This Pawtucket home was constructed between 1917 and 1919 as a gift for the daughter of one of the city's leading industrialists. Mary Potter, daughter of Potter & Johnston Machine Company president James C. Potter married local entrepreneur Ralph Gledhill Lumb when he was working as the assistant treasurer of the Lumb Knitting Company. Mr. Potter provided this mansion as a gift to the new couple. In addition to assisting with the financial operations of the Lumb Company which produced garments ranging from women’s undergarments to suits and “infant’s wrappers, Ralph patented an invention for an early type of automobile windshield.
The three-story Potter Lumb home was built in the English
Tudor style which was popular in affluent neighborhoods at the
time, so much so that it would later be nicknamed “stockbroker Tudor.” The building
material was red tapestry brick arranged to form a decorative
chevron pattern. The home took two years to build. Its cornerstone was laid in 1917, and the recently married couple were able to move in to their home in 1919.
Inside, the 9,641 square foot home had everything a wealthy turn-of-the-century couple could wish for,
including a library, a sun porch, a sunken-parlor music room complete with baby
grand, “summer sleeping quarters” in addition to the main bedrooms, and a
nursery for the children. It also had third-floor quarters for servants. The basement had a wine cellar and a game room, and outdoors,
there were landscaped lawns, rose gardens, and an enormous play house. In fact,
the play house was so large that it was later dismantled and moved to Cape Cod
where it was used as a summer home.
The Lumbs lived in this house for nearly 40 years, raising
three children: son George and daughters Bettie and Charlotte. By the time both
were in their 60s, the couple decided sell the property to another Pawtucket couple, William and
Ethel Tripp, who used the mansion as a funeral home. The William W. Tripp
Funeral Home has been in business for over 60 years.