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Brookline Then and Now: The Candler Cottage, 447 Washington Street

January 4, 2024

The Candler Cottage, built in 1850, was designed by architect Richard Bond. The sketch of the house appeared that year in the book “American Cottage and Villa Architecture.” The first owners were Susan Candler, a widow, and her brother, Dr. Charles Wheelwright. Wheelwright, a naval surgeon, described the house in a letter. “It is really a beautiful place, well back from the road. A cottage with two arched towers and quite high and really airy chambers, fifteen rooms in all, barn, etc., and 300 fruit trees. I shall offer 9500 dollars and fear it will not bring it. I will be sorry to lose it as it offers so many facilities and conveniences not to be found in other places.”

In the end, they were able to purchase it for $8,500. Wheelwright spent time at the house between his many sea voyages. In 1859, he was part of Commodore Matthew Perry’s famous expedition to Japan. Wheelwright died of disease aboard a U.S. Navy ship in 1862, during the Civil War. The house remained in his sister’s family through the end of the war. It passed through many hands in later years and was converted to condominiums in 2013.

Ken Liss is president of the Brookline Historical Society. 

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