Renting Queset House for Your Next Event

Set back from Main Street in North Easton, on ground adjoining the Ames Free Library, is a perfect example of what Andrew Jackson Downing would have called “a tasteful cottage on a smiling lawn.” Queset House, named for the stream which winds through the grounds, is a stone house of English Gothic style. The house has beautiful walled gardens, sloping lawns, and a pathway to the restored Italianate Queset Garden.  The lovely wood paneled main floor has several large rooms, including a kitchen and two bathrooms and is ideal for small-to-medium sized events.

A WALKING TOUR OF QUESET HOUSE!

Queset House is a casually elegant, affordable option that gives you the flexibility to design a memorable, personalized occasion.  This house is an historic building and part of the Ames Free Library Campus.  Because of the unique nature of our property, event times are limited. If you are interested in hosting an event here, please call or e-mail Marion Wingfield, the Development Manager, at 508-238-2000x108, mwingfield@amesfreelibrary.org

HISTORY

Queset House was built in 1853-54 for Oakes Angier Ames (1829-1899) who was head of the Ames Shovel Works. It was built along the style of cottage villas illustrated in Downing’s Architecture of Country Houses. In 1873, the house was enlarged and remodeled by John Ames Mitchell, the architect who designed Unity Church and who also founded Life magazine. The landscaping was revitalized by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park in New York and America’s foremost landscape architect at the time.

After the death of his father, Winthrop Ames became the owner of “Queset.” Winthrop was called the “gentleman producer of Broadway.” In his biography Guthrie McClintic speaks of Mr. Ames as “the pioneer who changed the atmosphere of those streets (New York’s theatre section) into the bustling theatrical thoroughfare that they are today.”

Winthrop Ames was also the first American producer to organize the theatrical profession to entertain the troops overseas. Only a theatrical producer with the genius of Winthrop Ames could have produced such exquisite effects with flowers and shrubs and the occasional perfect piece of statuary brought from some far corner of Europe in the ornate Italianate Garden adjoining Queset House.

During vacations spent at Queset House, the greatest personages in theatrical history visited Mr. Ames. People in town often saw George Arliss, who won an Oscar for Disraeli; Katharine Cornel, the “first lady of the American theater,” who reigned on Broadway in the Barretts of Wimpole Street, among other plays, and Leslie Howard who is remembered as Ashley Wilkes in the movie, Gone with the Wind, walking about the grounds. The corner post at the entrance to the drive was knocked askew the day that Mrs. August Belmont’s chauffeur backed into it!

Because the “English Cottage” was not inhabited during the 1960’s it was extensively vandalized. To prevent it from being torn down in early 1970, Mr. and Mrs. William Parker, Mr. David Ames, and Mr. Oliver Ames of Beverly purchased it from a grandson of Oakes Angier Ames, Hobart Ames Spalding of Washington D.C.

Since then it has changed hands four times. First, it was given by Mrs. Parker to her cousin Bill Ames who occupied the house until 1980 when it was sold to his father, David Ames. After one year it was sold again to local resident and businessman Douglas King who saved and restored the building which had suffered years of neglect and repeated threat of demolition. In 1998, it was sold to Forest Systems. Forest Systems subsequently sold the now fully-restored classic architectural jewel to the Ames Free Library, its current owner.

Queset House stands as a proud part of Easton’s historical legacy and is an utterly charming focal point of the North Easton historical village.

View some other Images of majestic Queset House