Boston architects, and built by Dillon Bros. of Milford as general contractors for Frank J. Dutcher of
Hopedale, was finished today after over a year’s steady labor by the artisans employed in its
The house is one of the most unique and beautiful residences in Hopedale, where handsome
houses abound, and its completion adds one more show place to the sights of Milford’s youngest
and most enterprising neighbor.
The house sets back a considerable distance from Adin Road, almost directly at the rear of Mr.
Dutcher’s old home, which was struck by lightning a few years ago. The older house will be torn down
soon, and its site will be graded over so that the view from the newer mansion will not be obstructed.
The new house is built upon a huge ledge of rock, much of which, at the front of the house, has
been left in its natural state, and this adds materially to the beauty of the surroundings.
The house itself is a marvel of the builder’s art. Approaching from the front one observes two
massive chimneys of fieldstone, on either side of the main entrance, which is gained through a broad,
roomy, covered porch. The house is shingled all over, two and one-half stories in height, with pitched
roof, and architecturally is fit to be compared with the finest homes in the vicinity.
The house consists of the main building, which is 65.2 by 34.6 feet, and a wing at the rear, which is
50.11 by 27.4 feet. It contains 21 rooms, five bathrooms, and five fireplaces. There are three fieldstone
chimneys, tow at the front and one at the rear.
The house is heated by a combination furnace and hot water arrangement, and is lighted
throughout by gas and electricity. There is a telephone in each room connecting with the
On the main floor is the living room or library, which opens directly onto the front covered porch,
which is 30 by 10 feet in dimension. The library is finished in redwood, with cornices. There are five
great bookcases fitted along the walls, and two inviting window seats. This room extends the entire
width of the house, being 33 by 18.11 feet in dimension.
Directly at the rear of the library is the reception room, 18 by 13.9 feet, and opening from this room,
at the south side is the billiard room, 20 by 18 feet, finished in Flemish oak.
The main hall at the north side of the house, and out of which the billiard room opens, is 33 by 17
feet, and the vestibule is 11.6 by 6.8 feet. From the hall opens the main stairway leading up to the
chambers above. The broad stairway is of colonial style, and is very handsome. A few feet away is a
small cupboard, built into the wall, showing an antiquity in its very outlines. This cupboard has been in
the Dutcher family for 150 years.
A small, superbly finished toilet room also leads off the main hall, and directly across is a closet
built for a telephone booth, which fills its mission admirably.
The dining room at the rear of the hall is perhaps the pleasantest room in the mansion. It is 18.7 by
24 feet, finished in dark red, and is lighted by an electric chandelier in the center and by gas and
electric fixtures on all four sides. The superb china closet, built into the western wall, is massive and
handsome. At the rear of this room are the kitchen and laundry, and on the north side are the closets
There is a rear porch, six by seven feet, and a side veranda 12 by 31 feet. Throughout the house all
of the floors are of hardwood. There is an elevator fro baggage and trunks, and a large unfinished
storeroom on the third floor.
On the second floor are the family chambers, four beautiful airy rooms and at the rear are the
servants’ quarters. On the third floor, in the main portion, are three guest chambers.
The interior decoration, which was done under the supervision of E.C. Beck of Boston, is artistic.
The halls are in white and the different rooms shaded so that a well nigh perfect scheme is evolved.
The successful completion of this fine contract by Dillon Bros., is another feather in the cap of
Milford’s most successful builders. Nothing that could add in the slightest to the comfort and
convenience of its inmates has been left undone by the designers of the home, and everything as
planned by the celebrated architects has been carried out by the builders. The mansion is said to
have cost in excess of $50,000.
Already some of the Dutcher effects have been installed, and at the end of the week the family will
be in possession of their new home. Milford Daily News, November 28, 1905.
There was a Dutcher home on this property from the 1860s until roughly 1900, when it was destroyed
by fire. The new home, Oakledge, was built in the shingle style on the outside. The architect for the
new home was Robert Allan Cook, (note this doesn't agree with the article above) and the landscape
architect was Warren Henry Manning, a protégé of the famous landscape architect Frederick Law
Olmstead. The home was a companion to Graceland, another Dutcher home still located at the
intersection of Adin and Dutcher streets across from the high school. The houses shared a carriage
house which was located somewhere on the property between them, where a new home is now
located. There was also a pond on the adjoining lot at some time.
