These “revival” styles became vastly popular at the turn of the century, and were popular from 1880 to 1955.  These styles emphasized academic replication of historical styles, most often European in origin.

These homes were most often rectangular in form with gabled, hipped, and even on occasion gambrel rooflines.  The center entrance was often marked by a gabled pediment set on columns.  Symmetrical facades were common with multi-paned double hung windows.  Echoing many of the features of the earlier Federal, Georgian, Greek Revival, and even Italianate designs, it is easy to see how the Colonial Revival would appeal to so many and for so long.

The strongest example of the Colonial Revival style in the Christian Hill neighborhood is the Walter Tilton House at 49 Beech Street (ca. 1901).  Although this style emerges at a time when much of this particular neighborhood is already developed, the influence of this style is readily apparent as the adjacent neighborhoods developed into the 1950’s.

88 Vernon Street – The Capt. Donald Smith House

The Capt. Donald B. Smith house, circa 1990 (Source: MACRIS database)

Donald Smith bought this house lot in 1904 from his father-in-law Tyler Thayer. This lot was part of Thayer’s original house lot, which originally was encircled by Vernon, Maple, day and Bullard Streets. Smith built this Colonial Revival house in 1904. Smith sold the home about the time he retired in 1915 to Isaac & Mary Snow.

            Elements of the Donald Smith Colonial Revival Style house:

  • 2 ½ stories
    • Hip roof
    • Granite block foundation
    • Original front doorWrap around porch (Queen Anne Style element)
    • Curved dormer (Second Empire style element)
    • Curved dormer (Palladian window)
  • Diamond panes (Queen Anne Style)

Donald Bridge Smith was born 1853 in Provincetown, MA son of Capt. John Smith and Mary Lavender. He grew up in Provincetown, where he was educated in local schools before attending a business college and a navigation school. He learned to be a mariner by working for his father, who was a sea captain. He retired from shipping in 1915 due to ill health and he died a year later. In June of 1896, he married Nettie Thayer (1868-1948) in Norwood. She was the daughter of Tyler Thayer and Lucy Adams. Capt Smith and Nettie had one child, Elizabeth Lavender Smith (1897-1918).

The Capt. Donald B. Smith house today (photo by LLKearney)

The Snows were the next family to own the home. Isaac Taylor Snow was born in 1857 in NH and died in Norwood in 1938. He married in April of 1878 to Mary A Clapp (1859-19??) in Rhode Island. Children Martha Isobel (1879-1953) and Bessie Lucina (1883-???). Before the family relocated to Norwood they lived in Boston, but seem to have arrived in Norwood shortly after 1900. Isaac Snow was a grocer. He had a store on Washington Street.

Mary Snow lived in the house until 1943 when she sold the property to Bartley J & Helen King, who owned the home up to 2007 (and possibly beyond this date).


            79 and 81 Nichols Street – Multi family apartment building

The Multi-family building today. (photo by LLKearney)

Situated on the corner of Vernon Street and Nichols Street, this Colonial Revival Style multi-family building was built 1924 to 1929. 79 and 81 Nichols Street are mirror image “twin” buildings. Originally part of the Sylvanus Ballou family homestead, which appears to be part of his in-laws, the Deans, land. The Ballou family lived further down on Vernon Street. Sylvanus was born in Rhode Island in 1817 to Daniel Ballou and Mercy Brown. He was in South Dedham by the 1840s. He married Tryphena Dean (1813-1891) in 1845 in South Dedham. She was the daughter of John Dean and Mary Fairbanks. Sylvanus and Tryphena had four children; Mary (1846-1879), Daniel (1848-1886); Sylvanus 1855-1919) and Tryphena (1855-1893). This corner of Nichols and Winter Streets was an undeveloped lot before these apartment buildings were constructed. This building illustrates the growth of Norwood as it answered the need more living quarters. By 1930, the people who were living in this building had jobs in the printing industry, in tanneries and some worked for the town.

            Elements of this Colonial Revival Style Multi-family building:

  • Built 30 years after Stockbridge Row
    • Gambrel roof
    • Population growth in the 1920s in Norwood
    • Rare building type for the neighborhood
    • Symmetry of painting
    • Tan block
    • Porticos (railings are newer style)



          49 Beech Street – The Walter F Tilton House  

The Walter Tilton house circa 1900 (Norwood Historical Society collection)

In 1886 Walter F Tilton bought the plot of land that sat on the corner of Nichols and Beech Street. In 1899 he bought a triangular piece of land to “square” out the lot from his neighbor Erwin A Bigelow.  Eventually two lots of land on Nichols street (#175 Nichols & #51 Beech) would have been sold off, as would have been the house lot at #35 Beech. Apparently Tilton built a first house on this lot, but around 1901 he tore it down and build this Colonial revival home that is here today.

