History of Land Development in Waltham, Mass.
The South Side →
Marshall Springs' son was Marshall B. Springs, whose daughter, Nancy, later married William Wharton. In 1844, William Minot and the other trustees of the assets of Nancy (Spring) Wharton sold two large lots in the part of Newton, which would later become Waltham, to Frances C. Lowell II (MLR 459/65 and 68). Before her wedding to William Wharton, Nancy W. Spring owned a large amount of land, including these lots, which she had inherited from her father and grandfather, and which was described in a prenuptial agreement (MLR 444/7 and 13). Nancy (Spring) Wharton later became the mother-in-law of Edith Wharton, the author.
Francis C. Lowell was the son of the Francis Cabot Lowell, who had founded the Boston Manufacturing Company. In the 1830s Francis Cabot Lowell (II) was the chief operating officer of the Newton Chymical Company, and his brother-in-law, George Gardner, was the treasurer of the company (Waltham Industries by Sanderson). In 1842, Lowell bought a large estate on the north side of the river by Newton Street for a summer home for his family. He bought it from Dr. James Jackson, the brother of Patrick Tracy Jackson, who had helped Francis Cabot Lowell (I) found the Boston Manufacturing Company.
One of the parcels, which Lowell bought from Nancy Spring's holdings, was a woodlot of 115 acres. It had a reversed "L" shape, stretching about 3,300 feet south from today's High Street, and then about 2,800 feet west to today's Moody Street. The north-south leg was bounded on the west by a straight line parallel to Newton Street and stretching from High Street, opposite Stearns Street, down to Derby Street in Newton, separating the back yards between today's Milo Street and Tolman Street at its southern end. On the east, the north-south leg was bounded by an irregular line starting on High Street, about opposite Cedar Street, and then following High and Cherry Streets, but about 300 feet west of them, until about Dana Road in Newton, at which point it followed a straight line between and parallel to Falmouth and Russell Roads in Newton down to Derby Street. The east-west leg was bounded on the north by Derby Street, and on the south by Cleveland street in Newton and the back yard lines on the south side of Adams Avenue. On the east it was bounded by a line parallel to and roughly halfway between Sheridan Street and Pershing Road in Newton. And in the west, it was bounded roughly by today's Moody Street. Moody Street (continuing onto today's Lexington Street in Newton) was not laid out as an official town way until 1846/47 (although it may have existed as a lane or farm track going a bit south from High Street by the early 1800s – see MLR 205/453 and 403/432), and the relation between the future Moody Street's alignment and Lowell's lot are not clear in the deeds. Later deeds, from when Lowell's lot was further subdivided, specified the western edges of the most southwestern lots were along Moody Street. In addition, there was a small lot stuck on the northern side of the western tip of the east-west leg of Lowell's 115-acre lot, which extended north from Derby Street to the back yard line north of Dexter Street and from the back yard line east of Dexter Street west to a bit west of the future Moody Street. Since it is possible that the future Derby Street was the dividing line between the Fuller and Williams farms, it appears that the 115-acre lot owned by Dr. Marshall Spring straddled the colonial lot line.
It appears that Dr. Marshall Spring acquired at least the southern part of this lot between 1794 and 1800, based on deeds MLR 121/393 and 136/98. The second, later, deed appears to be for part of the land in the first deed. Both deeds have the dower of Mary, widow of Nathan Morse, on the south, but the later deed has Dr. Spring on the north, while the earlier deed has Deacon Joseph Fuller on the north.
The bounds for the Spring/Lowell lot came from carefully measuring out the distances noted in MLR 444/7 & 13 and 459/65 & 68 on a modern map of Waltham and Newton, and comparing this to the 1874 atlas of Newton and also to a version of the 1831 map of Newton, drawn by Woodward and Ward, as given in the Images of America book Newton by Thelma Fleishman. In the book, the 1831 map is credited to the Newton Historical Society, and it contains an outline for Lowell's purchase labeled as "Spring Woodlot belonging to F.C. Lowell Waltham". However, there is another version of this map available on line from the Newton city government at https://www.newtonma.gov/government/information-technology/gis/historic-maps , which does not show Spring's woodlot, but does show more information in the title block and the route of the first railroad through Newton, which are missing on the map in the Images of America book. Clearly, since Lowell bought the land in 1844, the 1831 map had to have been altered after it was drawn. When this happened, or by whom, is not known, but the outline of the purchase on the map does agree with the plotting I have done.
The first portion of his 115-acre reversed L-shaped lot that Lowell sold off was a very small lot at the extreme northwest corner of the east-west leg of the "L". This was the part of the small lot at the northwest corner that extended west beyond Moody Street, after Moody Street was laid out. It was sold in 1849 to David Fuller, who owned the land north and west of it (MLR 573/67). It was only about 0.64 acres in area.
The second portion of his 115-acre reversed L-shaped lot that Lowell sold off was the rest of the small lot at the extreme northwest corner of the east-west leg of the "L". In 1854, he sold it to John E. Tolman as a woodlot (MLR 699/198). In the deed it specified the southern bound was a contemplated way, which was probably today's Derby Street. In the west it was bounded by Moody Street, in the north formerly by David Fuller, and in the east by Eliza Fuller. Today, it appears to be comprised of the house lots related to Dexter, Derby, and Moody Streets. In 1856, Tolman took out a mortgage based on this lot (MLR 757/96), which was later foreclosed, and the land sold to Jonathan D. Fiske in 1860 (MLR 844/151, see also 826/367 and 369, and 843/30).
The next portion sold off was a very large chunk, in 1855, to a consortium of six buyers, which consisted of Samuel B. Whitney, Josiah Rutter, Eben W. Fiske, Joseph [sic] W. Parmenter, Francis Buttrick, Jr., and John E. Tolman (MLR 723/258). It included the entire east-west leg of the "L", except for the small lot already sold to Tolman, as well as a thin strip around 450 feet wide along the entire western edge of the north-south leg from today's High Street to Derby Street.
The remainder of the consortium's purchase went to Parmenter and Whitney, together, and extended from High Street in the north to the house lots on the south of Fuller Street and from about opposite Stearns Street east 460 feet to between Newton and Parmenter Streets (MLR 806/138). This may be the reason why Newton Street does not actually go all the way through to Newton. Parmenter and Whitney later sold the lot to the Newton Chemical Company, in 1868 (MLR 1054/516), which, along with some more land on the east from Parmenter, alone, stretched the NCC's lot to today's Parmenter Road (MLR 1054/517).
The final portion of the 115-acre lot was sold by Lowell to Jonas W. Parmenter in 1867 (MLR 1009/193). It was the remainder of the north-south leg, which was not sold to the consortium in 1855, including the house lots on the west side of today's Parmenter Road (earlier called Cranberry Street) going east to Lowell's lot's eastern border, and from High Street south to Derby Street. Some of Parmenter's lot west of Parmenter Road then went to the Newton Chymical Company in 1868 (MLR 1954/517), and the portion east of Parmenter Road was subdivided by Parmenter (Plan of Land Belonging to Parmenter drawn by Curtis, 1868) and sold off as house lots by Parmenter and his heirs (see 1900 map). For example, Lot No. 40 was sold by Parmenter to Henry F. Heffernan in 1869 (MLR 1082/236). In the 1869 town directory Heffernan was listed as a roofer living on Oak, corner Alder (today's Moore Street). In the 1871 directory, he was listed as living off High, near Newton, so his house must have been built on the lot in 1869-1871. The house is still there, as No. 284 Ash Street (see 1883 Panoramic and 1900 map).