Thursday, April 17, 2014

Raceland (2)

This post is a follow-up to Raceland. Raceland is somewhat fascinating because it's a bit hard to imagine that there was once a place in Framingham (not too far from Stop and Shop on Temple Street) where people would flock en masse to witness thoroughbred horse races. It kinda blows the mind a little bit. It did really happen though as the following scans from the Boston Public Library photostream on Flickr attest. The pictures were taken by Boston photographer Leslie Jones.


This is a picture of Petee-wrack, John Macomber's most famous race horse. The picture was taken in 1928 or 29, which means that we are seeing the stables before the 1930 fire. Copyright © Leslie Jones. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


Here's a nice view of the stables before the fire. Copyright © Leslie Jones. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


The steeplechase racetrack at Raceland with the stables in the background (pre fire). Copyright © Leslie Jones. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


This is John Macomber himself with his two dogs. The picture is dated 1931-05. Copyright © Leslie Jones. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


These are the "new" stables built this time out of brick. The picture is dated 1932-06-18. Copyright © Leslie Jones. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


A nice front view of the "new" stables (that building is of course still standing inside the Macomber Farm compound but the racetracks and the people are gone.) The picture is dated 1932-06-18. Copyright © Leslie Jones. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


This appears to be the other race track, this one flat, at Raceland (although I could be wrong). The picture is dated 1932-06-18. Copyright © Leslie Jones. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

Of course, John Macomber didn't live in the stables with the horses. The stables were attached to the house where John Macomber actually lived (with his beloved dogs). It has been said that John Macomber would sometimes bring a horse from the stables to his living room to show his guests.

The following scans come from the Framingham Public Library Local History photostream on flickr. I hope it's ok for me to put these up here (If it's not, I'll remove them.)


This is the house part of the "new" stables (view from the back).


This looks like the living room of the living quarters at Raceland. I think John Macomber might have been obsessed by thoroughbreds.


This is the same room but viewed from the opposite side.

Reading Susan Gordon in "The Man in the Net", it seems that Raceland was used in the movie "The Man in the Net" with Alan Ladd and Carolyn Jones. Now, I've just watched the whole movie (which happens to be quite enjoyable) and I really saw no evidence of this. Maybe interior or great outdoors shots? All I know is that you certainly don't see the stables in the movie.