The House of the Whispering Pines, Phillips Ave., c. 1912

During the summer of 1912, the Boston School Committee was hoping to convince Franklin B. Dyer to become the city’s new superintendent of schools. Dyer, then superintendent of schools in Cincinnati, was not eager to come to Boston. But by mid-July, Dyer and the School Committee came to terms, sealed with the offer of a then quite-generous annual salary of $10,000.

As the negotiations between Dyer and Boston progressed, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor caught up with him resting in Rockport, where the reporter found Dyer “sitting on the veranda of ‘Whispering Pines,’ overlooking the beautiful waters of Pigeon Cove.”

This is the only express reference I’ve been able to find to the house depicted in this postcard. I assume the house was a private residence, because I have not found it in any listings of hotels from that era. I also assume that Dyer was a visitor, not the owner, since I can find nothing else connecting him to Pigeon Cove.

I did also find an 1886 map of Pigeon Cove that appears to show this same house — with the same distinctive turret and front porch — standing directly at the intersection of Phillips Avenue and Point De Chene Avenue. The old map also shows a street just behind the house named Pine Avenue. That street is no longer there (except maybe as a foot path) but would have been parallel to Linwood Avenue.

The postcard was published by Rockport Photo Bureau and printed in Germany. The card is not dated but based on markings on the reverse side, I estimate it to be from around 1912.

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4 Responses to The House of the Whispering Pines, Phillips Ave., c. 1912

  1. Bruce Thayer says:

    We owned the property from 1983 until 1997. It was a great place for our two boys to grow up. A. Passaic night would be having friends sleepover and in the middle of the night they would climb down a pine tree next to their deck and be running around the house until we brought them in. Great fun for the kids!

  2. If you’d be interested, I just purchased a great stereoview showing the full Whispering Pines home, with people sitting in the yard. I’d be happy to share a jpg of the image, and a couple other related stereoview images that show portions of the home from down the street.

    Would love to learn more of its history, and it was doing a search for exactly that which lead me to this post.

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