Spritsail Volume 31, Number 1
Winter 2017

Spritsail, a Journal of the History of Falmouth and Vicinity is published by the Woods Hole Historical Collection
The cover story of this issue features “The House That Was,” an article by Maria C. Ward. In December 1905, the fairytale-looking house on Quissett Avenue was newly purchased by Jane Webster from Ella Shearer. With two turrets, a round extension, and many gables in the style of a French Chateau, the property’s address was simply listed as Quissett Avenue, since street numbers were not in existence.
It sat on grounds that in the 1930’s became known as the Webster gardens. The gardens were free and open to the public. Blue flowers dominated and Mrs. Webster, whose husband, E.S., founded the engineering firm Stone and Webster, loved to roam the gardens incognito.
Determined to protect her Quissett enclave, Mr. and Mrs. Webster purchased 45 acres of undeveloped land, as well as the old Ames estate to prevent it from becoming a hotel or resort.
Many gatherings both public and private were held at the house. A 1934 meeting of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society featured as guest speaker Stephen Vincent Benet. In 1932, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, headed by Mr. Webster, entertained 500 garden lovers. Family occasions were also celebrated there, including Mrs. Webster’s 90th and 95th birthdays!
The cover photo of this issue features a grand image of the Webster House on a field of blue, notably called “Webster Blue”.

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