Arthur Wilmarth Collection

If you see a bucolic photograph of late 19th century West Boxford, it is likely that Arthur Reynolds Wilmarth was the photographer.

Arthur Wilmarth came to Boxford because of his mother, Matilda (Reynolds) Wilmarth. Although born in Hawaii, Matilda was raised in West Boxford by her aunt, Harriet Reynolds. Matilda married Henry D. Wilmarth, a Boston merchant, and they bought the Benjamin Peabody house (77 Lake Shore Road) as a summer residence. After Henry died in 1896, Arthur and his mother continued to live there year-round, until Matilda died in 1919.

Many of Wilmarth’s photographs display strikingly beautiful composition and emphasize the serenity of the rural landscape. His summer scenes depict the relaxed poses of visitors enjoying their time in "the country" as well as farm work. The viewer can almost feel the intense heat of the summer sun!

These images are part of a large collection of glass plate negatives and photographs held by the Boxford Historic Document Center. This fascinating collection has been preserved thanks to the efforts of the family of Stanwood Morss, Susan Sonju and her family, and Dick Hopping.

(Article for the "Tri-Town Transcript" by Martha Clark, Boxford Historic Document Center Archivist from 1992-2019)


Boxford, MA

"Bridge on Fish Brook"

West Boxford, MA

Barn interior; man sitting in doorway

Barn interior; barrels and cornstalks

Two bulls yoked next to man in front of barn; "Frank Whitney at Tilly Lund barn, Oak Ridge Road, Boxford"

Frank Whitney with one bull at Lund barn

Second Congregational Church with carriage sheds; view from west side

Second Congregational Church from east side showing Main Street intersection

Cornstalk teepees above Hovey's Pond; on verso says: "Mitchell's Pond"

View across fields to farms on hillcrest; "Marshall Whittier's Meadow"; Lake Shore Road

Kitchen at Witch Hollow Farm (474 Main Street); fireplace with three hanging pots; two chairs, round table left; Wilmarth calls it "the Old Pearl Place"

"Gazebo" by Fowler's or Sperry's Pond to right of road and pond; "Road along Fowler's Pond"

Mown hayfield opposite 70 Lake Shore Road

"Helen's Meadow"; rail fence in foreground, pond, then barn on crest of hill; note says: "Looking uphill towards Pearl House"

Curving road with single rail fence; Hovey's Pond on right; "Road from B. Carlton's" [Lake Shore Road]

Lund House, view from beyond end of fence; house partly obscured

Lund house, another view; close-up of house; right side with fence

Lund house, another view very close to house with fence and part of road

Lund house, end of house seen across hayfield

Day gristmill; side view behind stone and rail fence

Day gristmill; end-on view showing water wheel

Day gristmill; another view, not duplicated in photos in collection; view with water wheel on end partially obscured by bushes

Mitchell's Pond with black heifer on left; man reclining on right

Shops and barns by mill pond; Nason's Wheelwright shops

Oak Ridge Road; S-curve with field on left; "Road up Sessions Hill"; Going uphill from 54 Oak Ridge Road

Oak Ridge Road in summer

Oak Ridge Road; this photo similar to one above; closer, shadows different

Oak Ridge Road in summer; horizontal photo; "Poker Hole to the gate"; this location called the "Poker Hole"

"Poker Hole" (Oak Ridge Road); vertical photo; Spring

"Poker Hole (to gate - November); Oak Ridge Road, wall between Hancock and Morss land 1885"

Oak Ridge Road; "Poker Hole from gate 1890; Oak Ridge Road - looking toward Lake Shore Road from curve"

"Poker Hole from gate (leaves) first curve on Oak Ridge Road - from Lake Shore Road"; vertical photo

"Poker Hole from gate (leaves) first curve on Oak Ridge Road - from Lake Shore Road"; horizontal photo

Pearl-Webster house; view from road up drive between stone walls

Boat on edge of frozen pond (Hovey's Pond or pond behind Pearl house); note on verso says "Mill Pond frozen"

Boat on edge of frozen pond (Hovey's Pond?); "Frozen West Boxford Pond"

