WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 108 of 211

like collage owes its survival to its material — beeswax melts at a much higher temperature than ordinary wax — and the keen eye of a retired Gillette executive. Howard Gambrill Jr., an avid preserva- tionist, purchased the house in the mid-'60s after the death of Ralph Jones, the last of six generations of Joneses to live there. As the family's fortunes declined so did the build- ing's condition. Gambrill, who likely saved the house from a developer's wrecking ball, turned it over to a museum trust after resi- dents raised money to rescue and maintain the structure. Fortunately for historians, the Joneses were packrats. The attic, where Isaac's sons and tav- ern guests once slept, became the depository of three centuries of discards—everything from old shutters to pieces of wallpaper. Gambrill found the sconce leaning against a wall, its waxwork contents spilled over the floor. He discovered it was listed in Isaac Jones's 1813 estate inventory as a "box of wax work." He had it restored by the Museum of Fine Arts. The tavern yielded surprises from top to bottom. As preservationists were shoring up the foundation, they discovered several spoons lodged in the mortar. Evidently, they repre- sented family continuity, "like bringing your ancestors with you," according to Joan P. Bines, the museum director. They are made of hammered latten, a brass-like material first used around 1700. Today, they are displayed in a cabinet in the front tavern room. 107 s p r i n g 2 0 1 6 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e

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