Woburn Historical Society – #ThursdayDoors

The building has been very well maintained.

About a month ago, I shared some doors from a restored train station near Woburn, Massachusetts. I had stopped into the Woburn Historical Society, where I was given some information about historic sites in the nearby area. I hadn’t been planning to stop in, per se, as I didn’t think the office would be open. I just wanted to grab a few pictures of the building and I hoped to find some interesting doors. You know, for Norm Frampton’s remarkably fun blogfest, Thursday Doors, of which this post is a contribution.

Each week, Norm invites people from all over the world to share doors, and to come and look at the doors that have been shared. If this kind of thing appeals to you, visit Norm’s site and see the many doors contributed by his followers.

When I found the Historical Society building, I started checking it out from all sides, (that’s what door aficionados do). I noticed that what appeared to be the main door was open a few inches. I thought I’d see if anyone was inside and ask them if they would mind if I took a few pictures. When I stepped inside, I could hear voices. I was worried that I was intruding on a meeting, so I tried to be very quiet as I walked around. I discovered that the voices were from a panel discussion on some cable news show that was blaring in the conference room. Somewhat relieved, I poked my head into the next room where I scared a woman almost out of her socks.

It turns out that she was a new volunteer, and this was the first week that the Historical Society was open a few hours during the week. After we both calmed down, we started talking about Woburn and history. She showed me around the building. The society is recently formed, and they still haven’t sorted through all the items they have, but if the rooms on the first floor are any indication, they have some really good stuff. I told her about Thursday Doors, which is when she pointed out several places I might want to visit in the area. I didn’t have a lot of time, but I managed to get to the train station and the center of Woburn.

The woman was so nice, that I’m only going to share the doors from the Historical Society’s building today. She also gave me a color pamphlet – the one they give third-graders during the historic trolley tour of the city – from which I learned a lot about Woburn.

The Historical Society is located inside The Burdett Mansion, two story colonial style building built in 1900 by Benjamin Franklin Burdett. Mr. Burdett was a real estate developer and architect in the Woburn area and in Atlanta. In an age when horses and buggies were still prominent on the roads, Benjamin Burdett commuted between Massachusetts and Atlanta, Georgia by automobile. That isn’t an easy trek today; I can imagine what it was like 120 years ago.


I hope you enjoy the photos in today’s gallery. Be sure to check out Norm’s page, his doors and the doors of so many other contributors. Thanks for visiting here.

94 thoughts on “Woburn Historical Society – #ThursdayDoors

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    1. The cowhide wasn’t my favorite item, but I figured since tanning played such a big role in the town’s history, I should include it. You’re right about ‘mansion’ – this house was built in 1900 and I think there were many similar sized houses in the area by then. There were some larger homes that had been built way before that.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. While the building is indeed very handsome – especially that rounded entranceway – I think it’s the interior that really dazzles.

    Very unusual doors with the curved panels! Love! And I noticed the blue tiles around the fireplace. That’s a detail I would expect from Portugal.

    This sounds like a great place to gather information on exploring new treasures in the area.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The interior details were amazing, Joanne. I love those curve panels, and the details around the fireplace are wonderful. I deleted a picture of the moldings (very bad angle) but I was intrigued by the molding along the staircase and the mantle. On the outside, I don’t know if you noticed (the picture isn’t very good) the detailed shingle work below the siding were the wall kicks out to form a slight overhang. That is very meticulous work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hadn’t noticed and went back for another look. Wow – that is very unusual. I’ve never seen anything like that before.
        I also noticed the staircase detail. Nicely done. It’s makes our modern houses look rather … well, plain.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful! Though, I must admit, I think the staircase would look 1000 times better (just my opinion and taste) if the balusters weren’t painted white, but were instead left that nice darkly stained wood to match the hand rail instead.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I prefer natural wood as well, Wendy. My wood shop teacher said “if you paint your project I won’t give you higher than a C.” The only exception was for a high gloss hand rubbed black lacquer finish.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The conference room is my idea of a nice sized family dining space for those with large families !
    And good idea to have the stories of local vets on dvd
    Need to do that in more spots
    Saw a t-shirt the other day that said something like “my goal is to interview a WW2 Vet every day”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This building, from top to bottom, interior and exterior, is magnificent! The staircase is gorgeous as are the stained glass windows at the landing where it turns. Beautiful cabinets, but the sideboard that holds the DVD’s, look at the intricate work on the bottom front as well as the legs. Awesome! Always loved Dutch doors!

    What a find Dan. Thanks for the tour. They sure knew how to build beautiful and yet functional homes back then. These homes had character all their own. What a shame that the cookie cutter styles became so popular.

    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ginger. I’m glad you liked this place. I think the interior details are amazing, as is the furniture. The exterior details, particularly the shingles below the siding are equally amazing. I was so happy it was open and the woman just couldn’t have been nicer.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. the doors and the staircases are lovely -that’s my first impression. Great you met this nice lady who showed you around! This is the greatest advantage of retiring: you have TIME, no more hurry to meet deadlines:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think they’ve done a great job of using the home as a headquarters and I like that they are planning to expand the number of items on display. I hope to get back to a lot of these places that I was only able to briefly visit while on business trips.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. The Dutch door was interesting since my son and his wife just returned from a house hunting trip in France. He remarked about seeing a Dutch door for the first time and the absence of screen doors there. They are looking for a country home to open a B and B there. Beautiful building inside and out in your photos. And quit sneaking up on the ladies!😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I met my wife when we both worked at an accounting firm. She was in the accounting office. They had a Dutch door and it’s where you went to turn in expenses and request travel advances. We joke that I’m still asking her for money :)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A marvelous post Dan. It’s a breathtaking place, inside and outside.
    When I was about 17 I worked as a docent in a historic home. There were tales of various hauntings. Most of us thought they were fun and funny, but one woman was convinced it was real and dangerous. She refused to go to any of the upstairs rooms.
    I hope you’ve had a glorious day. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Teagan. You, working in a haunted house. Why doesn’t that surprise me ;-) Many of the historic homes around New England have a haunted history. Some people discount them, but others swear that they are true.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Wonderful home! One of your photos was a Dutch door, which I haven’t seen or thought about in ages. It’s a reminder of mom calling out the door to her kids, or a time when families were as busy outside as they were inside. Nice!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh my there are a ton of gorgeous elements to this place. That staircase and the upper floor railing jump out at me right off the bat, but so much of it screams attention to detail and craftsmanship. Did you see the details in the desk that those DVDs are on? Thanks for the tour Dan :-)

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I’m going to share this with my husband. He worked in an architect’s office for 40+ years and would enjoy seeing the photos. They don’t build houses like that anymore. What wonderful details!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh how I really really enjoyed this gallery, Dan! Thank you for the tour! I love historical buildings like this! And that dutch door ….. Oh my goodness, I haven’t seen one in a LONG time. I remember a lot growing up though. The details in the craftsmanship …. something else you just don’t see these days. Just loved this post!!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Very Massachusetts. The doors and the interior are beautiful, Dan. It’s not always easy to get good interior shots. I always enjoy going into historic homes. Hubby’s sister organizes the Charleston, SC tour of homes and they are absolutely beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. That’s a lovely place! I love how sharp and clean the entrance with the brick steps and white rails is. I love the stairway trim — the relief and the spiral bit — and the cabinet — and the curved glass in the door. Lovely. I’d go. I bet that was the nicest scare-turned-surprise she ever got.
    My in-laws’ old big blue house had pocket doors. So rare. Great share, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

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