81 Hunting Lane


Charles D. Lewis House

Form No.          48

Town              Sherborn
Address           81 Hunting Lane

Historic Name     Charles D. Lewis House

Uses: Original    Summer residence
       Present    Residence

Ownership, 1981   Dawood Yassa
  "    Original   Charles D. Lewis

Constructed       ca. 1905

Source            Margaret Dowse Buntin

Style/Form        Colonial Revival - shingle

Architect         

Ext. Wall Fabric  Clapboard, asphalt shingle roof

Outbuildings      Small garage

Alterations       

Moved             No

Acreage           4.92 acres

Setting:          Located in wooded, rocky, hilly area. Stone
                  garden wall across street 

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

Roughly V-shaped in form, this house is swathed in wood shingles. It rests on a brick and rubble stone foundation and rises 2 1/2 stories to a gable roof. The main entrance is located on its southern or Green Street facade. In front of its Hunting Lane entrance is a semi-circular driveway. Until suburban houses were built in this area during the 1950's and 1960's this house was extremely isolated in an area of woods, rocky hills and apple orchards.

This residence's facades display a high degree of plasticity. Bays, porches and a portecochere project from its walls. Its windows exhibit Colonial Revival enframements. Particularly noteworthy is the north-wall's Palladian window which appears above the Porte-cochere, The porte-cochere is supported by Tuscan columns. Doric pilasters flank the main entrance. Its main facade is fronted by covered and open porches. Pedimented dormers project from the gable roof.

This house represents an interesting marriage of the shingle and Colonial Revival styles. Its rambling form, asymmetrical fenestration and weathered shingles bespeak of the rusticity and informality of the shingle style. Certain elements, e.g. window enframements and porches are closer to the formality of the Colonial Revival. The Colonial Revival houses and additions of South Sherborn estates built between 1900 and 1930 tend to represent much more academically correct forays into the Georgian Revival style.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

Built ca. 1905, this Colonial Revival country house was the centerpiece of Charles D. Lewis' "gentleman's farm". According to Margaret Dowse Buntin he lived most of the year in Framingham and was related to the Boston family that owned Lewis Wharf. In November, 1879, an Emily J. Lewis bought 1.96 acres of land adjacent to Hunting Lane, between Paul and Brush Hill. At that time a plan of her Sherborn purchase entitled "Prospect Farm" was drawn up.

For many years this property had been part of the Perry holdings. A John Perry had been granted a house lot on Edward's Plain (North Main St.) as early as 1679. A Perry homestead was once located on the site of Charles D. Lewis' house (intersection of Hunting and Green Lanes). During the 18th and 19th centuries the principal "Road to Framingham" passed by the Perry place. It began at Maple Street and was composed of Green Lane, a section of Hunting Lane and Perry Street. The eastern portion of Hunting Lane was not laid out until the 1850's. A structure appears on the Lewis House's site on the 1788 map. On the 1857 map it is labeled W. H. Perry. A J. Gray owned it in 1875.

Emily J. Lewis built the picturesque cottage at 86 Hunting Lane about 1880. It was among the first summer places in Sherborn. When Charles D. Lewis (son of Emily J. ?) built this house about 1905, the cottage became a caretaker's house, Lewis is remembered for raising cattle on his Sherborn estate and "was a familiar face at cattle auctions." For years this land had been covered with apple orchards and rocky fields. Lewis installed gardens - one of the stone garden walls is still extant on the north side of Hunting Lane. "Paying guests" are said to have boarded here and in the cottage during the 1920s and, 1930s. In 1955 a Kathleen Lewis (Charles' daughter?) sold the property to James P. and Rita D. Abbott. This house is of interest as one of the Town's early country estates. It is unique to North Sherborn as most of the Town's 1900-1930 country estates are located in southeast Sherborn near the Charles River.

BIBLIOGRAPHY and REFERENCES

  • Interview with Margaret Dowse Buntin
  • Maps of 1788, 1857, 1875 and 1889
  • Deeds - Nov. 1879 Book 158, Plan 31, Book 8577, Pg. 229
  • "The Century Turns" - Sherborn Historical Society, 1966