Brookline Historical Society
Recent Additions

586 Newton St.
Home of Harry Benjamin Burley. No longer standing.
193 Wolcott Rd
Viewed from the rear of the property of Harry Benjamin Burley, 586 Newton St. Also visible are 199 and 205 Wolcott, all still standing.
Town Meeting, Beacon St. Widening, March 29, 1887
Warrant for the two town constables to call a special town meeting to vote on the proposals related to the widening.
Grammar Test, Brookline Grammar Schools, February 1879
Arithmetic Test, Brookline High School, July 1863
Reminiscences of the Civil War by Burt Wilder, Surgeon
In 1863, Massachusetts formed the 54th regiment specifically to recruit free men of color and newly-freed slaves to fight in the Civil War. The response was so great that an additional regiment for black soldiers was formed, the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Burt Wilder was a white officer and surgeon for the 55th. He was known anti-slavery views and for his great respect for the men of his regiment. As a scientist, he spent his life actively refuting the racist narratives that persisted after the war. His wartime diaries were later published as Practicing Medicine in a Black Regiment: The Civil War Diary of Burt G. Wilder, 55th Massachusetts. This article from the Brookline Chronicle is an account of his speech at Brookline Town Hall on May 30, 1914.
Fundraiser for the Veterans of the First Regiment Massachusetts Infantry, Civil War
1911. At the 50th Anniversary of their muster-in date.
Brookline Members of the First Regiment Massachusetts Infantry, Civil War
Citizens of Brookline Who Died in the Civil War
On March 26, 1884, Brookline created a committee to erect monuments in Town Hall honoring those Brookline citizens who died in the Civil War. This document lists their names and the details of their service.
Eleanor Hardy, circa 1882
1869 - 1953; married, Oct 2, 1890, Dennis Miller Bunker; married, 1893, Charles Adams Platt; parents: Alpheus Holmes Hardy and Mary Caroline Sumner; lived on Linden Place, circa 1877; lived on Walnut St. by Cypress St., circa 1879.

Her father was Alpheus Holmes Hardy, a merchant involved in the India trade via a business he took over from his father, and her mother was Mary Caroline Sumner. In 1889 at a reception, Eleanor met Dennis Miller Bunker, a rising star and ultimately major figure in American painting. They married October 2, 1890 and moved to New York City where he would teach. During a Christmas visit to her family back in Boston that year he got meningitis and died. He painted a portrait of Eleanor of Eleanor that hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1893, she married Charles Platt, a close friend of her husband whose wife had also died. Platt was an artist, landscape designer, and architect. Among his works were the gardens at the Larz and Isabel Anderson estate and the Brandegee estate, both in Brookline, and the Freer Gallery of Art building in Washington.

A friend of the Platts, the muralist Henry O. Walker, used Eleanor as the model for the mural "Wisdom of the Law" in the appellate court building in Madison Square in New York (1898-99). In 1968, her son Geoffrey, as the first chairman of the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission, was in the courthouse facing a challenge to the preservation law when he looked around (reported the New York Times) "to find a very familiar face staring at him from the courtroom wall. He said ‘My God, there was mother, and I knew everything would be all right.’" In 2000, the courthouse building was restored by the architectural firm Platt Byard Dovell White led by Geoffrey’s nephew, Eleanor’s grandson, Charles Platt.
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