Finishing up this series on places my family enjoyed during our socially distant summer, I move now from the North Shore to the South Shore, to “World’s End” in Hingham. This Trustees property was designed by the well-known landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1890 at the request of owner John Reed Brewer, with the intention of creating a 163 home residential subdivision. While the drives were cut, the development never came to fruition, and the land, consisting of four coastal drumlins extending into Hingham Harbor (with views of the Boston skyline), has been preserved as a setting for recreation since 1967, after the land was donated by John’s grandson, the poet [John] Wilmon Brewer (1895-1998).
John Reed Brewer (1818-1893) built a mansion here in 1856 and acquired most of the peninsula’s 400+ acres. John is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge with his wife Caroline Francoeur Sayles (1821-1887), who was born at Wrentham, Massachusetts. Her middle name immediately captured my attention! Three years ago I wrote a post about the digitization of the parish records of the Archdiocese of Boston. In that post I discussed the couple John Francoeur and his wife Caroline (formerly Plimpton). John was born in France, while Caroline was of colonial New England ancestry. The Catholic records showed the baptism of their three daughters in Wrentham (where the couple lived), including the middle child “Mary Sebastian Franceour,” who was born in 1793 and baptized in 1797.
I had not researched this family any further after I wrote this post. The daughter Mary/Maria married Willard Sayles (1793-1847), and they were the parents of Mrs. Caroline Francoeur Sayles Brewer (and thus ancestors of the last owners of World’s End).
In my first post in the series, I mentioned the Rhode Island connections behind the Crane family, and continued that with the Appletons, showing both families had a descent from my ancestor Governor Roger Williams. In true genealogical serendipity, the first family I looked at behind the Brewer family of Hingham – Sayles – likewise can be traced back to the colonial governor! These three spots were a nice respite for my family during this very unique summer and the below chart shows that they (and I) all have a distant ancestral kinship!
Sources for chart (in addition to those provided in the above mentioned posts):
Descendants of Roger Williams Book III, 10-11, 23, 67-68, 210-211; 1895 Massachusetts Birth Record of John Wilmon Brewer and his gravestone; gravestones of Francis and Augusta Brewer; 1894 Massachusetts Marriage of Francis W. Brewer and Augusta Carolina Sayles; application of Christopher Challender Child to Roger Williams Family Association, citing vital records of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Kansas.
6 thoughts on “Summer spots: Part Three”
Hi there Chris. It is always such a pleasure to read these posts and find odd and unexpected connections. Frederick Law Olmsted not only designed this bit of land and Central Park in New York City, he also designed Riverside Illinois which is now a National Landmark and home to my children and I for 30 years and to their ancestors for six generations. There are only two straight streets in the town and the whole town except a two block section in the middle is still lit only with gas lamps. Cabbies used to hate going there after dark because they couldn’t find their way out. Olmsted designed the town as a village in a park and there are green spaces at virtually every intersection. The streets were all designed to be below the grade of the green spaces so that they were not visible from the windows of the houses. Riverside is also the location of Frank Lloyd Wrights Babson Estate and the Tomak House.
While I’ve never visited World’s End by land, my family spent many summer afternoons there.
I grew up in East Braintree and my dad owned a 17′ boat which he kept at the Braintree Yacht Club. Most summer weekends in the 1960s, he, my mom, and I would cruise down river and out under the Fore River Bridge into Quincy Bay. Our trips took us to Boston Harbor, Mystic River, Hull Gut, Boston Light, Fort Warren, and beyond.
Our favorite place to anchor for lunch and swim off the back of the boat was at World’s End.
I was elated to see you are a fellow member of the Roger Williams Family Association. Have you ever had the occasion to attend any of their functions? Have you read Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State and the Birth of Liberty by John Barry or The First American Founder: Roger Williams and Freedom of Conscience by my friend, Alan Johnson?
Drop me a line directly at danmh999@gmail, if you wish
Hi Cousin Dan, Thanks for the book suggestions which I haven not read. I went to the event for the 350th anniversary of Rhode Island’s royal charter. Here’s a picture of us with our then seven month old: https://www.facebook.com/RogerWilliamsNPS/photos/a.164344736920861/586147851407212
What an excellent series, Christopher! May I ask how your charts are produced?
Thank you Sandy! The chart on this post I made with Microsoft Paint, while the chart on the previous post was made with Adobe Illustrator.