Recently the Longmeadow Historical Society was able to acquire a previously unknown photo of the Wolcott mansion as it appeared in 1890s. This photo was taken by E.J. Lazelle, a prominent photographer in the Springfield area primarily from the mid-1870s thru the 1890s. The original Wolcott mansion built in 1885 had brown shingles as seen in the above photo. The date of this photo is ~ 1890-1900 which is earlier than the first Paesiello Emerson Collection photos of the house (~ 1907). The structure on the right side of the photo is the "carriage house" that is still in existence today with many significant structural changes.
After Edward and Corrine Brewer purchased the Wolcott mansion in 1901, they made significant changes to its exterior appearance including the replacement of the brown shingles with white clapboard. They also made numerous structural changes. Comparison of the above two attached photos (pre-1901 vs. July 1911) show some of the major differences in appearance including the addition of a portico to the front of the mansion as well as the addition of a porch on the south side of the building. Edward Brewer died in 1911.
Upon the death of Corrine Brewer in 1921, the mansion was then purchased by Mary Ida Young. It remained in the Young family until the mid-1980's.
Starting in the mid-late 1980s after the Young family sold the mansion, it gradually fell into significant disrepair and after a series of owners ended up in foreclosure.
Through the efforts of the Longmeadow Historic Preservation Partners- a group of local investors- the property was purchased, rezoned and then converted into a professional office building. The mansion today has regained its position as a true gem on the Longmeadow Town Green.
Source: Historic Home Closeup- The Widows at Number 734 Longmeadow Street by Linda Abrams- Curator Emeritus, Longmeadow Historical Society- May 2009
Contributed by Jim Moran, Former Board Member, Longmeadow Historical Society
Originally published May 7, 2020