Edward F. Searles Estate Tour
Enter the realm of the reclusive millionaire whose stunning architectural landmarks define the City of Methuen.
Journey through the labyrinthian corridors and marvel at the architectural styles which embody the finest periods of art and interiors.
Discover PINE LODGE; the private world of Edward F. Searles.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
9 am - 3 pm
Tickets $20 per person
Pine Lodge at Presentation of Mary
209 Lawrence Street, Methuen, MA
What time do the tours start/run?
Tours will run continually from 9 am until 3 pm. You can come anytime during these hours. There is no set time attached to your ticket. Tours will be conducted in small groups. Once a group is full, it will begin touring.
We will offer a special tour for PMA alumni at 1:00 pm.
Can I get tickets on the day of the event?
Yes, tickets will also be sold at the gate.
What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
Parking will be available around the campus. Staff will direct you to the nearest spot upon arrival.
What can/can't I bring to the event?
Photographs are not permitted. Please consume all food and beverages before you enter!
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Please contact Sarah Hamilton by email - firstname.lastname@example.org or call PMA 978-682-9391 Ext. 112.
How long does the tour last?
The tour lasts about 90 minutes.
Can I use a children's stroller or wheelchair?
Due to the narrow hallways and some stairs strollers and wheelchairs cannot be accomodated.
Is there a rain date?
This event is rain or shine.
Who was Edward Searles and what will I see on his estate?
Edward F. Searles was born on July 4, 1841. His father, an overseer in the Methuen Company Mills, earned a comfortable living and his family lived at “Appleside,” their homestead in Methuen. When Edward was three, his father, sister and younger brother died within one month’s time. At the age of twelve, Edward and his older brother quit school and went to work in the mills to help their mother support the family and homestead.
Searles first left Methuen and later moved to Boston and entered the employ of Paul & Co., interior decorators and connoisseurs in home furnishings. In 1875, he went to New York to work for Herter Bros. as an interior decorator. He was most successful with this firm and by 1881 he had amassed a considerable fortune.
In 1881, rheumatic fever caused Searles to move west for a more favorable climate. He was asked by Herter Bros. to report on the satisfaction of some of the homes they had outfitted for California millionaires. Among these was the “Nob Hill” San Francisco mansion of the widow of Mark Hopkins, one of the six men who built the Central Pacific Railroad.
Mrs. Hopkins was charmed by Mr. Searles and the admiration became mutual. They were married on November 8, 1887. The bride was twenty-two years his senior and she died four years later in July of 1891. Her immense wealth was left to Mr. Searles without reservation while her adopted son, Timothy Nolan Hopkins, was disinherited.
Mr. Searles became the target of abuse and venomous comments from newspapers. Mrs. Searles’ will was upheld after a contentious, extended legal contest. Nolan’s counsel filed exceptions, but before they were heard, a cash settlement was made.
During the last twenty years of his life, Searles retreated from the public eye and concentrated on his Methuen estate, Pine Lodge. He began enclosing his estate with tall medieval style stone walls and expanding Pine Lodge, bringing the best of his other homes to Methuen.
Of special interest on the estate are:
The rare pink marble pillars quarried in the Himalayan mountains
The monumental marble urn carved with biblical scenes
The carved panel in the tapestry hall which displays the Searles motto, “They say, What say they? Let them say.”
One of the world’s finest organs that rises three stories
The large iron gate and sculpted eagle once owned by Napoleon
A bell tower adorned by stone lions and the “Ascending Angel” sculpture by William Couper
A gothic chapel, designed for Mr. Searles by renowned architect Henry Vaughn