438 Commercial Street

 
Red House

The resemblance between the Red House of today and the Red House of picture postcards nearly a century old is quite astonishing. One explanation may be the fact that it has been in the hands of only one family since 1899, when it was purchased by Edwin Pliny Seaver (1838-1917), the superintendent of public schools in Boston for 24 years and a Harvard overseer. Seaver was a progressive figure in championing the relatively young kindergarten movement as “an excellent bridge for leading the child over from home life into school life.” A school in Jamaica Plain was named in his honor. In 1931, his granddaughter Roberta Seaver married Ernest G. Gebelein, whose family has owned the house ever since 1946.

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