The Story of a Two Family Home: 1889

I recently did a walkthrough for my brother’s new apartment. It is a two family rental in Newton, MA. Usually at a location I may pick up densities and emotions, but typically for me to get information I consciously need to “tap in” to access the psychic energetic information of a location.

In this case, I instantly was getting touched and triggered within the first 5 minutes of being in his apartment. I told my brother that “There are definitely spirits here. There is a lot of history here.” His response, “We knew that, we have heard foot steps at night and we have smudged the place.” Ok off to a good start.

From there we did a tour of the home and I got the sensation that a lot of people went in and out, in and out, like a Boarding home. I picked up on the date 1889, a mill worker, and a love story! The occupants were Irish and the lover was an Italian named Angelo or Alphonso. He used to come here to see the girl but one day the girl was gone. The upstairs bathroom used to be a bedroom, but was converted to a bathroom. We went to the basement where people usually feel are “the scariest” (and don’t get me wrong it was a creepy dirt floored basement with old wooden platforms, old trees as supports, stone foundation, doors to nowhere, and an outhouse swinging door) but this basement was not scary at all. I received that this structure was a barn and that this location housed animals. I touched the door in the basement to the outside backyard (which is original) and got fun and drinking games and parties of young 16-30 something year old people down here! A lot of hoopla!

All my brother could think was ghost = scary = bad! But here was a sad love story in a working mill boarding house of Irish and Italian people where they had parties in the barn!

I also asked if they were having problems with pictures falling off the walls or being repeatedly tilted. At the time they said no, but the next day they called me up and said that three times during the day a picture frame ornament from their Christmas tree fell off the tree, despite replacing it on different branches that were very sturdy. The picture that was falling was a picture of my departed grandfather who my brother was particularly close to.

Now the other fun part! History hunting!

The house according to Zillow was built in 1880. I easily found online old maps of the location. On a map from 1874 the structure was in fact listed as a Stable and on the next map from 1886 the structure was still a stable. By 1895 the X was gone and it appears that it was an official residence.

Map of the property from 1987 to 1907. Note: The X in the rectangle for 1886 which indicates a shed or barn and coincides with the previous 1874 map which labels it as a stable.

Each map had a name associated with the property. In 1874 the property was owned by an Oliver Fernal and functioned as a satellite facility for his Boston Express company. Oliver is credited with building the first structures on the property. He sold the property to Robert S. Bullard who also was an expressman. By 1886 Robert had owned a lot of property in the area including a hotel and livery stable. My guess is at this time his stable hands lived at this property (and could have been very rowdy and had parties).

1885 Directory Advertisement – Newton, MA

Robert passed away in 1890 of a heart infection and he is burred in the cemetery a few properties over from the house. This is St Mary’s Episcopal church and is the oldest church in Newton, MA built in 1813-1814. After his death, the company went bankrupt and the banks took over. His properties were sold at auction and a local irish Crehore C.F. papermill superintendent, Bernard Early, purchased the location in question for $1200 in 1890. Bernard is credited for converting the barn into an official two family living space. He created 3 rental incomes from the property, but him and his family lived in a rented space that was provided by the Crehore paper mill down the road.

The Early family owned the rental income property for 39 years, till 1929. Tenants are difficult to find in the official records since censuses were only done every 10 years and there is no census for 1890. Tenants could change yearly! But at least in 1910 three families are registered to the location.

The year I got in the reading was 1889 and was the year that someone was there and then suddenly someone was not there as a love story. This is the year before it was sold to Bernard Early. This is the year before Robert S Bullard died which means that his workers probably still lived and worked there at the time and his two daughters Minnie, 27yo, and Emma 16yo would have still been around. There were Italian workers in Newton by the name of Alonzo, Alphonso, and Angelo who could have been the lover of Minnie or Emma before the women had to abruptly leave after their father’s death. After 1890 there are no records of the Bullard family in Newton at all. Emma did marry in Melrose. Minnie, became a nurse and moved to New York City where she died in 1946. She never married and it is possible she left a lover in Newton.

Minnie, her father Robert, and her Mother Amanda, are all buried at St. Mary’s episcopal Cemetery.

The Early Family is not buried at the nearby cemetery but are buried in Newton. Although it doesn’t seem they lived there I am sure their presence was constant.

It seems that I picked up on this time of transition of the property from the Bullard Family to the Early Family and how other individuals may have been affected. How cool!

Newton Lower Falls is known for the mills and historical architecture. It was so much fun looking back at the history of the location and what just the story of one home can tell!

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