231 Main Street: The Mary Boileau house


leveland thought it was Mary Boileau, who lived here in his day, who built this house. Judging from the style, which is pretty clearly Greek Revival, it was built earlier than 1840, which is when she bought the lot. The land was part of that which Eliah Holcomb bought from Abraham Wagener.

Henry Wisner who owned it in 1830 and sold it in that year to Samuel S. Ellsworth. Wisner retained the privilege of moving a building off the lot, but what kind of building it was is not mentioned. It may have been a store.

Ellsworth certainly never lived here; but he held on to it six years before he sold it to Samuel L. Bigelow, and doubled his purchase price of $325. Bigelow's name is more closely associated with his milling interests on the Outlet, and later on with Dundee. It was he who sold it to Mary (and again doubled his purchase price), whose French surname was variously spelled even in legal documents. On tax rolls she usually became "Mary Ballou," so perhaps that's how the name was pronounced.

She lived in this house for more than 50 years before selling it to Ann L. Denniston; the latter was still living there in 1935, and it was owned by her estate in 1946. In an era when people almost seemed to move into different houses as a form of recreation, it's somewhat remarkable that this house belonged just to two women during more than 100 years of its life. Both rented rooms to boarders, and at one time William D. Squier lived here. He was married to a daughter of William Cornwell and owned an interest in a dry-goods firm downtown called Ayres & Squier.

I found no direct photographs of the house, but parts of it do show at the side of some pictures of 227 Main Street, including one shown on the page for that lot. The house was inhabited in 1961, as shown by a local directory, and stood on its lot until razed in 1973, at the same time as the Wagner Hotel next door.




People related to this lot and structure:

     Abraham Wagener
  S.S. Ellsworth
     Henry A. Wisner
     William D. Squier

Related sites:

     227 Main Street

Related history: