Wachusett Dam & Reservoir


John F. Philbin’s “mutilated” Building

In anticipation of the new Wachusett Dam & Reservoir project, Boylston Street would replace the soon to be discontinued River Street as the main road to Boylston. The road, which passed between John F. Philbin’s house and barn, was to be upgraded and widened to accommodate the traffic and featured the addition of a new streetcar line to Worcester.

Mr. Phibin’s land was already scheduled to be taken as part of the overall project although he was given the opportunity to remain in residence until the time for demolition.

Sometime between the title transfer and the road reconstruction the building above appeared and was subsequently sawed in half.


Did Mr. Philbin, a sharp negotiator, sense opportunity and quickly erect these three additional buildings, only to learn later on that the street was to be widened.

Did the state refuse further compensation for the taking?

Did Mr. Philbin saw his own building in half in a dispute with the state? You never can tell with old time Yankees.

We’ll never know, of course, but this does make for an amusing story.

Incidentally, Philbin is a venerable old family name in Clinton and many of John F. Philbin’s descendants live there still.




Video of streetcar rails and the “mutilated” building.

Bonus Section:   The Streetcar

The Worcester-Clinton Trolley

By Inga Milbauer   (Original Article)



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