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I’ve attended many a meeting and fundraiser in this home which sits in a magnificent location in Cohasset Harbor. In a brilliant move, the current owner bought the estate in 1989 then, parcel by parcel, purchased and improved the surrounding business properties – marina, inn, seafood restaurant — to ensure the value of his original investment.
The Georgian revival house is a landmark in Cohasset, a quaint coastal town some 20 miles south of Boston, and has a storied history. For decades, “The Oaks” was the oceanside playground of the Barrons and the Bancrofts, heirs to the Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal fortunes. For more than a century and a half, only three families have ever lived on the 9.4-acre property about 20 miles south of Boston.
The first was Lawrence Barrett, a 19th-century actor who played Othello opposite Edwin Booth’s Iago and served as a captain in the Civil War.
The second owner was Clarence Barron, a Bostonian who purchased Dow Jones & Co. for $130,000 in 1902 and is credited with transforming The Wall Street Journal into the financial journalism powerhouse it has remained through present-day. He later founded Barron’s magazine and was its first editor.
Barron’s stepdaughter married into another prominent Boston family, the Bancrofts, who became heirs to Dow Jones and the publishing empire. Two years after Barron’s death in 1928, the original estate was razed and replaced by the current ivy-covered Georgian Revival mansion.
Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and other entertainers visited the estate when they played at the nearby South Shore Music Circus in the venue’s heyday.
Barron’s granddaughter, Jessie Bancroft Cox, lived in the home until her death in 1982. Yankee Oil & Gas briefly owned the estate before it was purchased by the current owner, Peter Roy, in 1989.