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Historical Materials: Gloucester Buildings & Businesses

Historical Materials  »  Gloucester Buildings & Businesses  »  Babson House

Babson House

View related Fitz Henry Lane catalog entries (5) »

Traditionally known as the Babson-Alling House, this two-and-a-half-story gambrel-roofed structure was constructed in 1740 for Joseph Allen, Jr., a successful merchant and land owner, and his family. It is located at what was once Gloucester’s Town Green, the center of civic and religious life during the Colonial era. The gable end of the house sits parallel to Washington Street and the front façade faces south.  By Lane’s time, the house was occupied by the Babson family; the fields surrounding it were given over to haying, gardens, and grazing of cows. Shortly before Nathaniel Babson's death in 1863, ownership of the Babson House was taken over by Maria and Emma's uncle, Gustavus Babson (1820–97). The house remains privately owned.

– Martha Oaks (May, 2015)

Related tables: Babson, Emmeline (Emma) Rogers (Mrs. William Friend) »  //  Babson, Maria »

photo (historical)
Cape Ann Scenery: No. 612. Homestead of Gustavus Babson, Riverdale
Procter Brothers, Publisher
Stereograph card
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

Stereo view of the house owned by Nathaniel Babson (Emma and Maria). The house was sold to Gustavus shortly before Nathaniel's death.

artwork
Babson and Ellery Houses, Gloucester
Fitz Henry Lane
1863
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 in.
Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Roger W. Babson, 1937 (779.02)

Detail showing a flat-bottomed gundalow loaded with marsh hay and being propelled by men with long sweeps.

map
1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Old First Parish)
H. F. Walling
1851
44 x 34 in.
Henry Francis Walling, Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Essex Co. Massachusetts. Philadelphia, A. Kollner, 1851
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

"Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts. H.F. Walling, Civil Engineer. John Hanson, Publisher. 1851. Population of Gloucester in 1850 7,805. Population of Rockport in 1850 3,213."

publication
1861 Cape Ann Advertiser 2.8.1861
2.8.1861
Newsprint
From bound volume owned by publisher Francis Procter
Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck

"We visited the studio of Mr. F.H. Lane a few days since, and spent an hour very pleasantly in viewing the paintings of this talented artist. There are quite a number of beautiful pictures now on exhibition among which is a spirited picture of an 'Outward Bound Ship'; there is an air of life about this painting which characterizes the works of this artist, and in gazing upon it the ship seems imbued with motion and with a slight stretch of the imagination we can fancy that we hear the rippling of the water under her bow, so natural is the scene. It is a master piece.

There is also a view of the 'Outer Harbor' taken from the Point, which is a gem. It should be seen to be appreciated as no description of ours will do it justice.

A scene at Town Parish, showing the old meeting house on the Green, with its tall spire, as it appeared in days agone. The old Ellery house, and Babson House are prominent features, which with the surrounding scenery form a picture which will prove of interest to the visitor. It is faithful to nature and well executed.

Mr. Lane has just commenced a large painting of 'Boston Harbor' which bids fair to prove one of his best efforts, if we can judge from the picture in its present state. Numerous other pictures adorn the walls, and those of our citizens who have a taste for the fine arts should not neglect to visit the studio. Mr. Lane ranks among the Marine Artists of the country, and his paintings meet with a ready sale."

map
1823 Saville highway map
William Saville
1823
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
Grayscale version of color original

Map of Riverdale from the Mills to the Whittemore House at Middle and Washington Streeets ordered by a committee of selectmen, William Pearce, Samuel Stevens, Daniel H. Rogers with John Mason and Anthony Presson.  Map drawn by surveyor William Saville and present to the committee in June, 1823. It contains a enlarged view of The Green, including the Ellery and Babson houses painted by Lane. 

map
1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Annisquam River)
H. F. Walling
1851
44 x 34 in.
Henry Francis Walling, Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Essex Co. Massachusetts. Philadelphia, A. Kollner, 1851
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

"Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts. H.F. Walling, Civil Engineer. John Hanson, Publisher. 1851. Population of Gloucester in 1850 7,805. Population of Rockport in 1850 3,213."

photo (historical)
Riverdale
E. G. Rollins
c.1869
Stereograph card
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

View of the Babson Farm taken from Pole's Hill, showing the old Murray Meeting House (rear section of barn), fields and Mill River. In the background is the skyline of the major buildings at Harbor Village, including the first version of City Hall destroyed by fire in 1869.

Citation: "Gloucester Buildings & Businesses." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/historical_material/index.php?type=Gloucester+Buildings+%26+Businesses§ion=Babson+House (accessed August 20, 2017).
Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
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