The Hills’ house soon after Leonard Mariner Hills built it in 1864 when very little land-scaping had been done. The fence on the right side of the photo soon gave way to a hemlock hedge, which remained until 1964 when the town removed the hedge because it was impeding the sidewalk.
After L. Dwight Hills and Alice Maud T(h)ompson married in 1902, they began to spend more time in New York and Europe. They used the Amherst house, known as The Hedges, primarily as a summer home. Note how plantings have become lush, almost obscuring the veranda on the west side of the house, (below).
Although there is no date for the following photograph, the house is still a dark color. Notice the luxuriant foliage covering the veranda as it curves around the east side of the house. After Mr. Hills died in 1917, Mrs. Hills began to spend more time at The Hedges.
In 1935-1936, the garden has shade trees and plantings around the foundation and although there is a hint of the vine-covered west veranda most of the verdant growth is gone. The Amherst Woman’s Club has been repainted in a light color reminiscent of the original house color.
By 1937-1938, the west veranda is completely open – no more foliage to screen anyone sitting there.