Abstract: Sunnycroft in coastal Scituate, MA was the summer estate of a prominent Boston family. Its history illustrates how wealthy Bostonians created country estates to escape the city’s summer heat in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is significant as the creation of a woman, Lucy (Peirce) Nichols, in a period when most of these estates were built by men. It is also significant that she created the estate by transforming a historic house rather than building a new estate, as most others did. Through four generations, Sunnycroft housed leaders of the Silas Peirce & Co. grocery store in Boston (not to be confused with S.S. Pierce & Co.), as well as a top executive of Rockland Trust. The Silas Peirce firm in its time was America’s oldest grocery business. The Peirce family, with roots in colonial America, contributed greatly to the business, cultural, educational, and social lives of Boston and Scituate. Sunnycroft remains a good example of an early twentieth-century summer estate of wealthy Bostonians.
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