PART  1        The Mansion on Holly Hill, Seaview, Marshfield MA.

Over 500 acres of hill, 150 feet high, that commands a view of 180 degrees  overlooking Massachusetts Bay, from Rockport  to Provincetown, to Plymouth’s White Cliffs.
Holly Hill, looking north to Fourth Cliff.

The First Hatch to arrive in the area (1767) was Captain Noah Hatch.  Along with his brother, they owned a packet ship, “The North River.”  The Hatch’s delivered goods from Boston to the White’s Ferry area and supplied Hatch’s Store in Littletown, as well as others. They acquired a large amount of land on this hill, hence “Hatch’s Hill.”  Noah’s family married into the established Keene family that lived in the same area. The intersection of the Littletown Rd., (Summer St) and the Ferry Rd., ( Elm St), and Church St, was known as Hatch’s Corner, now known as Keene’s Corner.
Hatch’s Hill was covered with first-growth trees of many species. The tall straight White Pines were first to go into the masts of the ships built on the North River.  By 1800 the Hill was as bald as a billiard ball.

Holly Hill void of trees.

Hatch’s Hill became grazing land for cattle being raised by the farms built around it’s perimeter.

A lawyer from Maine, George Emery, married  into the famous ship-building Hall family.  The Hall’s now owned most of Hatch’s Hill.  In 1885, George  and his bride, Marcia Hall,  built a mansion on the east side of the Hatch Hill.   It soon became known as Governor’s Hill.
George Emery was born in Corinth, Maine, became a lawyer and was involved in politics in Medford, Mass. and Washington D.C.
President Ulysses S. Grant appointed George as Governor of Utah in 1875.
After George retired, he returned to Sea View and  became  involved in town politics and was president of the Marshfield Fair, along with other ventures. During his residency, he inherited and acquired 475 acres of land on this hill.
His estate included a  mansion (George and Marcia’s residence), 4 houses, a number of outbuildings, a butcher shop,  a windmill tower, 3 carriages,  6 horses, 10 cows, along with other farm animals.  Half of the eastern side was grazing land. North of his residence, he planted  a huge garden of exotic trees and plants that he called Holly Grove.  He and his wife enjoyed nearly a quarter- century of the good life on his hill.
Marcia died in 1898….George died a  very rich man in 1909.


George’s son lived in the mansion briefly after his father’s death.

Dr. Edwin Dwight, from Auburndale Ma., purchased the mansion and much of the land around 1922.  The Doctor had no interest in farming.  He was interested in developing the property into house lots. He teamed up with Robert Boles, a licensed broker as well as a businessman and politician.  Bob held the office of selectman in Marshfield.

Unknown to the Doctor, he was in for hard times, The Great Depression of 1929,  slammed  into the country.
Rich men became poor men overnight!  With the folding of the banks, many manufacturers went out of business, and building homes screeched to a halt. Dr.  Edwin Dwight and his partner Robert Boles had invested heavily into a large housing development on Holly Hill and Bayberry Beach.

This booklet published by Dwight and Boles,  describes the area and their offerings. c. 1920.

Upper left is Summer St., lower left is Church St., right center is Ferry St..
This site plan never happened.

A view looking northwest over the Thomas Little’s Grant on Summer St., now Cedar Acres.

Plans of one of their offerings.
This booklet contains 18 pages of Holly Hill and Bayberry Shores offerings .

Robert Boles survived the depression and opened a boat-building company in the former Humarock Ballroom on Ferry St., as well as his Real Estate business.

The Hall, Emery, Dwight  mansion, remained  vacant for a number of years.  The next residents were the Edwin Parker family.  He was a successful real estate investor. At the time of his obtaining this property, it had diminished to only a few acres surrounding the mansion. There is little information of his brief ownership.
My observations of the Parkers:
The first I remember of  the Parker’s  was  1940,  my first grade.   A black Packard limo would pass by as I waited for the school bus to the North School.
In the chauffeur-driven limo were 3 girls being transported to private schools in Hingham.   A wave from me got a return wave, but that’s the closest I ever got to knowing them.   In the following  summer, a sleek English car would occasionally race up Summer St.  I never knew where it came from until one Sunday I was hanging out on the porch at my uncle’s store in Humarock.  Up came the Jaguar SS 100 convertible sporting Mr. Parker, along with one of his daughters.  A quick In and out of the store and away they went.
Some time later, in 1947 or 48, I was visiting my friend on Emery Rd. and he told me that the mansion was abandoned.  He said his older brother was inside it and said that the owners just walked away from it….leaving everything.  Well, hearing that, Dave and I thought that was too much to ignore,  So, Dave & I  wandered  a short distance from his house down the hill.  And, oh my, the grounds had been ignored for quite some time and were quite overgrown.  As we walked around, I noticed how it needed paint and repairs everywhere. We peeked into the windows as best we could.  All the lower-floor windows were covered by drapes.  After a full-circle we decided we had trespassed enough.    My next visit was the following summer, with three classmates. We bicycled from Humarock, up the steep road to the mansion.  Upon arrival,  we peeked in the now-uncovered  windows.  It had been ransacked, although still full of furniture and other belongings.  We sat on the giant granite front step, just passing time, and the girls started singing “Cruising Down The River”.  They were inspired by looking down the South River…not far away.  I didn’t know many of the words, but sang along  as best I could. The girls, Phyllis & Barbara, knew all the words.

I have not found a good close-up photo of this once beautiful home.

“Cruising down the River on a Sunday afternoon…. With one you love, the sun above, waiting for the moon….. The old accordion playing a sentimental tune”……..and so on……

That was the last I saw of the mansion up close, and I haven’t found a thread of information of the last family to reside in the Hall/Emery/ Parker mansion.  It was razed the next year and a new home was built on the site.



W.Ray Freden.


  1. As always, detailed accurate and very interesting. The pictures say a 1000 words. Thanks again, Ray. Looking forward to the next installment.


  2. Ray, Never have I known so much about Holly Hill, my home for so many years. Great info. Thanks my friend.

  3. Ray, I have films of the mansion and the razing of it after my grandfather, Bill Graham, bought the property from the Parkers and built our family homes on the site. I actually met one of the Parker daughters about 10 years ago when she was living with her daughter in Duxbury. She was able to give me a lot of details when she lived in that home and why they left it fully furnished, always expecting to return. Very interesting article, thanks so much.

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