The Harding Allen Estate
Our main ballroom has been revamped to have open tented sides with significant open air flow for events, while still maintaining an elegant feel. When there are no issues with Covid restrictions, we return to our normal room! As we are a little further out in the country from Worcester, Boston, and Springfield, we are typically designated in the low-covid zone rating.
We have lots of outdoor spaces for your guests to explore, play yard games, and enjoy our gardens while practicing social distancing! And our dance floor and gardens work provide ample space for guests to dance while distancing! Check here for photos! *
Vintage Photo Tour
Introduction to the Estate
In the following photos, you will find a set of vintage photographs of the Estate from an 1946 auction brochure, and a brief overview of the architectural highlights.
You can see here the front of the Estate is reminiscent of Mount Vernon.
The Estate was put up for auction when Carrie Allen, widow of Harding Allen, died in 1946. The following pictures are all taken from the literature surrounding the auction.
The mural above the staircase is actually wallpaper, made to look hand-painted by Zuber, a French company still in existence today. The mural has since been papered over due to water damage.
The Living Room
Partial view of the living room, showing an old type Kermanshah rug, with a pair of carved needlepoint hall chairs, a roundbacked channel overstuffed armchair in floral brocade and silk fringe, and a carved walnut library table.
Full view of the living room, showing fine old type rose floral Kermanshah rug, Steinway Duo-Art Pianola in a carved walnut case, a Queen Anne style walnut fireside bench, and other fine furnishings.
The Dining Room
The dining room, showing the fine English walnut dining room suite, Karistan rug, silk brocade window drapes, and 220-piece fine blue floral Copenhagen dinner service.
The Music Room
The music room, with a pair of enameled decorated arm chairs, set net window curtains, and inlaid satinwood commode.
The Red Room
The master bedroom, with a Louis XVI carved walnut chaise longue, a fine savonarier rug, and two French walnut inlaid twin beds, including a pair of fine silk brocatelle bed spreads and a pair of down pillows.
The Spanish Room
A view of the Spanish room.
An inscription, though not visible in the picture, is painted around the walls about a foot below the ceiling. This is a roughly idiomatic translation from the original Castilian Spanish:
"O very valiant gentlemen, whether you come from near or far away, from the north or from the south, this house welcomes you always. We are pleased to receive you; may your soul find peace during your stay. Remember this place with joy, then go with God."
The 1946 auction parceled out much of the surrounding land that had originally been part of the Harding Allen Estate.
This gateway was the main entrance to the Estate, off of Barre Common. It still stands at the beginning of Allen Drive.
The Carriage House
This structure was formerly the Estate's carriage house. Perhaps someday, it may be rejoined to the Estate.
The Green House
This 40-foot Burnham-built greenhouse is no longer part of the Estate. Carrie Allen used the greenhouse to grow a wide variety of flowers and vegetables, which she shared with area horticultural societies. She was particularly known for her award-winning orchids and lilacs.
This structure, which had been the Estate's guest cottage, is now a private residence. Like all buildings on the Estate, it had been connected to the main house by an extensive network of trellises, walkways and gardens.
The Lily Pond
The walled English sunken gardens, complete with lily pond, are still an outstanding feature of the Estate.
A long view of some of the land formerly belonging to the Estate, seen from what is now the side entryway. On the far left in the foreground is the library, and on the far right in the background is the current Town Hall.