Post office, 177 Washington Street; two horses and wagons, lamp post

Roads, stone wall, field and apple tree; road from John Pearl's

Farmer sowing field by hand; Wilmarth-Morss farm (77 Lake Shore Road)

Three men picking strawberries; "Marshall Whittier's Strawberry Field"

Entrance to Valley Road; winding dirt road, large tree, stone wall

"Watering Hole"; small pool of water to side of main road; sleeve on negative says "Brook"

"Watering Hole"; different view and lighting

"Watering Hole"; different view with man sitting on left side

Webster family in parlor; George Pearl Webster stand between his seated parents, James Webster and Ruth Webster (Pearl)

Three people at well; Lund House

West Boxford Store; G. S. Morse on sign; horse and wagon on right

Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road), circa 1885; three people in front, no horse

Front of Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road), with five people in front and white horse; people are James H. Webster (holding horse); George Pearl Webster (on horse); Henry and Matilda Wilmarth and Mrs. James H. (Ruth) Webster nearby; circa 1890

Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road); rear of barns with hay mounds, man with pitchfork

Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road) from rear with hay mounds, no farmer

Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road); front view, curved stone wall, tree obscures house

Front of Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road) painted light color, dark trim, no people in photo; no leaves on trees

Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road), rear view; man with horse behind fence near garage

Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road), rear view; horse and buggy behind fence

Arthur Wilmarth self-portrait; standing in briefs

Arthur Wilmarth in armchair by fire reading

Arthur Wilmarth sitting on stone wall by gate to pasture and orchard

Arthur Wilmarth in white shirt poking stick in pond

Fred or Arthur Wilmarth sitting in canoe at dock

Wilmarth brothers sitting on log with tripod camera nearby

Fred Wilmarth, Ned Wilmarth and Henry Wilmarth in lawn chair and hammock under the trees

Wilmarth family sitting on stone wall; Moulton's pasture; oval picture; poor quality

Group photo of Mrs. H., Abbie and Tillie Lund, Phil and Arthur Wilmarth sitting on doorstep

Group photo of Arthur, Fred and Ned Wilmarth, Henry and Matilda Wilmarth and Mrs. Guppy on porch

Woman near rose bushes at Pearl-Webster house

Clouds predominate over tree tops; paper sleeve says: "Clouds to Whittiers"; rooftop in background is probably 687 Main Street

Mitchell's Pond (Hovey's Pond); stone wall, rail fence and tall tree in foreground

Barred gate in stone wall, two tall trees left of gate, road to left; "Aunt H[arriet Reynold]'s cow pasture bars; entrance to town forest looking downhill"

Upper end of Mitchell's Pond (Hovey's Pond); pond left, stone wall and rail fence in foreground, fields rear, "The Cole lot"

Oak Ridge Road summer scene; "Poker Hole" from gate (leaves) first curve on Oak Ridge Road from Lake Shore Road; vertical photo

Pond on right, path on left, various colored cows grazing; "Path to Sargent's, Pearl mill pond off Lake Shore Road"

Tillie Lund and Nora with sun hats sitting in field

Oak Ridge Road; front triangle; summer scene of road curving left

Dirt road bordered by heavy bushes on each side; possibly Lily Pond Road

Lake Shore Road curves left between two tall trees; field in background; "Road to J. Pearl's"; vertical photo

Lake Shore Road; same location as above, but horizontal photo

"Peabody Meadow opposite Bergstrom's at sunset"; field with cornstalk teepees along ridge top [opposite 69 Oak Ridge Road]

"Peabody Meadow from Ridge Road looking toward Natalino's" [Oak Ridge Road toward 699 Main Street]

Cow in field facing left; tree on left; "Cow in Enos Bit"; opposite 61 Oak Ridge Road

Enos Bit (Job's Hill) at bottom of hill opposite Plimpton's small pool in field with road and stone wall going up left [opposite 61 Oak Ridge Road]

"View across apple orchard to Johnnie Pearl's"; barn behind far trees; field and orchard beyond gate

Pine grove with shed; back side of Mitchell's Pond (Hovey's Pond)

S-curve road along the side of a hill

Road between bare trees; "Road back of house - hill to Plimpton's"

Apple tree at left of photo behind stone wall on way to Johnson's [Pond]; Lake Shore Road

Cow lying down in apple orchard in Enos Bit [Oak Ridge Road]

Two haystacks at front of field in Enos Bit; "Enos Bit owned by Enos Reynolds opposite Plimpton's" [Oak Ridge Road]

Apple trees in row at right of photo; "Aunt H's?"

