The grandeur of a bygone age is on full display at Wrentham’s Proctor Mansion Inn. Lucky for the community, it’s being lovingly preserved by Brian and Dawn Fitzgerald as both a warm and comfortable place to stay and an important piece of the town’s history.
A beautiful example of Second Empire French Victorian architecture, the Mansion was built in 1861 by industrialist Thomas Proctor. Ernest Hull inherited the house in 1902 and his daughter Hope, a health aide nurse with cerebral palsy, lived alone there for 23 years. Lacking the funds to keep up the house, she used the kitchen as her living quarters, as the rest of the house fell into disrepair. Upon Hope’s death, the property was owned by Religious Churches of Wrentham until Paul Minkin bought it at auction in 1994. Minkin and his family lived in the house prior to its purchase by the Fitzgeralds in 2007.
“Many of the Mansion’s previous owners were asset rich, but cash poor and that turned out to be positive, particularly for the preservation of the house’s interior,” said Brian Fitzgerald. “This is one of perhaps 10 homes of this type remaining in the country that retains its original interior.”
Rooms feature hand-painted embossed wallpaper and hand-painted ceilings, stunning cornice and wood work, fleur-de-lis plaster carvings and mirrored glass door knobs. On the hallway of the second floor, real acorns gathered by the Proctor children adorn the plaster on one of the walls. Morning glories, a favorite flower of Mrs. Proctor, are painted on the ceiling. Each of the elegant, second-floor guest rooms is uniquely decorated with plush linens on comfortable King or Queen-sized beds and period furniture.
The Fitzgeralds’ care and dedication to the Mansion is shown in every aspect of their exacting restoration of the exterior and interior of the house. They transformed broken, water-damaged tiles in the vestibule back into a colorful original floor, cleaned the coal dust off the ceilings to reveal stunning watercolors and personally restored a piano dating to 1873 that was a gift of a Wrentham resident. The work continues as the Fitzgeralds’ four-phase restoration and conservation plan includes creating more guest rooms on the third floor and converting the Carriage House into an organic restaurant.
In addition to being a lovely place to stay, the Proctor Mansion Inn hosts a number of private events, organized by their on-staff event planner, including weddings for upwards of 150 people and meetings for business and civic organizations. The Inn also hosts a number of public events, such as Victorian teas, musical performances, book signings, and “murder mystery” dinners.
On November 9 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., there will be a house concert featuring Dear Prudence with a “meet-and-greet” reception following the performance. In December, The Proctor Mansion Inn will hold two holiday-themed events, including Breakfast with Santa on December 8 and a Holiday Tea on December 15. The Inn’s Autumn Tea sold out well in advance, so plan on making your reservations as soon as possible for the November and December programs.
Visit the Proctor Mansion Inn web site or call 1-877-384-1861 to make a reservation to stay or for any of their public events. Sign up for the Inn’s monthly newsletter to receive information on lodging specials and events.