L. Dwight Hills and Alice Maud Hills were married in 1902. They spent the winters in New York or traveling in Europe, and in the summer, they returned to their in Amherst home, The Hedges.
Alice Maud Hills
Alice Maud Hills as a young woman, date unknown. This is one of the few images of our benefactress in the Amherst Woman’s Club picture collection. Alice Maud Thomson was born on August 25, 1873, and baptized on August 28, 1873, in the Anglican Church in Philipsburg, Québec, Canada. Alice Maud was a woman of the last quarter of the nineteenth century – in other words, she wanted more out of life than serving tea and making calls within her social circle. In 1893, she attended the newly-opened Nurses’ Teaching College in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and earned her degree. According to the Springfield Recorder of February 26, 1902, Miss Alice Thomson of Montreal and L. Dwight Hills, president of the First National Bank of Amherst, were married in St. George’s church at Montreal at 3 Monday afternoon. There was a reception at the Windsor Hotel immediately after the ceremony.
Portrait, Alice Maud Hills
Alice Maud Hills. Stephanie Klug, a member of the Amherst Woman’s Club, painted this portrait circa 2004.
Hall, Hills Memorial Clubhouse
Looking closely at the picture of the hall, one realizes there are two doors on the right side of the hall – the opening closest to the stairway (marked by a white arrow) and covered with a decorative curtain is the doorway extant today, leading past the library to the door opening onto the verandah. However, there is another door in this picture, a door closer to the Main Street entrance to the house (marked by a black arrow). This door led directly into Mr. Hills’ library. The only clue to its existence is this picture and a break in the chair rail.
Amherst Woman's Club Floor Plan
Floor plan of the public rooms of the Amherst Woman’s Club. This section of the club is available for public or private events.
Leonard Mariner Hills
Leonard Mariner Hills, owner of the palm leaf hat factory in Amherst. Mr. Hills built the house in 1864 on the corner of Main and Triangle Streets. William Fenno Pratt designed the house in the Italianate Renaissance style.
1936-37 Renovated library
Mr. Hills’ library after renovations by the Amherst Woman’s Club, 1936-1937. Was the original door opening into the hall (see Image 4) closed up during the renovations and the entire wall between the library and the small hall, leading to the verandah, taken down to increase the flow of people necessary for club meetings?
In 1928, club members and their guests posed on the front steps of the Amherst Woman’s Club, celebrating the 35th year as a club. On the front row stands Amy Barnes Maynard, founder of the club (third from left facing photo).
This image of the house probably taken when Mr. and Mrs. Hills resided in the house they called The Hedges. The vine covering the verandah would have provided privacy.
The Hills’ Palm Leaf Hat factory, sited across Main Street from the Hills’ home and extending to College Street.