The predominant form of the stick style was a front facing gable with a steeply pitched roof and were prevalent from 1860 to 1890. There were often cross gables or dormers and one story porches. The stick style is known for its distinctive styling – decorative trusses in the apex of the gable, exposed rafter tails, and applied “sticking” breaking the exterior cladding. For emphasis the sticking was often painted a different color from the body of the house.
There are no extant examples of Stick Styles homes in the Christian Hill neighborhood. However if you look closely you will see its influence in the details of several homes. The James Hartshorn House at 99 Day Street (ca. 1880) has decorative trusses at the gables. The porch detailing at the Charles Wheelock House at 45 Maple (ca. 1875) is decidedly stick style. And most famously is the 19th century renovation of the Frederick Holland Day House at 93 Day (originally built ca. 1859) into a Tudor Stick Style estate.
93 Day Street – The Lewis & Anna (Smith) Day House
Today, this house is the home of the Norwood Historical Society, but when it was built, it was the home of Lewis Day and his wife Anna Smith. The lot was originally part of Joseph Day’s home lot, which ran all the way from Washington to Bullard. Joseph Day sub-divided the lot to create a generous wedding gift for his son. This House appears in 1876 & 1888 maps of Norwood. It was constructed in 1859, and was designed by Benjamin F. Dwight. Originally the house was designed in the Second Empire style – a square boxy shape with a mansard roofline and a copula crowning the top. The lot also contained a matching carriage house, which stood on the property until 1997, when it had to be torn down as it had become too dilapidated to repair. In 1890 to 1892, under the urging of Fred Holland Day, Lewis & Anna’s son, the house went under a major face lift, changing the house from its original Second Empire style to what you see today, a Tudor Revival style house. Major changes occurred outside, but on the inside as well. J. William Beal, a Boston Architect, designed this renovation and it was spearheaded by Fred Day, who had grand ideas for the house.
Elements of the Lewis Day Stick/ Tudor Style house:
- 5 gables and 4 dormers
- 2 ½ stories
- wooden frame with concrete squares
- Stone and cement foundation
- 2 porticos
- Asymmetrical ornate façade
- Leaded glass windows
Lewis Day was born in 1835 in South Dedham to Joseph Day and Hannah Rhoades. In November of 1856 he married Anna Smith (1836-1922). She was the daughter of Lyman Smith and Melinda Guild. She would have known Lewis Day her whole life as they were neighbors who father’s had houses on Washington Street. After a general education in South Dedham schools, Day attended the Academy in South Woodstock, Vermont for two years. Upon completion, he joined his father in the family tanning business, Day, Wilcox & Co., which was located in Boston, eventually becoming a partner and then taking over the business when his father retired. Day was very active in town politics, often being asked to run for public office, and always refusing. He was very active in the Universalist Church, having served as their treasurer for a number of years. He was also involved with the Orient Lodge, the local masons, becoming a thirty-second degree mason. In 1903 Lewis and Anna Day built the Chapel of Saint Gabriel the Archangel in Highland Cemetery, which today serves as their resting place.
After Lewis and Anna Day died, the house passed into the hands of their only child, Fred Holland Day. He became a photographer of note, but also was a historian who complied histories on South Dedham/Norwood and its families, owned the publishing company of Copland & Day in Boston, and was a generous philanthropist.
In 1977, the Day House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2010 it was named one of the “1000 Great Places to Visit in Massachusetts.”
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