Inside there are elements of colonial revival, with the columns and the antique built-in china cabinet
(which appears to have been moved from another home). The living room has features of the
Craftsman style or bungalow style, with the arched fireplace mantle and accompanying inglenook. At
the time the home was purchased, the fireplace was covered with plastic bathroom wall covering, and
there was a shower in half of the inglenook. The arch was restored by the contractor Bill Chicuolo and
George, because half of it had been cut away to install the shower. There was still an antique
intercom system on the arch column prior to the restoration.
The floors in the great hall, living room and music room are original (as are the floors in the library,
which is still under construction) cherry wood. The dining room floors were replaced due to termite
damage and construction damage when the home was used as a nursing home, and a bathroom
was located in the westerly corner next to the fireplace. This bathroom addition also made it
necessary to replace crown molding around the ceiling, and parts of the left-hand fireplace mantle
At the time the home was purchased in 2004, the cherry built-ins and woodwork had been painted
white. There were decorative corbels and columns above and below the shelf above the mirror, but
because the decorative elements were partly made of plaster, they couldn't be stripped of paint
without destroying the details, so these haven't been replaced at this time. The fireplace in the dining
room lost its chimney when the back wing was added to the nursing home in 1967. The remaining
four fireplaces, in the living room, library, and in two of the upstairs bedrooms, are all functional.
The plaster walls around the exterior walls of the house were removed during demolition to facilitate
plumbing, wiring, and insulation. The home still had its original brass plumbing, which was failing.
Some of the problems hadn't been detected due to zinc insulating pans built under the pipes to
prevent leaking. The original knob and tube wiring was still in place, as well as gas piping for gas
lights. It appears that the house was built at a transition period in home lighting during which fixtures
which combined gas and electric light sources were utilized. The lights in the great hall are in the
same location as the original gas/electric lights.
Dorothy Dutcher Horne, a grand-daughter of Frank Dutcher, told the new owners that the room off the
great hall with the double columns was originally a music room. It will again be used as such...
The staircase is original, though some balusters were replicated, and the stairs treads were removed
and reassembled to correct separation that had occurred over the years. The pocket doors to the
dining room are original, and were used as a template to replicate doors for the living room. The front
door had been moved into a position on the porch facing east when the nursing home enclosed the
porch to use as interior space. The door and surrounding windows were replicated because the
original was too damaged, and had been cut to a narrower size.
The kitchen area is completely reconfigured. Originally, there was a butler's pantry, a food pantry, and
a servant's dining room on the north side. There was a hallway around the "servant's" stairs, and the
original stairs doubled back toward the south side of the kitchen, toward an exterior door, which has
now been replaced by a window. The kitchen was on the south side, and is now a butler's pantry and
At some point a dumbwaiter was added to the home. It stood in front of what is now the bottom of the
servant's stairs. You can tell it was added, because the configuration of the attic stairs was changed
at some point, and balusters cut away to accommodate the new attic door. The pulley on which the
dumbwaiter operated is still present in the attic. Unfortunately there was no name on this, and I've
forgotten who sent it.
On Christmas Eve the Dutcher house on Adin Street would have a lighted candle in every window.
These were real candles, not the electric imitations of today. I do not recall any other house having
illumination of this kind, and it was a pretty and dignified display. I think of its simplicity and
unpretentious beauty when I see the gaudy displays of our present era, and hear endless repetitions
of Christmas carols blaring forth from over-powered amplification of mechanical recordings. We had
less in those days, but what we did have was genuine and sincere; not tawdry and spurious. Charles
Merrill, Hopedale As I Found it.
Oakledge Manor Nursing Home Homes with Names
The Dutcher Family Draper Menu HOME
The original Frank and Malinda Dutcher home,
struck by lightning and burned in 1903
The second Frank Dutcher home;
the subject of the articles below.
|Marvel of Beauty Is
New F.J. Dutcher Home
$50,000 Mansion on Adin Road,
Finished Today by Dillon Bros., Is
Show Place for Hopedale
The Dutcher home in 2014.