Abbotsford : Home of the Museum of the NCAAA
It’s Early Days.
Originally Oak Bend, this grand house was built by Aaron Davis Williams, Jr., whose father had been a very successful industrialist in the town of Roxbury. On land and money that he inherited in the mid-1860s, Williams hired Alden Frink, a prominent Roxbury architect, to design the house with its abundant neo-Gothic features. At $365,000.00 in 1870, Oak Bend was both expensive and exceedingly handsome. It dominated the knoll from which it rises as is evident in the watercolor rendering that captured the architect’s the vision for the residence.
In the decade that followed, Williams’ fortune declined and he sold the house to a new family that renamed it Abbotsford in honor of the home of Scottish poet Sir Walter Scott. Early in the twenties, ownership of the property shifted to the City of Boston and in 1924, it opened as a grammar school. Not much later, it was redeveloped as the Gertrude Godvin School serving boys with disciplinary problems.
Abbotsford remained the Godvin School until the mid-seventies when it became the annex to the David A. Ellis Elementary School.The annex to the David A. Ellis School closed in 1975 as a result of the desegregation crisis that collapsed the population of students under the auspices of the Boston Public Schools.