Secret gems of Melrose

 ... presented by Victorian Melrose Society

by Natalie Thomson - photos by Shirley Rabb

The "rainy season" had ended, it seemed. The sun shone on all of Melrose, but the route that led a swarm of visitors to seven locations in various parts of town seem bathed in warmth, admiration, memories and murmurs of low Ohhhs and Ahhhs. The  Victorian Melrose Society presented the fabulous tour and accurately named it, "Secret Gems of Melrose."  Each home graciously presented a personality different from all the others. Each ticket holder went "home" happy. The Architectural Conservators shared their great knowledge. And, P.S., a docent is a teacher not on the regular faculty! They were the ones who dealt with the fortunate public.

An opening TV movie, hosted by Bob Bell, was shown in four corners of the Mount Hood Clubhouse.

A table display of the lodge being built in the mid-30s, showed these rocks being unearthed. The chimney and dormer were "arty."

166 (and 168) Upham St. - The Nathan Upham House
This was a 3-room Caretaker's house built in 1796.

Asian accessories (not shown here) now blend happily with the simplicity of the early colonial decor.

228 Upham St. - Colonial Revival
The original address was around the corner at 9 Stratford Rd. Former entrance is now a small, charming sitting room.

Murals done by a local artist depict Ell Pond bandstand, the earliest Baptist church, and the original house on a hill.

The artistry of the main reception room is framed with spindles. Two shoes were found during renovations...one is a child's from the fourth resident's family.

49 E. Wyoming Ave. Queen Anne Victorian
Phil Kukura, outside tour guide, remarked that this house looks like it was put together by a committee. We couldn't help but count the fireplaces.

One of many fireplaces used throughout the winter. Stained glass windows with meaning were throughout the house.

This Palladian window graced the staircase. The entry hall fireplace with a built-in seat.

Two more fireplaces. Have you been counting? We photographed five.

122 W. Wyoming Ave. - High Victorian Italianate
This and house on its right are "bookend houses." Double-door entry has original frosted glass.

This is a painting that looks like a real carved alcove. The fireplace is dark marble and very Victorian.

59 Oakland St. - Cape by Royal Barry Wills, Melrose Architect.
This land was given to him by his next-door aunt. Now children serve afternoon tea in their room.

Wills used a great deal of recycled materials - like a main beam in the Family Room.

60 Nowell Rd. - Craftsman/Bungalow
The breeze blowing through the upstairs porch windows is a comfortable delight.

The stairway leads to another way of life. First, there's a Victorian washstand.

There are windows even in remodeled closets. The third floor is a cozy master apartment with computer room (not shown here).

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