Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Albion Downe

(This post is part of a series about my research of Fitchburg architect H.M. Francis)

As I sit on my desk trying to make a concise report on Albion Downe's house, I am finding a few things I'd like to re-examine when I go back to the Historical Society tomorrow.

My inventory only listed "Bond Street" as an address and 1909 as a year, I believe I got that from looking at building specifications at the Historical Society that did not have an address number. When I go back to research tomorrow, I will find the building specs once more to double-check for an exact address and confirm the year.

After looking at the housing survey in Fitchburg conducted in 1977 and 1999, I have found an entry for 62 Bond Street, that listed the house being of the Queen Anne style and it's resident as Albion Downe. This might be the information I need, but I'd still like to re-examine the building specs. The year for the build date is listed as 1895-1910.

The only information I found about Albion Downe the person was a single letter of correspondence between a former director of the Historical Society and a person that may have been researching him.

Some of the information from the letter is as follows:

"His father, Edwin P. was with the Fitchburg Mutual Life Insurance [Company]. His mother was Jennie. A brother, Albro F., and a sister, Sylvia, are also in the family."

Albion worked as a clerk for Parkhill Mills and rose to the position of paymaster. From 1929 until 1952 he was with the Fitchburg Savings Bank.

Fig. 1: Parkhill Mills in Fitchburg (photo courtesy of boston.com)
According to the letter from the director, Albion Downe seemed to be constantly moving. "In the 1909 Directory he is listed at 50 Arlington Street; in 1921 at 32 [which may be 62] Bond Street, and from 1922 to 1956 at 38 School Street. In the 1957 Directory he lived at 35 Pearl Street and was there until his death."

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