Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Raceland

Raceland was the name of the estate owned by John R. Macomber. It is located off Salem End Road between Singletary lane and Badger Road. Macomber had a couple of horse race tracks built on the property. The Eastern Horse Club had annual race meets there, attended by thousands.

John Macomber lived in a pretty large mansion with built-in stables. Yes, he was single (never married). The mansion burnt down in 1930.

Sportsman Macomber last week collected $125,000 fire insurance on Raceland, his home and track in Framingham Centre, Mass., announced he will rebuild.

Excerpt taken from a Times article dated Monday, Aug. 25, 1930. Macomber did indeed rebuild the mansion but using more fire-resistant materials like brick and mortar. It is still standing today.

John R. Macomber was in the finance business. He was President of Harris and Forbes Co., a financial company that specialized in the marketing of municipal bonds. He later became President and then Board Chairman of the First Boston Bank (now part of Crédit Suisse), a New-York based investment bank.

He must have loved his animals because he arranged a trust that would take care of them after his death. He apparently also had an interest in automobiles because Raceland was the location for the first VMCCA (Veteran Motor Car Club of America) auto meeting in 1939.

After the death of Macomber in 1955, the property was managed by his estate manager, Adnah Neyhart. When she passed away in 1971, the MSPCA (Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) took over. In the 80s, it was known as the Macomber Farm, a place to learn about farm animals. The property was later sold to real estate investors. If you go there today, the residences in the "old" Macomber Farm are quite few and expensive.


A bird's eye view of the area around the old Macomber estate. Thanks to googlemaps.



The Raceland estate ca 1951. The building right above the 'ac' of Raceland is the mansion. Thanks to USGS.



The "new" mansion viewed from above (it is very huge). Thanks to googlemaps.



The stables at Raceland. The wood used was mahogany. Thanks to Images of America, Framingham.

10 comments:

  1. I just posted a matchbook from RACELAND on e-bay. It had a picture of a horse named PETEE WRACK. Was this one of Macombers' horses?

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    1. I have about 50 matchbook from the raceland and I also have a tile from one of the bathrooms that was hand painted. and in the barns they had many horse boot where you would atake off your boot and I have that too. My mother work there in the office when they were changing in to a teaching farm.

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  2. I just posted a RACELAND matchbook on e-bay.The back cover has a picture of a horse named PETEE WRACK. Was that one of his horses? I thought the book might be from the 1950's, but guess it could be earlier. The matches themseves have Raceland picture and logo.

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    1. do you know how much money you got for your matchbook? I was just wondering since I have so many and I'm looking for a buyer.

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  3. Yes, PETEE WRACK was John Macomber's horse, his pride and joy. He loved his horses and his dogs. All this stuff is gone though and the estate is now a bunch of giant single family homes. You certainly wouldn't know there used to be a couple of racetracks there.

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  4. I live in Macomber Farm. I have one of the barns the MSPCA brought here and have four horses. Horses once again roam the property :)

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  5. Nice to see the farm animals, especially horses, are back on Macomber's old estate. it must be a very nice home for them. thank you for the comment.

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  6. very nice...hope you don't mind me publishing on my blog

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  7. I remember going there as a kid. We lived on Salem End Rd

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  8. How did this beautiful estate fall to a sneaky deal and get sold!!

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