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Historic neighborhood estate to celebrate 250th birthday

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  September 16, 2010 03:58 PM

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(Courtesy Loring-Greenough House website)


The Loring-Greenough House on South Street, which once spanned more than 200 acres of what is now known as Sumner Hill, was first owned by British Commodore Josiah Loring and his family.

A home with ties to the American Revolution will celebrate its 250th birthday this weekend at an event designed to raise money for the site’s long-term preservation.

Mayor Thomas Menino will be the honorary host at the Loring-Greenough House located near the intersection of Centre and South streets, while state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, City Council President Michael Ross and state Representative Jeffrey Sanchez will be among the event’s honorary guests.

The festivities will run from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Sunday and include a café-style dinner and dessert served by local restaurants and caterers under the stars on the Loring-Greenough grounds. There will be live music, dancing, drinks, a special raffle and a VIP reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m.

“Mix and mingle with your neighbors, community leaders, fun lovers, and fellow preservationists while helping to preserve and protect one of central Jamaica Plain’s treasured historic landmarks,” said an online announcement of the event from The Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club, the organization that oversees the Loring-Greenough House.

The group also hopes Sunday’s celebration builds awareness about community programs held at the house and that it will increase support for the nonprofit club.

“Everyone who participates is helping to make sure that the Loring-Greenough House will continue to develop as a place for community enjoyment and learning and will remain a model of historic preservation,” said the organization’s announcement.

The Loring-Greenough House was built in 1760 on an estate encompassing more than 200 acres of what is now known as Sumner Hill, and the home was first owned by British Commodore Josiah Loring and his family.

But when Revolutionary soldiers forced the British out of Boston in 1776, Loring and his family left their Jamaica Plain estate and sailed from Boston Harbor to Nova Scotia and later to England.

American troops then used the house to care for wounded soldiers during the historic Battle of Bunker Hill, turning the home into essentially “one of the first hospitals in the ‘new country,’ ” according to the house’s website.

Eight years later, the Greenough family moved in and it remained in the family’s named into the twentieth-century. In 1924, the Tuesday Club purchased the house to prevent its demolition and conversion into commercial property. The home has subsequently been registered as a historic landmark.

The Tuesday Club was founded in 1896 as a group of society women who came together for self-improvement and socializing. The volunteer group maintained the home and used the space to host various activities. Men were welcomed into the membership in 1993.

In the past decade, initiatives to restore the estate have been launched and a strategic plan created two years ago outlined “a new community-oriented vision for the House to become a vital center for historical, cultural and educational activity,” said the house’s website.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.

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