Commodore Samuel Lockwood and his house. / by Jason Turgeon

I came across this photo in the BPL Flickr stream and decided to hunt it down:

Houses: Highland Sockwood House, Highland St., Roxbury

The picture is labeled “Highland Sockwood House, Highland St.”  A quick look at the 1873 map for Highland St. shows that there wasn’t a “Sockwood” family but there was a house owned by Maria Lockwood that certainly seems to fit the bill.

Maria Lockwood was the wife of Commodore Samuel Lockwood, a major figure in the US Navy.  Born in 1853, he distinguished himself as a midshipman in the 1820s fighting pirates off the coast of Greece.  He rose to prominence in the Mexican War and was promoted to Commodore in 1857.  He commanded the blockades of a number of Southern ports in the Civil War, mostly around Virginia and the Carolinas.

Maria, incidentally, was born Maria Dunbar in New Bedford.  Her Daughter, Maria Dunbar Lockwood, was married at the house to Clarence Westcott on June 17, 1890.  Mr. Westcott was a New York lawyer and it seems likely they returned to New York after the marriage, but the house was clearly an important part of the family for decades.

I haven’t been able to find out much about the Lockwood family’s time in Roxbury, although there’s plenty of info available about the rest of his life.  A good place to start is at this appendix to the Lockwood genealogy that is dedicated to his military career.

The Lockwoods were evidently living in Boston by 1853, when their son Thomas was born here as the 4th of their 5 children.  His little sister Emma followed in 1858, also in Roxbury.  By the time of his death in 1893 at the age of 90, the whole family was living in and around New York City.  The house remained in the family until at least 1895, but by 1915 the beautiful old building was gone, replaced by the large apartment block that is still at Kittredge Park today.