White Cliffs Mansion

White Cliffs Sign
White Cliffs Sign

The White Cliffs was originally built in the 1880’s as the summer home for Daniel B. Wesson of Smith & Wesson fame.  Mr. Wesson was a very wealthy man due to the success of his firearms business in Springfield, Massachusetts.  The mansion was originally built on 100 acres of land which contained stables, expensive horses, carriage roads, ponds, bridges, fountains, a large greenhouse and housing for Wesson’s employees.  The main house contained elaborate carvings, stained glass windows, gas lit chandeliers, 17 fireplaces and 32 rooms.   It was said that each room was made of wood from a different part of the world with furniture to match.   Wesson created a new spillway for Bartlett Pond and pumped the water into a cistern at a nearby hill to provide water for his ponds and indoor plumbing.  Why did he build in Northborough?  He met his wife, Cynthia Hawes, who was a Northborough native when he was working nearby at his brother Edwin’s gunshop.  They eloped in 1847 when her mother did not approve of Daniel and preferred another gentleman who she felt could be a better provider.  Little did they know at that time how successful Mr. Wesson would become. The large function room was added in 1969.

Thank you, Mr. Bob Ellis and Mrs. Ellen Racine for providing me with information and old photographs from the Historical Society Archives.   

More Info:
Video about White Cliffs (from 20 years ago):



Pages 2260 to 2264 in:  http://books.google.com/books?id=FM8UAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA2264&lpg=PA2264&dq=Daniel+Wesson+northborough&source=bl&ots=P-Wk3t9fMU&sig=aBp_z9ayVS3X91vagUYjrLWRvz0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3Iz5Urj0IYORygHoq4GADg&ved=0CE8Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Daniel%20Wesson%20northborough&f=false

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Norm Corbin February 18, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Carol, Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Information on the protection status of historical properties is best answered by the Historical Commission. I recommend you contact them.
Heizenburg February 18, 2014 at 09:31 PM
Well there is that...
Norm Corbin February 19, 2014 at 11:13 AM
I've just added a link for a video about White Cliffs. It was taken 20 years ago and reviews the original landscaping, the system to provide water for indoor plumbing and the garden features and a tour of all floors of the mansion. (Thank You Brian Smith for preparing the video and making it available on YouTube)
Carol C February 19, 2014 at 10:35 PM
Sad to see the cliffs go.....wish it could be saved...
Carol C May 05, 2014 at 04:45 PM


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