            Elements of the Tilton Colonial Revival Style house:

The Walter Tilton house today. (photo by LLKearney
  • Rectangular plan
    • Center entry
    • Hip roof
    • Original clapboard siding
    • Tripartite façade
    • Dentil at eave
    • Iconic pilasters at corners
    • Palladian window
    • 2 ½ stories
    • House moved to the back of the property in the 1980s
    • Poured new concrete foundation
    • Porch was removed at time of move
Walter Francis Tilton (1857-1950)

Walter Francis Tilton was born 1857 in Boston to Daniel & Ellen Tilton. Tilton massed a fortune as a partner in Clapp & Tilton, Inc., wholesale milliners in Boston. By 1900, he was a well-known banker, and served on the Board of Directors of the Norwood National Bank. He was a Norwood Town Selectman, founded the Norwood Municipal Light Company. Norwood benefited greatly from his generosity. He was a major benefactor to the Norwood Hospital and he donated our wonderful Carillion Bells. He married (1) Anna Maria Colburn (1861-1913) and in 1930 he married (2) Janna Chisholm in New York City. He was the father of two children, Mabel Frances (1886-1979) and Arthur Colburn (1887-1953). Tilton died in 1950.


30 Bullard Street – The Waldo H. Bigelow House

Waldo Bigelow house today. (photo by LLKearney)

The property had been part of the Cragin Estate. This parcel was sold off to Elizabeth Boyden in 1889, who sold it to William Weadon in 1890, and when Waldo H. Bigelow bought it in 1895 it still was an empty lot. He built this Georgian Revival home in 1895/6.

            Elements of the Waldo H Bigelow Georgian Revival Style house:

  • Rectangular form
    • Center entrance
    • Symmetrical façade
    • Gambrel roofline
    • Portico – columns, dentils, balustrade (now removed)
    • Oval windows
    • Palladian window
    • Shutters
    • Lintel caps
    • Double hung windows
    • Three stories

Waldo Howard Bigelow was born 1855 in South Dedham to Lyman Waldo Bigelow and Catherine Howard. In June of 1886, he married Sarah Phillips Barney (1861-1931), she was the daughter of Charles S. & Alice A. [Blow] Barney. Waldo and Sarah had two daughters, Dorothy (1889-1919) and Alice (1892-1925), neither married. Bigelow’s family arrived in South Dedham in 1853 from Boxboro. His father, Lyman Waldo Bigelow, was a successful Norwood Merchant, opening a general county store on the corner of Washington and Cottage. His uncles were: George B. Talbot, Rev. Josiah W. Talbot.

A 1899 advertisement in the “American Lumberman” for Waldo Bigelow’s Boston company.

In 1919, Bigelow sold 30 Bullard Street to Guido Stuntzner, an German immigrant who arrived in the US in 1887 and who went on to become a very successful Norwood Businessman. Guido Albert Stuntzer was born 1876 in Germany to Louis Stuntzner and Ida Heyn. He married in 1898 to Ameila “Emilie” Lena Riemer (1878-1965) in Boston. She was the daughter of Carl Riemer and Agnes Hausler. They had three children. Stuntzner first settled in Swedeville, were in a 1897 Business directory he is listed as a cigar maker. By 1900, he had bought his first property at #48 Cedar Street, here he operated a small dry goods business. However in a few short years, in 1902 he bought a larger place at #2 Chapel Street. This larger place meant he could enlarge his business. By 1918 his grocery store, “The Central Store,” was located in the Talbot Block on Washington Street. When he bought the house on Bullard Street, he already owned the local Buick Dealership. Stentzner died in 1964, the family was still living on Bullard.


681 & 675 Washington Street – The Sanborn Block/Norwood National Bank

These two commercial buildings, both built in 1907, reflect George Willett’s notion for new planned downtown area, but at one time the homes of Joseph Day, Joel Baker, Lyman Smith and George B. Talbot sat here on Washington Street. It would make sense, that these wealthy and important business owners would what their elegant homes to line the main street. It certainly was a plum area to show off one’s wealth. All four homes were relocated to the back section of their properties to make way for these new buildings. Luckily, Willett thought to keep these houses, which are a piece of Norwood’s history, as so many other structures from South Dedham were torn down during the development of the downtown area.

These commercial buildings were developed by the Sanborn brothers and constructed by builder Alden A. Appleby. The Sanborn Brothers – Clifford, George and Henry were the grandsons of George Bird Talbot, and named this block of stores in his honor. Alden Appleby, who arrived in Norwood in 1901, became one of Norwood’s leading 20th Century builders. By 1912, he had built approximately forty homes and several commercial buildings. The Sanborn Block has six street level storefronts as well as office space on the second floor. They reflect a restrained Georgian Revival Style, similar to other commercial buildings on Washington Street.

Elements of the Sanborn Block/Norwood National Bank Georgian Revival Style commercial buildings:

  • Keystone topped second floor windows
    • Five shops are separated by rusticated stone piers giving the illusion of Doric columns that appear to be supporting a long stone lintel.
    • Stepped parapet main façade
    • Cast stone dental molding trims the top of the structure.
    • On the Bank building, cast stones are set on the corners to give the appearance of quoins.

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