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)
PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE WILMARTH COLLECTION
"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
Rocky Hill Meeting House church interior
Rocky Hill Meeting House church interior / pew / box number 31
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
Matthew Whipple House; beautiful saltbox house behind impressive rail fence and trees
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
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)"
Marshland and river leading to town barely visible in background
Rock Village Bridge
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
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"