City and State: Holliston, MassachusettsListed: 1989
Type of district: National Register historic district, Massachusetts State historic district, local historic district
Main Intersection: Hollis and Washington Streets
The Thomas Hollis Historic District is a mixed-use district containing 165 buildings and comprising the majority of downtown Holliston. It extends along Washington Street, Holliston’s main thoroughfare. Most buildings in the district were constructed between 1800 and 1860, during Holliston’s major period of growth. Early growth was stimulated by the manufacturing of shoes and boots, as well as straw bonnets and hats. During the decades prior to the Civil War, the arrival of the railroad further spurred development.
As the district developed, Washington Street was lined with houses of the area’s elite merchants, professionals, and industrialists. Most of the buildings from this time period were executed in the Adamesque, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, or Italianate styles. Almost all of the buildings are constructed of wood, which likely contributed to the destruction of 20 commercial structures during a fire in 1875. Most of the surviving commercial fabric post-dates that fire.