Clapboard house in fork of land; barn hidden by tree on left; "Pearl House from lane, Lake Shore Road"

View across Hovey's Pond to 161 Lake Shore Road

Porch at Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road

Fred Wilmarth standing by bicycle on dirt road

Fred Wilmarth on horse Jenny at Oak Ridge Road and Lake Shore Road triangle

"Mike" holding horse Jenny; barn doors

Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road) from Perley's; sign to Haverhill

Woman, child, and cat on steps of Wilmarth-Morss house (77 Lake Shore Road)

Rutted road with leafless trees leading up to house; "Road back of house"

Man, horse and log in field

Man kneeling in field; "Puttenham [sp.?] field opposite Hebb's" [opposite 70 Lake Shore Road]

George Guppy holding saddled horse outside open barn doors

Man mounted on small horse; "Henry Whitney on mustang"

Johnson's Pond; several small boats clustered at edge of pond

Wilmarth-Morss house from rear; wagon inside right bay of garage

Poker hole; road with gate at far end; Oak Ridge Road; similar to other Poker Hole photos

Day's Gristmill; side view with water wheel at right end

"F... Hill, Mitchell Pond, Spring Hill" [Hovey's Pond]

"Styles Pond" [Stiles Pond]

Mitchell's Pond [Hovey's Pond]; looking down on pond from road above; single rail fence

Six or seven swimmers by boathouse at Mitchell's Pond [Hovey's Pond]

Nine swimmers in water; diving by boathouse; Mitchell's Pond [Hovey's Pond]

Six swimmers at boathouse at Mitchell's Pond (Hovey's Pond)

Driveway up to house hidden by trees; stone wall in foreground; "Boxford House"

Road through woods curves left; "Mitchell's Pond" [Hovey's Pond]

Men and whomen sitting and standing among trees with cabin in background; "Group II Johnson's Pond"

"Session's Hill (from Aunt H's)"; stone wall with barred gate; tree by gate, road in front

Small farmhouse among apple trees with family out front (Valorous Moulton, Miranda Moulton (Parker), Charles Moulton (baby), Lois Moulton)

Andrew family gravestones in Brookside Cemetery

Pond with windmill at left behind trees - Sperry / Fowler's Pond, see windmill in cyanotype album; also shows 5 Essex Street

Likely Boxford, but unknown

Hay mounds in field; trees in background

Haying with one horse and wagon and three men

Two oxen pulling two-wheeled hay wagon loaded with hay

Teepee style haystacks

Saltbox house, rear view partially obscured by apple trees; barn to right

Unobstructed rear view of saltbox house in previous entry with hand pump in yard

Two people in hammock with parasol; mounted photo

Three naked boys standing on their heads

Rows of haystacks in late afternoon sun

Cow in meadow in right corner; corner of glass chipped

Country road framed by tall tree on left and pole gate on right

Woods road; pond on left

Single hay mound on edge of pond

Road to house; photo severely damaged; barely discernable

Two men picking crop in field; one standing, one kneeling

Amesbury, MA

Rocky Hill Meeting House church interior

Rocky Hill Meeting House church interior / pew / box number 31

Boston, MA

Bank interior / behind tellers' cages

Bank interior / lobby outside tellers' cages

Boston Public Garden / aerial view / Washington Statue and garden

Boston Public Garden / Washington statue from rear with two lanterns

Boston Public Garden / woman with baby carriage near bridge; sepia tone

Boston Public Garden / swan boat / willow / bridge

Boston Public Garden; people at equestrian statue of Washington

New England Kitchen, 142 Pleasant Street; Kitchen with menu on wall over tubs

New England Kitchen, 142 Pleasant Street; vertical photo of brick building with man, horse and buggy

