Robbins' family history, Arlington legacy

Town Hall with bunting in 1930, an image used in current flier.

Here is a list of key dates reflecting some history -- and generosity toward Arlington -- of the Robbins' family:

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1793 (about) Federal-style mansion built for Squire William Whittemore, wife and nine children.

1842 Whittemore dies, family moves away.

1842 House rented to Miss Barker for a girls' school.

1848 House sold to Nathan and Eliza Parker Robbins and five children.

1880 Grandchildren come to live in house: Olney, Eliza, Caira, Ida.

1888 Death of Nathan Robbins.

1890 House moved from avenue to rear garden to make room for library.

1890 House redecorated in Colonial Revival style.

I892 Library presented to town, a gift of Maria Farmer Robbins in memory of Eli Robbins, her husband, brother of Nathan (first gift).

1905 Olney, brother of Robbins sisters, dies. Sisters give trough at Foot of the Rocks in his memory (at Lowell Street and Mass. Ave) (second gift).

1910 Cousin Winfield, son of Nathan's brother Amos, dies in Europe. He leaves legacy to build Town Hall in memory of his father, Amos.

1912 Sisters inform Town Meeting they will begin to build a Town Hall. They also gave garden in memory of Winfield and other gifts (third gift).

1913 Town Hall, garden, flagpole dedicated.

1923 Eliza Dies in a car accident in Switzerland.

1932 Sisters Caira and Ida give mansion, other houses and grounds to town in memory of grandparents Nathan and Eliza (fourth gift).

1939 Caira dies in France.

1949 Ida dies and leaves a specific grant and bulk of estate to town (fifth gift).

1932 Present house to town for use as offices.

1980 First floor of house renovated and restored.

1997 Entire house renovated and restored to be available for special functions, but also for the Youth Consultation Center and the Department of Human Services and the Historical Commission for offices.

This story was published Sunday, April 28, 2013.

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