This Concord, Mass., house is next door to its companion house, which we featured about a month ago.
Both house were built on property owned by Henry J. Hosmer. He built this house for his step-daughter, Florence Whiting, who married Charles E. Brown. Shortly after getting hitched in 1884, the couple moved in and remained here the rest of their lives.
Whiting Brown was born in Augusta, Maine, and was the daughter of Hosmer’s wife, Dr. Laura Whiting Hosmer, and Dr. Danforth Whiting, who died in 1869.
Her husband, Brown, was one of many Milldam merchants who moved into this area of Main Street. He started his business with his father, John Brown, and spent most of three decades as the owner of Charles E. Brown dry goods on Main Street.
From 1885 to 1898, he owned the building at 29 Main Street, which became known as Brown’s Block. He sold his business to A. W. Hosmer in 1898, and began a 21-year career as the Treasurer of Middlesex Institution for Savings. In addition, he was a state legislator, director of American Powder Mills and the Concord National Bank, Water Commissioner, town treasurer, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and Town Clerk.
Whew! Are you exhausted just reading this or what?
Florence, meanwhile, was a founding member of the Concord Music Club, and was active as its President, Treasurer and a board member from 1886 until her death in 1940.
Her mother was the personal physician to the Alcotts (yes, those — Louisa May and company). At one point, she recalled “there grew up a very close friendship so that the Alcott home was almost as familiar to me as my own, and Miss Louisa was the same as a very close relative to me.”
At the turn of the century, the Browns founded the Christian Science Church in Concord. From 1899 to 1903, church services were held here in the house. The following year, the small congregation used space in the Masonic Hall for services. The society became incorporated in 1908, and in 1914, the church was built on the northwest corner of Monument Square. Charles Brown was its first president and chairman of the building committee.