New England Kitchen, 142 Pleasant Street; horizontal photo but without man, horse and buggy

New England Kitchen, 142 Pleasant Street; kitchen interior

New England Kitchen, 142 Pleasant Street; Boys at cafeteria style counter

Arlington Street Church

New Old South Church in Copley Square

Boats at wharf; building along wharf

"Forest Fairy"; 3-masted ship at dock; man on stern in front of sail; note says ship is from St. George, Bermuda

"Forest Fair"; this photo lacks man on stern; note on back from sleeve says: "#139 Forest Fairy (Harvard)"

Market area; horses and wagons; looks like Quincy Market area

Boston Ice Co.; two-horse ice wagon with two men on residential street

Garden path; house in rear

Boston Ice Co.; two-horse wagon, one man

Ship at dock: "Martha Davis"; Boston-Yarmouth Steamship Line pier 1


Pearson’s Snuff Mill, Main Street; pond reflection; buildings connected by boardwalk

Larkin Mill, Larkin Road; man on footbridge; discarded large vats in foreground

Village smithy with horse and wagon next to it; Arbor Bridge over brook


Monument at Concord Bridge


Old Fairbanks house on corner; sign post and plaque


Standish Monument; round stone town or monument on hilltop


Long low building with row of windows; Hale's Mills at rear of pond

Rutted wood path or woods road through trees

Road with rail fence curves past mill on right; man on left looks into water; Hale's Mill, South Groveland off Washington Street

Hamilton, MA

Matthew Whipple House; beautiful saltbox house behind impressive rail fence and trees

Jamaica Plain

Room interior; "Wilmarth living room, Jamaica Plain, Boston" written on margin [51 Eliot Street]

Room interior; bedroom; paper sleeve on negative says: "No. 284 Carrie's Room, Myrtle St."

Room interior; general store of Robert Sever & Sons, 741 Centre Street; shelves of goods, stuffed raccoon

Grocery store of Robert Sever & Sons, 741 Centre Street

Row of boats tied up on pond by sign: "Boats To Let"

"Brookline Cove, Jamaica Plain"; curved edge of pond

Rowboats on Jamaica Pond; row of ice houses in background, 1894

674 Centre Street (corner of Centre Street and Seavern Avenue); Store front of a corner building; "Clement & Co." above awning; "674 Printing Engraving" on window, "Jamaica Plain News" on door

Jamaica Pond; dinghies docked at park's edge; stone wall across edge of pond

Room interior, parlor, piano at right; sleeve says: "No. 334 Mrs. Fernald's parlor"


Boat house with canoes on racks; sleeve says: "No. 381 L.C.C. [Lawrence Canoe Club] House, boat room"

Lawrence dam from north side


"Old belfry - Lexington"; small wooden structure with belfry on top, inscription above door; boys in doorway


Sleeve says: "Chilean Ferry (City of Mulden)"


Chain Bridge in the distance

Chain Bridge; rear view; boys on rocks in foreground

Chain Bridge at right; river in foreground

Chain Bridge close-up; labeled on front: "Chain Bridge built 1791

River near Chain Bridge

Curzon Mill at a distance; rail fence; scene framed by tall trees

North Andover

Great Pond Road; Lake Cochichewick; Kunhardt Estate

Fred or Arthur Wilmarth sitting in canoe at dock

Road beyond arch (Steven's Mills) pond on each side of road

Stone arch at Stevens' Mills; pond, field and house seen through arch

Below bridge over Shawsheen River; large pool in middle of tree-lined river

Close-up of Moses Tyler gravestone, died 1727

"To Lawrence"; view across stone wall and over fields; clouds on horizon; lower left corner of plate broken off


Highland Lighthouse; white lighthouse with attached outbuildings


Waverly Oaks (Pond Hole)

Path past group of oaks; paper sleeve says: "No. 208 Waverly Oaks (group)"

