Paris-Veal House

The Paris-Veal House

Stop 9

219 N. Harris St.

This is the home of the “Silk Stocking Street” author Rachel Paris.  Built in 1900, the house was the home of her parents Henry and Pauline Paris.  North Harris was given the “Silk Stocking” label in recognition of the prosperity of its residents, who were thought to be so rich the ladies could afford to wear such fineries. The structure, a spirited, asymmetrical, two-story was designed by Charles Choate with a Queen Anne Victorian design. The posts on the porch are grouped at the corners with depressed arch openings between. The Palladian windows, elliptical windows, and corbelled brick chimneys are Choate’s architectural signature. Cantilevered beams, with scrolled ends designed to prevent water drips and prevent rot, support the south gable with its small balcony and the wide second-story gable on the north. In this private residence, a spacious entry hall is graced by a stairway with a stained glass window. At the time current owners removed the original mantels for restoration, delivery notes to Mr. Choate from the original construction period were still attached.

In grade school, former resident Pauline Paris wrote poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for a picture.  She told Longfellow she’d be laughed at by her classmates if he didn’t send one.  He had refused to sit for a picture prior, but because her pleas touched him he obliged.   The photo is on display in the Brown House Museum, signed by Longfellow with the note, “You shall not be laughed at.”  Some years later, Pauline visited Longfellow’s house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Longfellow’s daughter found a copy of the same picture.  While regaling her of the tale of the correspondence, Pauline interrupted the daughter and told her, “The little girl in the letter, that’s me!”