Quincy, Mass. Historical and Architectural Survey

58 Parkhurst Street

Houghs Neck, which has had as many spellings as changes in residents, is a mile square peninsula surrounded by Quincy Bay, Hingham Bay, and Rock Island Cove. It has four distinct neighborhoods, known as "The Willows", "Rock Island Head", "Rock Island Cove" and "Great Hill". Houghs Neck was predominantly a farming community from 1636, when Atherton Hough was granted the 700-acre "farm" which is now Houghs Neck, until the Civil War. Some Quincy residents and others had built summer homes but by the late 1800's, the area's gentle shoreline, beaches, boating and natural beauty attracted numerous summer visitors and Houghs Neck became a busy tourist attraction. The area was also made easily accessible by improved bicycles, a new street car line, and the advent of the Boston & Houghs Neck Steamboat Co. Soon the few year-round homes and farms were outnumbered by summer cottages, summer mansions and summer hotels, very few of which survive. A less welcome addition to the Neck was the Nut Island sewerage station. The resort activity declined after 1900 and now Houghs Neck is a settled residential community, many of the homes being winterized summer cottages. The house at 58 Parkhurst Street was probably built by realtor and developer Wilton A. Dunham who had his office at 1090 Sea Street. Wilton, who was also the developer of Rock Island Cove in 1908, had sold 58 Parkhurst Street to James E. Cantwell, a carpenter, by 1923.

Assessors Records.
H. Hobart Holly, Quincy Historical Society.
H. Hobart Holly, ed. Quincy: 350 Years, 1974, p. 51-52.
Dorothy T. Laing and Ruth A. Wainwright. "The Houghs Neck Story and Atherton Hough, A Puritan's Progress", 1981.
Quincy City Directory, 1904.
Richard T. LaBrecque. "Houghs Neck of Gay Nineties Era Colorful Resort for Summer Fun". Quincy Patriot Ledger, c. 1930.

In the Middle East, a carpet showing the various designs within one specific type is called a "wagireh." This pleasant house at 54 Parkhurst Street seems to be a "wagireh" or "sampler" for many characteristics of the Shingle Style. They are all squeezed in a narrow space, yet, due to the pleasing proportions and picturesque quality, the house has architectural merit and interest. In spite of the complex roof structure due to the gambreled gables and the numerous ridge roof dormers, the massing of the house is compact. Details include lunette windows in the overhanging gables, brackets under these overhanging gables, shingled surfaces which seem to wrap around the house, a pediment over the entrance and a wrap-around porch. This porch was probably once open and is now glassed in. It is composed of segmental arches atop square posts. Typical of the Shingle Style is the use of gambrel roofs; here they dominate the facade and the side elevation. The house has retained its architectural identity and is an attractive component in the Parkhurst streetscape.