The Tea House at Whitin
Park, Whitinsville (Northbridge)
From the plaque at the site "
Sarah, or Tannie as she was affectionately called, was a graduate of Wellesley
College where she became a trustee after her husband's death. Mrs. Whitin had a
keen interest in the world around her, and she participated in a variety of
In 1898, her interest in
astronomy led her to fund the construction of an observatory for Wellesley
College. She oversaw every aspect of the design and the purchase of the
equipment. The Whitin Observatory is still very active today.
Mrs. Whitin died in 1917.
In 1938, the Tea House was spared
by the devastating hurricane that damaged much of the surrounding landscape. In
1943, the Whitin mansion was razed, and the Whitin family deeded the upper
property of the estate to the George Marston Whitin Memorial Association."
The Gerry Gaudette Pavilion was
built in 2006 near the location of the Tea House on the John C. Whitin estate.
Gerry Gaudette had been a strong advocate of the Blackstone Valley throughout
"The design of the new Tea House
by Manitou Architects of Boston recalls several design elements of the original
In 1875, John C. Whitin married
his second wife, Sarah Elizabeth (Pratt). The little tea house, nestled in a
grove of evergreens, served as a retreat where Mrs. Whitin would entertain her
guests." The tea house became structurally unsafe and was torn down in the 1970s
but the new tea house now stands.
Tea House not fully completed 8.20.06
is a feature of the master landscape plan adopted by the WCC Board of Trustees for the restoration and adaptive re-use of
Park. The pavilion also serves
as a memorial to Gerry Gaudette, a leader and lifelong resident of the
Blackstone Valley, who passed away in 2003. With a passionate eye for progress, Gerry led
the Development Advisory Committee of Whitin Community Center on a path of
raising capital and community interest towards the revitalization of historic
Gerry’s dedication and his strong leadership have come to life in the beautiful
park that stands today.
Gerry Gaudette Pavilion was built near the location of The Teahouse on the John
C. Whitin Estate. The pavilion was designed by Manitou Architects of Boston
and recalls several design elements of the original teahouse.
C. Whitin married his second wife Sarah Elizabeth (Pratt) in 1875. The little
teahouse, nestled here in the shade of Norway Maples, served as a retreat where
Mrs. Whitin would entertain her guests.
mid 1940s through the 1960s the teahouse was used as a site for a variety of
programs for children. It became known as the Girl Scout House and was a
favorite meeting place for many youth programs.
1970s, the teahouse was no longer structurally safe, and it was demolished. The
Gerry Gaudette Pavilion stands today as a reminder of this retreat from time
past. The Gerry
Gaudette Pavilion was built to enhance community life by providing a site for
programs, social gatherings, and personal respite. Construction of the pavilion
was made possible through contributions of many who were inspired by Gerry’s
vision. The pavilion stands in memory of a dear friend and is a tribute to all
people of this community who continue to make the Blackstone
Valley a wonderful place to work and live.
According to Mrs. Barbara Hopkins Gaudette, “Gerry really
supported the improvements planned for the park and wanted to see it all
happen. The pavilion was a very important thing for Gerry and he would have
loved to see it built and enjoyed by the public. Building it fulfilled one of