We love the glorious Victorians we see here in California, but we do miss the saltboxes, colonials, Georgians and Federals we saw all the time in New England.
The build date for this house in Concord, Mass., likely dates back to about 1827. Housewright Isaac Cutler (1800-1877), who came to Concord from Lexington with his new wife in 1825, built this house with Nathan Hosmer, Sr.
Cutler moved to Cambridge in about 1840, and sold the house to Nathan S. Hosmer in that year. Nathan S. lived here until his death in 1891, which occurred one year after his second wife,
Sophia, whom he had married in 1848.
During his long career, he was a builder and carpenter, focusing on repair and remodeling projects. His extensive work for John Thoreau (Henry David Thoreau’s father) on the Thoreau/Alcott House in about 1850, for instance, involved raising the house, replacing the old chimney with two stove chimneys, replacing the windows, re-shingling the roof, and converting the barn into a shed.
The fact that he died a relatively wealthy man suggests that, like Isaac Cutler, he may have done some speculative building, as well.
Nathan and Sophia’s two sons, Alfred W., and Herbert W. Hosmer inherited the property and lived their entire lives in this house. Alfred, or “Fred”, (b. 1851), was a botanist, antiquarian,
photographer, and an authority on Thoreau, with a large collection of Thoreau memorabilia. His
photographs of Concord buildings form an important part of the historic photo collection of the Concord Free Public Library. A graduate of M.I.T, he was a clerk in the Post Office for fifteen
years, and afterwards he worked at Charles Brown’s dry goods store downtown, which he purchased in 1898. He died in 1903.
Fred Hosmer never married. Herbert Hosmer, however, (b. 1854), married Henrietta Buttrick in
1884, and had three children, Herbert B., Lucy, and Olive. Herbert was a bookkeeper, and later
assistant treasurer, of the Concord Savings Bank (later Middlesex Institution for Savings). He also served as town tax collector.
Of the last generation of Hosmers who lived here, Herbert and Henrietta’s son, Herbert B. Hosmer — known as “Bebe” — who was a Captain in World War I. He later served as a longtime Scoutmaster, and supervisor of WPA workers in the 1930’s. Lucy Hosmer left Concord, and died in California.
Olive Hosmer, who survived both her siblings, sold the house in 1953.