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The Ellis Stone Storehouse is located at the Hemlock Gorge Reservation1 on the Charles River in Wellesley, MA and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was constructed sometime between 1750 and 1808 and played a significant role in the development of the country’s early industry in what are now Boston’s western suburbs. According to history provided by the Friends of Hemlock Gorge it “is the only remaining building of the original industrial complex [which grew] on either side of the river.”2

Early industrial entrepreneurs Rufus and David Ellis manufactured nails and other iron products at the Newton Iron Works Company in buildings near the Stone Storehouse. “Some historians believe that it was erected either as an office building for the Newton Iron Works or as a storehouse for the nail and iron products produced” by the company. The building was later leased to another entrepreneur for his successful paint and varnish company.3

The building was acquired by the Massachusetts Metropolitan Park (District) Commission, now the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) in 1895.

In the early 1900’s the building was used as a project office during the reconstruction of the Boylston Street Bridge, now Route 9, over the Charles River. Since that time the Ellis Storehouse has been used as a storage facility for DCR.

The building is two-and-a-half stories with walls constructed of rubble stone mass masonry. At the west elevation, the rubble stone masonry bears directly on Roxbury puddingstone ledge outcropping, which serves as the below-grade wall. Most of the window openings have been infilled with brick masonry, with only the attic openings on the north and south elevations, and the second-floor openings on the east elevation remaining. The interior consists of a concrete floor and a wood-framed second floor. The northern half of the second floor and the attic framing were previously removed. The stone masonry walls’ interior face is partially parged with mortar.

DHK Architects, along with SGH Engineering, prepared a design/engineering study and historic considerations for the restoration of this building.

1 Hemlock Gorge Reservation is a 23-acre public park along the Charles River conceived by noted landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1892 and managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

2 The Makers of the Mold, A History of Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts, by Kenneth W. Newcomb

3 The Makers of the Mold, A History of Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts, by Kenneth W. Newcomb