#5 - Abbot Street, South Lawrence, 1893

Records of neighborhood offer glimpse of suburban life in 1893

This photograph of a suburban development in Lawrence during the 1880's (Immigrant City Archives' collection) was taken on Abbot Street near Parker Street, looking east. It is included in a 12 volume portfolio called Lawrence & Vicinity, published in 1893. The street was laid out by the Essex Company before 1870, and the houses were built in the 1880's, each like the other, one after another, for the new families of Lawrence. The city, which 50 years earlier was only a dream, was expanding rapidly. And with pride: look at the granite curbs and sidewalks, the new trees set out down the street with wood guards to protect their trunks from carriage and wagon wheels and from hungry horses who liked to nibble the bark. Some of those original trees are there today, at the edge of the sidewalk.

The house style is that of the earlier craftsman cottage: a story and a half, gable to the street, a simple frame with the wood clapboard and trim in a style called 'Stick', since the pattern is made from small pieces of wood. The railings and brackets on the porches, the trim at the windows and gables, even the cast iron work visible along the roof top, probably came from the local lumber yard, much as we buy stair parts today.

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