Emerson and Eustis Estate
Donations in subsequent decades have increased Historic New England’s holdings relating to W. Ralph Emerson. In addition to architectural drawings and photographs, the collection now includes postcards depicting Emerson buildings, a pencil rendering, and an Emerson pastel. The largest and most conspicuous collection object related to Emerson is the Eustis Estate, in Milton, Massachusetts. Built between 1877 and 1879, the house – called Stonehouse – was built for William E.C. Eustis and his wife Edith Hemenway Eustis soon after their wedding.
Planning for Stonehouse likely began in 1877 as the Eustises purchased land off Canton Avenue. Located next to Old Farm, the country house of Edith Eustis’ parents, and immediately south of The Chestnuts, a house built by W.E.C. Eustis’ uncle, it was an area the young couple knew well. Edith and Will were likely familiar with the architect W. Ralph Emerson even before hiring him to design their new house. Emerson had been involved with Mary Hemenway’s efforts to save the Old South Meeting House in Boston and was then finishing alterations and additions to Old Farm.