oldine L Friswold
along with its neighbors at 27 and 39 Somerset, was in the first
group built on this street. In fact, the building permits for these
three were issued under the earlier street name of Blake Road East.
(See A Few Words About Street Names.)
Road is one of two houses in Blake Park designed by Leroy G. Brackett.
The other, 31 Weybridge Road, is attributed to his firm, the L.G.
Brackett Co. See the research note below for
more on Brackett.
Friswold (born c1871) built this house and was, with his family,
the first resident. A native of Norway who came to the U.S. in the
1880s, he was a real estate broker who was living in Dorchester
before coming to Brookline. His wife Oldine (born c1885) came to
the U.S. from Norway in 1910. The Friswolds, who were married in
1914, had three children. The family was listed at this address
from 1927 to 1929, after which they moved to Beacon Street.
residents, listed for just one year, were Ralph and Marion Shorey.
Ralph (born 1899) was a carpenter. The 1930 U.S. Census listed the
residents as: Ralph T. Shorey, 30, carpenter; and Marion E. Shorey,
20. The house was valued at $18,000.
one year gap, Irving and Shirley Saunders were listed at this address
for two years (1932-1933). See 32 Lowell
Road for more on the Saunders family.) Listed the next year
were Wilfred and Marion Ringer. Wilfred was a teacher and at one
time principal of Brookline High School. The Ringers, who had three
children, were only listed at this address that one year.
family to live here during the period of this survey was that of
Elmer O. (1902-2001) and Dorothy H. Cappers (1906-1994) , who were
listed at this address from 1935 until the late 1950s. Elmer Cappers
was a banker, an executive (eventually president and chairman) of
Norfolk Trust. Later in his career, he was president of the Massachusetts
Higher Education Assistance Corporation.
Little Note About Missteps
In the Thickets of Historical Research
earlier list of the houses of Blake Park and their architects,
compiled for the Brookline preservation office from index
card files in the building department, attributed the design
of 33 Someret Road to Lucy Brackett and of 31 Weybridge
Road to the L.G. Brackett Co., which I assumed to be the
seemed unusual for the 1920s when there were few women practicing
architecture. But when I visited the Building Department,
there it was: Lucy Brackett typed on the index card and
Lucy G. Brackett written by hand on the building permit.
information about Lucy Brackett remained elusive, however,
and it remained one of the more intriguing mysteries of
L.G. Brackett & Co. listed in Boston directories in
the 1930s and 1940s, but no information about any individual.
I also found an L.G. Brackett Co. in Winchester today, a
provider of building and land surveying services, but the
current owners had no connection to or knowledge of the
original L.G. Brackett.
after several fruitless attempts to find any trace of Lucy
Brackett, I saw a listing for L.G. Brackett & Co. at
88 Tremont Street in a 1947 Boston directory, later than
any I had seen before. It also indicated that L.G. Brackett
lived in Lexington. That led me to a 1942 Lexington directory
that listed a Leroy G. Brackett, civil engineer.
Could Lucy have actually been Leroy, misread on the handwritten
building permit when the information was transferred to
the typewritten index card? And misread again by me, seeing
what I expected to see?
went back for another look and, sure enough, the name on
the permit was Leroy. The loop on the e
was tight enough so that it might have been mistaken, in
combination with the r, for
a u. And maybe a quick glance
would have seen the o as a
c. But Lucy was definitely
signature below is not from the building permit, but from
Leroy Brackett's World War I draft registration card [obtained
via Ancestry.com]. You can see how the same mistake could
have been made reading the signature here.)
Mystery solved. Intrigue over. The only woman to design
houses in Blake Park was not a woman after all.