Worth Preserving: The Underwood Estate in Belmont

This beautiful house in Belmont has old-world charm and a classic elegance.

living roomPhotos by Josh Kuchinsky

Your mom may not have stored tins of Underwood Deviled Ham in the family bomb shelter, but many matriarchs did. In fact, ketchup, oysters, lobster, mustard—just about anything edible—ended up in an Underwood can at some point during the 19th and 20th centuries, sustaining prairie-bound pioneers and U.S. servicemen alike. They also earned the Underwood family a fortune, some of which was used to buy up land in Belmont and erect this exquisite 6,400-square-foot home, circa 1846. Along with its 12-foot-high ceilings and 10-foot-tall windows, the house showcases plenty of handcarved gorgeousness, like the fireplace surrounds on the first floor that are emblazoned, appropriately, with a devil’s face, and a magnificent dining room corner cupboard. Unlike many contemporaneous houses, this one is sunny and bright, with a wraparound porch and cupola. Beautifully renewed by John and Sarah DeStefano (three cheers for their stunning custom kitchen), the Underwood estate is a showstopper, especially if you fancy Boston history…or have more than a passing interest in canned meats.

house

On the Market
Address: 50 Common St., Belmont
Listing price: $3,290,000
Listing agent: Sarah Destefano, Belmont Homes Realty, 617-489-0999, belmonthomesrealty.com
Stats: Seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, one half-bathroom, three-car garage

 

Plan B: Frustrated with low bids? Consider renting out your manse, advises online retailer Redfin. With high-end whole-house rentals fetching astonishing prices, holding on to a plum property is a very smart idea, indeed.

Get a Rake: In May, the town of Arlington passed a controversial ordinance banning the use of gas-powered leaf blowers (­apparently, the noise and dust are just too much for some residents). The law hasn’t gone over well with landscapers, but Lexington is considering its own ban. Who will be next?

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  • Tessa Moore

    I came across the article on the Underwood home and wondered what members of that family are still around? My great great grandmother was Ellen Rebecca Underwood and would have been raised in that house. She married and moved to Canada and her daughter then came to South Africa – where our line of descendants all live.