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House For Sale: Wales, Massachusetts

House For Sale: Wales, Massachusetts
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Although Maggie’s super chef will put on a five-course dinner on request, often the ladies get “dolled up” and enjoy the early evening at any number of gourmet restaurants in the Sturbridge area (Cedar Street and Rovezzi’s are among the best). Then it’s back to the Cora Needham House to gather in front of the fire (in pajamas!), have a little wine, and watch a movie (Maggie makes the popcorn)–but very often they all just chatter about, as Maggie puts it, “whatever is bothering us–whether it’s marriage, love affairs, rotten husbands, children–anything. There are lots of laughs and sometimes a few tears.”

Later in the morning of our visit with Maggie, after touring the property, including the beautifully landscaped grounds, and examining the “mortar and pestle” stone displayed out front (once used by the Nipmuc Indians for grinding corn), we remembered noticing, among many family photographs on the stairwell wall, one of a particularly beautiful woman. Who, we wondered, was she?

“That’s my great-grandmother, Mabel Mason Van Vechten,” said Maggie. “She was one of America’s first female physicians and invented various surgical instruments and was also an inventor of the traffic light.”

“The traffic light? Really?” We replied, our head spinning a bit.

“Yes,” said Maggie. “And the photo next to her is my ancestor, Hosea Ballou [1771-1852], a founder of American Universalism. One of his books recently sold for more than a thousand dollars.”

You know, we’d come to Wales to see a lovely and historic home for sale, but somehow it all turned out to be more than that. Much more…

For details, contact Maggie Ullery at 413-245-7166. For more on the house, the Wales area, and Maggie’s winter weekends, visit: coraneedhamhouse.com

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