West Newbury

Marshland and river leading to town barely visible in background

Rock Village Bridge

Gettysburg, PA

Campground of Union and Confederate armies at Gettysburg; 1915 anniversary


Arthur Wilmarth standing in front of fireplace

Arthur Wilmarth sitting facing fireplace

Arthur Wilmarth and another man sitting on rocks eating lunch

Baby in wicker carriage

Decrepit wharf with men and wheelbarrows at boat slip

Elderly woman holding baby in striped blanket

Room interior; hall or lobby with elaborate staircase

Room interior; ornate parlor with staircase at rear

Runner in starting crouch position; white shorts with black stripe

Store interior with round open barrels and cans on shelves

Store interior with square bins and round barrels; same store as above but different view

Store interior; Kennedy's Champion Biscuit sign

Woman in lace sitting reading

Two men in briefs wrestling

Small sailboat on pond; two people

Railroad track over drainage ditch

Room interior; study iwth desk

Four apple trees along road

Two-masted ship; wharf; rowboat in foreground

Wharf with two-masted ship; building on end of wharf

Still life; gas light with cup and curling iron

Small pond with reflected trees

View looking down on pond framed by trees

Room interior; parlor with tall windows at rear; potted palms

Room interior; parlor with fireplace and Chinese screen

Shore scene at low tide with stone channel marker

Horse and buggy by barn; roofs of greenhouses left

White dog sitting in front of barn

Room interior; upper hallway with two sets of stairs

Elderly woman sitting in parlor holding "The Copley Prints" (1903)

Classy horse and driver in two-wheeled cart in front of barn

Room interior; couch and curio cabinet

Room interior; desk, calendar and wicker chair

Ship "Catalina" at dock

Decrepit wharf with piles of bricks stacked and stored on right

Another decrepit wharf with piles of bricks and men with wheelbarrows over boat slip

Deck of ship; man sitting with coiled ropes

Fishing club cabin on pond

House being moved by Isaac Blair & Co. Movers; several boys in front

Straight road; trees, buildings in right corner of photo

Pond and trees; factory in background

Wharf with boys on barge and on sand in foreground

Fishing nets, shack, water

Ship at dock; pile of grates in foreground; man in rigging

Ravine with rocks and fallen trees

Brush fences and shanties; mountains rear, man in foreground; western terrain possibly

Room interior; view through doorways into four rooms

Man in uniform with feathered hat and curtain as backdrop

Room interior; office with glass-front bookcases; picture of palm tree on left wall

Same room interior as above, but from a different angle

Room interior; parlor with couch and pillows left; rocking chair center

Horse and covered buggy with driver in front of barn

Room interior; parlor with animal skin on floor front center

Enclosed yard with groups of children playing; houses at rear

Small children sitting on chairs in circle with teacher

Road, trees, bushes; gate to field on right

Woods, tree trunks, dappled light

Pond with snow-covered trees

Man looking over marsh from stone bridge with single rail

Small dog with white stripe down nose and white chest by barn doors

Canoe with oar on edge of pond

Portrait of Col. Lucius B. Marsh

Sailing ships (three masts) in harbor

Snow scene; brook in field with fence in foreground; buildings rear

Circus poster

Men with equipment in front of foundry entrance

Schooners at wharf; long row of masts

Rocky shore of pond, fallen birch at foreground; sleeve says: "No. 462 Andrew pond, on shore"

Man holding dog on deck of ship with rigging; paper sleeve says: "No. 344 mate"

Dirt road through trees; sleeve says: "No. 478 Beech Road" [negative #, not house #]

Dead tree falling apart; sleeve says; "No. 271 Fairbanks Chestnut (fallen tree)"

Two women with parasol, small bridge over brook by big tree

Fir trees with fallen logs in foreground

Dirt road; dappled sunlight through thick woods

Three-masted ships at wharf; "Argentina and Earl Burgess"

Ship "Argentina"; deck, masts, rigging, life boat, sailor

Large tree with no leaves; "Fairbank Chestnut Tree"

Close-up of Captain Pendleton in suit and bowler hat

Small village across pond or river framed by hillsides front center of photo; very picturesque

Mill building on right; river and smokestack

Rather decrepit boat house and boatyard

Wooden bridge with A-frame construction over river

Steamer "Merrimac" 1885; steamer in middle of photo on river

View over Merrimack River framed by trees; "Looking out from Deris Jump"